Tuesday, April 17, 2012

P is for The Possum in the Bathroom

My first close acquaintance with possums came when I returned from a professional conference. On the way home from the airport my husband announced that a mother possum had abandoned her babies in our recyling bin. Sure enough, when I got home, eight little pairs of eyes stared up at me from the bottom of the bin. When I bent to get a closer look, a chorus of hisses ensued along with a baring of teeth. I moved back. We kept the babies until we thought they were old enough to fend for themselves, then gave them to our son-in-law to let go in the wild. I thought that was the end of my possum experience.

But no. A year after my husband died I awoke one night to the sound of breaking glass. The cats, I thought. No, Toby was asleep in the living room. I glanced into the master bath and there was Tiki, standing in the middle of the floor, swishing her tail madly back and forth and looking up at the counter where an enormous possum was seated as if he owned the place. How did he get in? More importantly, how would I get him out?

Unable to come up with a solution, I grabbed the cat, slammed the bathroom door and went back to bed. And yes, I fell asleep. I got up at 6 a.m., called the city's animal control office and learned they were closed for Labor Day weekend. Of course, it was a holiday weekend. What better time for a wild animal to invade my bathroom? Finally, I found a private company. When they arrived, the possum was no where to be found. "I know he's here," I insisted. "I saw him at night." The men nodded. I'm sure they thought I'd had a nightmare. But they did find him in the closet, got him into a cage and took him away, assuring me they weren't going to kill him, just let him go in the woods. Later I discovered that he'd gotten in through a hole in the roof (I had it fixed a few days later), pushed down the attic stairs and made himself at home.

I hope I never have another wild visitor, but something good did come of my possum encounter. I have published three articles about the possum, the latest in an anthology called Coping with Transition: Men, Motherhood, Money and Magic, edited by Susan Briggs Wright, available on Amazon.


Cindy Brown said... [Reply to comment]

I discovered one eating my cat food in the kitchen in my old house once. I also plan to write about it eventually :) I made opossum pie out of him. I'm kidding. I didn't do that, LOL!

Wendy H said... [Reply to comment]


When I was a child we lived in rural South Texas for a time. One early morning, my mother opened a drawer for a dish towel and nearly put her hand on a baby opossum lying on his back. Yep, hissing and show of teeth ensued and she shrieked. We of course thought he was cute. My father found the hole of entry and blocked it, but thereafter we would see them here and there, such as hanging upside down at the tree by the front door as we made our way to the school bus.

Great post!

Wendy H from the A to Z.

notes4neta said... [Reply to comment]

Yipes! Those are quite the pictures! I know I would lose it if that happened to me. I definitely would not have gone back to sleep! Great post!
Thankfully, we don't have opossums around here.

Donna Sexton said... [Reply to comment]

There's no way I could have slept with a possum in my house. Great post!


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