"I was just trying to figure out how it got there, thinking how did it get in? " she said of her Thursday morning discovery.
The bat lying on her living room floor raised a red flag, as she thought of the news alerts she's seen about rabies on the rise in Arkansas this year.
"I just thought it was strange, I just don't see them very much around here," she said. "Then I thought about it, that it's that time of year that rabies could be a problem."
She captured it using a potholder, placing it in a Tupperware bowl and called Animal Control.
"I never touched it, and it was fairly lethargic once we got it into the bowl," she said. "My animals are vaccinated, and I'm just glad we had all of the doors shut overnight, so it only had access to the living room and dining room."
The bat was sent to the Arkansas Health Department, which confirmed it was positive for rabies.
That's given neighbors a reason to be nervous.
"I live here so that's very scary to know there was a bat in someone's apartment where I reside," said Lavonda Evans. "My granddaughter lives with me. What if it had been in our apartment and the thing had bitten her. It's terrifying."
Hot Springs Animal Services Director Dan Bugg is concerned about the rate of rabies in the state. In six months, we've surpassed the state total for 2011.
"It doesn't look like it's slowing down much. Typically our cases, until recently were in the county area, not in the city," he said. "But we've had this case of the bat in the central part of the city. And we had a skunk just south of the city that was positive."
"In the case of the bat, no one touched the animal, no one was bitten, no one was exposed. So, that's a good thing, especially considering that in Saline County they have a case of a dog that was exposed to rabies then being exposed to dozens of people," Bugg said.
With infected animals moving into the metro area, Bugg's urging folks to have their pets vaccinated in case they come into contact with animals carrying the contagion.
"If they're vaccinated, they're our barrier. If they're not vaccinated they become the conduit," Bugg said. "Our pets are more likely to come into contact with the animals that have rabies from just being outside. Vaccination makes it less likely they'll transfer it to us."
His office is going so far as to offer free vaccination clinics, three so far with another on the way, and ticketing owners who still have failed to take that safety step required by law.
"For rabies, it's so important we vaccinated our animals. People don't seem to understand that, but it's very important to do that," he said.
The fourth free vaccination day will likely take place on either July 7th or July 14th at the fairgrounds, but Bugg will have to confirm the date on Monday.
Carol Gilbert has certainly been shocked by such a close encounter, but she's relieved she made the call to animal control, staying on the safe side.
"Better safe to catch it and be sure than to let it loose and bite someone else," she said. "I would hate to have let it loose and then some child get bit."