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Posts Tagged ‘possum’

Wednesday night David and I went to a neighborhood gathering up the street that turned out to be a “block watch” meeting.  There were appetizers, stories of crazy neighbors that had since moved away, a bit of gossip, and much chatter about the neighborhood raccoons and possum(s).  There are at least two raccoons that live around here- they both have thin and scraggly short tails and wrastle each other on people’s front lawns in broad daylight.  And i’ve seen one possum.  First time i saw it, it had a horrible limp and i thought it wouldn’t last long.  Then several months later i saw it again, still with a slight limp.  Glad it survived, but that’s one more critter to add to the list of potential chicken manglers.

Anyhow, several hours after the neighborhood watch gathering, i was heading down into the basement to get ready for bed and heard scrabbling near the recycling bin.  I peeked around the box and let out a fairly horrified “Oh my god!”  There was what appeared to be a humongous rat clinging to the handle of a milk jug with it’s back to me.  But the fur was a bit wispier, white at the tips, and the ears were huge.  Upon getting a side view, i realized it was a baby possum and squealed a much more excited “Oh my god!!!”

We figure he must have come in through the cat door.  With some prodding, David got the little guy to get in a box and carried him over to the empty lot across the street.  Upon release he clung to the wall underneath the ivy and peaked out with very cute eyes.  See reconstruction below:

Fast forward to last night, when David and I are making pizza with housemate John and friend Lindsay.  I see Tilly jump in through the window carrying none other than Wednesday’s rescued baby possum.  I yell at her.  David yells at her.  She drops the possum, who is curled on the floor, breathing heavily and grimacing with a lot of very ugly teeth.  Everyone’s sad and we think about how many times we’ve tried to save rats or birds that Tilly has brought in- they all end up dead in whatever little box we’ve fixed up for them with water and peanut butter.  But, we decide we can’t just give up on a possum, so into a box with some cat food and up on the closet shelf he goes.  Maybe he’s just playing dead!  We joke about how, maybe, if we were successful in saving this possum’s life, he could very well come back to eat our chickens one day.

Of course we forget to check on him until tonight, and of course the box is empty when David looks in him.  I’m hoping he found his way down from the shelf and out the cat door again…  but he could be hiding in the sleeve of a coat or in a shoe, biding his time until the house is quiet and he can raid the cereal boxes or pet food.  We’ll see.  He’s not big enough to hurt the chickens yet, and maybe he’ll at least keep the rats out.

 

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