Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's Happening to the World?

Don't remember if I posted about the possum in the house last week... something was disturbing the dogs every night and getting into the trash. I knew by the mess it was too big to be a mouse... every fall, mice try moving inside... but whenever I got up and turned on the lights, I saw nothing. And there were no mouse droppings. Let's face it, a mouse can't go a foot without leaving a momento. Anyway, one night the possum fell into the empty dogfood can (a large garbage can which I had just washed and left open to air dry) and in the morning, I took the can outside, tilted it on it's side and the "teenage" rodent wandered off into the woods.

Well, a night or two later, the dogs were at it again. I'd been keeping the back door closed, starting in the late afternoon, so I didn't think another... or the same... critter had come back in. But after a couple nights, it became clear there was a possum in the kitchen AND it was bold enough to wander into "the dog room," where it was eating the dogfood pushed outside the pen by the little rescues (who have dogfood scattered all over.) But, again, every time I got up and turned on the lights, it was gone. I looked everywhere and couldn't find the thing. Until yesterday when I saw it in the middle of the morning, wide awake and staring at me from on top of the unused dog crates stacked in the corner. The cupboards for over the washer and dryer are right there and one of them was barely open. When I looked back, the animal was gone and when I opened the cupboard, I could see it sitting on top of something it had shredded inside a plastic bag. I guess when I had looked in there before, it was sleeping and I couldn't see it. Anyway, I spent the rest of the day... off and on... trying to figure out how to get it out of the cupboard and the house without getting bit or hurting it. (If I got bit, I was definitely going to hurt it!) Last night, the retched thing spent some time in my bathroom, driving my dogs nuts and keeping me from sleeping, so I got up determined to proceed with the eviction. Now, I grew up with possums that gave meaning to "playing possum." When threatened, they dropped over and played dead. Even when handled... gently by people or violently by dogs... they kept up the act. I was counting on being able to move this animal, IN the plastic bag, with little if any trouble. HA! Apparently times have changed in the possum world! As soon as I opened the cupboard door, it sat up, hissed at me and showed its teeth. This was Playing Possum Part Two. I immediately changed my game plan... took off the gloves and got a broomstick. It attacked the stick. I prodded it back a little, trying to get the handle through the bag's loops. No luck. It attacked again and every time the stick got close enough. Eventually I moved the bag enough that it was in danger of falling out of the cupboard (and into the same garbage can, this time with the dogfood bag removed just for the purpose of possum hunting) and the beast went over and under the stuff in the cupboard to the other side. I prodded, none too gently, at it's rear and it half jumped/half fell on top of the crate (about a foot drop) and when I started to touch it again with the stick, it slid down the off side. As soon as I backed off, it climbed back up. We danced a couple tunes that way and then I started piling stuff on top of the crate, along the edge by the wall, so the possum couldn't get back up. As luck would have it, just as I was putting the last stack of books there, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. And witnessed the bare naked tail disappearing out the door into the back yard. The devil climbed up the 6 foot chain link fence and sat on the top pole glaring at me until I closed the door. Later when I peeked out the window, it was gone. It's probably back in Possumville organizing an invasion.

Oh for the good ol'days when there were rules!

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