Opossum Fever

August 23, 2005 at 10:46 pm (Uncategorized)

(This is a post I wrote a while back and never posted)

Inspired by Lois and her adventure with animals…

Hagar and I were talking about animals on our way to work one morning and he mentioned the fact I used to have an opossum which lived in my house. That would be Road Kill or ARK (Almost Road Kill). Holland had found little Road Kill on the highway. Probably he had fallen off of his mommy’s back. He fed him water from a pop lid and brought him home. I hand fed him for about a week until he started eating real good. When Holland got ready to move out, it was up to me to dump Road Kill wherever I could find a good spot. (Look, its Hagar! Dressed like … Hagar!)

By this time, RK is about 10 lbs. and, as opossums are, solitary. He was not happy as we dragged him out of his burrow (kennel) by his tail. I put him in the car with that day’s garbage (stale cereal, baked potato, day old lettuce, and the contents of his kennel). He hid under the seat of the car until we got out in the country (five miles) and I started yanking on his tail again. He decided it would be best if he clamored out on his own and off he went through the grass, just a chugging. Freedom!! I cried when I let that stupid thing go. RK did leave me one last gift though, which I made Holland clean up. (RK looked just like these cuties, except bigger.)

That started my love affair with opossums. They really are hardy creatures. And RK was so ugly he was cute. It was so funny to watch him suck the dropper dry of opossum “formula” and then when we petted him he would hiss. He hung upside down from Nate’s finger. I admired his fine pelt… wondering why peeps don’t make coats out of their gorgeous black and white fur. Hush. It was just a thought.

Well after Holland moved out, I heard a squalling from the front porch and went to check it out. A big opossum was squaring off against my cats. Opossums LOVE cat food. Love it!! My dad has bashed many an opossum skull for that very reason. Normally I don’t feed my cats on the porch but the trash can at the time was filled and ready for the garbage men. Mr/s. Opossum was looking for some grub when s/he was rudely interrupted by my felines.

Now, Hagar starts laughing really hard and says, “That must be the opossum that was in our laundry room.” Apparently, said opossum wanted their cat food and given their dryer vent is located directly above the edge of the deck, all it had to do was climb the deck, walk along the railing and squeeze itself into the duct work and out the other side. Naturally, when it go so far, the duct work pulled loose, allowing said opossum free reign over the cat food. Foiled again!!

Hagar’s felines were like mine. By the time TLC woke him up, the opossum was “treed” under the dryer by Cricket, which is Hermione’s sister. Hermione being my cat. (She’s also the aunt of Napoleon, Ireland and Lola.) Anyway, Hagar pokes it out from underneath the dryer with a broomstick and Mr/s. Opossum leaves, hissing all the way. (That’ s Hermione over there.)

Which lead Hagar to tell me a story about a friend of his who had a Rottweiler mix. The man heard a commotion in the yard and found the dog playing with an opossum. The Rottie/mix spent the better part of two hours tossing the poor opossum in the air and then shaking it like a rag doll, growling like the devil was after him the whole time. After the dog is finished, his friend goes to get a shovel to toss the opossum across the creek, where it can rot in peace. Surprisingly, while his friend is standing on the porch with the shovel, the opossum rolls over, shakes it head, and saunters off.

That my friends, is why I love opossums. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Some images were borrowed.

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