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18 September 2018

Animals in the night. (Don't read if you are squicked out by nature red in tooth and claw tales.)
Possums are endearing creatures but encountering one for the first time can be a bit daunting. That long face full of teeth and that naked rat-like tail is a bit off-putting but once you take the time out to get to know one they are great creatures.

Possums scavenge and they kill rodents. They don't bite people or domestic animals. They are immune to rabies.

They are solitary nomadic animals and yet they seem to like hanging out from time to time. Before he moved himself in Whitey Ford lived at the side of the house. Each night I would check on him before I went to bed. One night I switched on the flashlight and saw Whitey sitting, with his feet tucked under him and looking contented, next to a huge rat like thing.

That possum hung with Whitey for about 40 minutes and he came back to do the same for four or five nights. Over the years I have had numerous possums drop by and sit near me for a bit. I don't know why they come to hang out except that it seems even solitary creatures like to socialize on occasion. But they do seem to have a limit.

This spring I was siting reading and three cats sat nearby just chilling when a possum came waddling up, his or her nose sniffing for food. The possum suddenly became aware of the four of us and without pause did a loop and headed, hurridly, right back out. 'Sorry wrong place.'

Ginger seems very puzzled by possums. Every time he sees one he keeps looking at me as if to say 'Do you see this? What the hell is that thing? So weird.'

Last night I had given the last cat feeding and was reading when I heard a clank from the back gate. There was no wind so who the hell is coming to my yard at this late hour? I looked toward the gate but no one appeared. I went back to reading.

Again a clank. I got up and lit up my little Mag light and flashed it toward the gate.

There was a medium sized possum carrying a headless squirrel and trying to get under the gate. When the light hit the possum it stopped and hugged the headless body close. 'It's my dinner. Please just leave me alone.' Other than the death and headless thing it was quite a sweet scene really. I said "Don't mind me. Bon appetit and goodnight."

I sat back down and heard a couple more clanks. Someplace nearby a possum had a very satisfying night.

Be well little pointy friends.
Love possums. Years ago, a family friend who had a cookie delivery route gave us a quantity of cookies. (outdated, of course). We, sadly, did not fancy these cookies much, and they were tossed in the trash can. Coming home from an evening out, and I happened to glance in the trash can. Lo and behold, a very fat, sleepy possum was curled up atop the now empty cookie containers. He had no way to climb out from the bottom of the can. Very slowly, I gently tipped the can over on to it's side, and my portly friend waddled off into the night.

Just a few nights ago (different city) I was elated to see a possum scavenging under my bird feeders. I often see skunks there, but this was the first one I've seen in 15 years (with the exception of the very young possum we had to trap under our kitchen sink and release back in the woods)
posted by redvixen 19 September | 17:58
If you have a possum around you may have fewer skunks.
posted by arse_hat 19 September | 18:42
Frightening stuff happening right now in Massachusetts. || So many squirrels