No, not that Charles Barkley.
This Charles Barkley:
Charles has been the man of the house [err…my apartment] for about 10 months now, ever since I adopted him last October when he was just two months old. In that time, he has chewed through just about every cord I own, puked on my hair dryer when I was hungover, ate a leather strap on my new shoe, stepped into the hot wax inside a Scentsy warmer and tracked it throughout my family room (but to be fair, he smelled fantastic for like a week after), and virtually prevented any sense of alone time by barging in on my showers. He’s also been the most affectionate, chillest, and best pet I could ever ask for; always greeting me at the door and there to cuddle on a lame Friday night. I live alone but I’m never actually alone, which I guess is the point of a pet. But CB is definitely the illest.
So fast forward to Saturday night, I’m getting home from my friends house after Conor McGregor won part 2 vs Nate Diaz, at about 1am. I’m getting out of my car to walk the 500 feet to the entrance of my building, and someone from across the parking lot tried to get my attention. But not in an “I need some help” sort of way… in a “hey, you, how you doin’ pretty little thang why you walkin’ away?” sort of way. Alarms sounded in my head and I picked up the pace as I made my way to the door.
As soon as I got in my apartment, I looked out my balcony and noticed the same man was trying to gain access to the building. Yikes. Logic says I should have called 911, but I tried calling my local police department first. No luck. He walked away seconds later and I continued to look out the window but he never came back. Freaked out and adrenaline-filled, I sat in my bed with my lights on and the TV on watching Scandal reruns until the wee hours of the morning. At some point my fear and adrenaline subsided (or maybe I just exhausted myself), and I drifted into a series of anxious, unpleasant dreams.
All of a sudden, I’m woken up by a loud THUNK! noise coming from my spare room. And again. I look at the clock: 4:40am. Did the crazy psycho finally come back for me? Did he get into my apartment? I grab a hammer and turn on the spare room light and couldn’t believe my eyes.
I thought I was dreaming. No glasses to aid my blurred vision, and a slight pang of a hangover creeping through my head, a shadow flew across the room as Charles lunged into the air and all of a sudden… nothing. Silence. Charles was just standing there under my computer chair, staring at me. I was left to figure out what just happened.
Standing in the doorway, I thought very carefully about what I just thought I saw. Was it a bird? A big moth? If it was either of those, wouldn’t it still be flying around? I couldn’t have just imagined it. I flicker the lights. Nothing. Did I just imagine it? Maybe I just need to go back to bed and chalk up tonight as one big loss.
And then I realized Charles’ hair was standing straight up, right where his tail met his ass. I’ve never seen him like that before. He was motionless, staring directly at me and never looking away. He was definitely trying to tell me something, and that’s when I noticed it.
Charles was standing right between me and a black creature on the floor, as I approached it I realized I was looking at a fucking bat. I’d never seen one up close before, and I was mortified. It was so ugly.
When it occurred to me the steps this cat took to not only alert me that something was wrong, but to also stand between me and this unknown creature, I realized that he was basically acting as my protector. Hell, he was my protector. Charles Barkley saved my damn life that night.
If you’re interested in how this story ends, I’m afraid it didn’t end well for the bat. I got Charles out of that room and closed the door, locking Mr. Dracula in the 14’x9′ space. The good thing about renting an apartment is there is a 24-hour emergency maintenance hotline, so clogged drains and bats finding a way in my apartment don’t have to be my problem if I don’t want them to be. The bad thing is the hired help around here is not very experienced in the way of humane animal treatment… after about 5 minutes of attempting to whistle and snap and yell the bat out the window failed, well… I don’t need to tell you what happened next. Poor guy. They think he found his way in through the bathroom vent.
So yeah. That was my traumatizing Saturday night. At least I have a bad ass roommate to take care of me.