Sunday, June 19, 2022

Wild Thankfuls

The heat and humidity was dreadful this week, and it took a toll on me Wednesday. By the time I came home from school, I just wanted to rest my tired self, which I planned to do as soon as I fed the cats their supper.

Nora loves me with all her heart and always meets me at the door whenever I come home with the same amount of exuberance whether I've been gone for a week or for the fifteen seconds it takes to put trash in the garbage can. Lewis comes running right behind her, not because of any great love for me but because I can operate a can opener. Timid, anxiety-riddled Finn always hangs back, sometimes not showing up for a meal until the other two have nearly finished their food. But when I came home Wednesday, Finn was in the living room (not unusual), but he wouldn't come in the kitchen, even when I tempted him with treats. When he finally did slink in the room, he was skittish and nervous and scampered back out without eating. It was odd, even for him, and I worried that he was having kidney problems again (he is on a prescription cat food for urinary tract issues).

I went upstairs and settled into my big comfy chair, where I promptly fell asleep, and I spent the rest of the evening dozing (okay, sleeping quite soundly) while my husband went in and out of the room as he did a couple of loads of laundry (he who now works from home gets laundry duty). I would open my eyes occasionally, look at the clock and think I should just go to bed, and then fall asleep again. I was aware that my husband would walk in and out of the room (old house, squeaky hardwood floors), so when he came in and stood in front of me and said, "I need you to wake up," I figured he was going to tell me to get up and go to bed.

"There's something I need to tell you. I don't want to tell you but I need to tell you," he said.

I opened my eyes and tried to focus on him, then began to panic that he had found Finn and was afraid to tell me Finn was, indeed, very sick.

"There's a possum in the basement."

That woke me up.

"Put on your shoes. I need your help."

I jumped up and followed him down the two flights of stairs to the basement, while he told me it was a baby possum, and he walked in the basement and saw it walking on the dryer vent. He started moving laundry baskets and things around the washer and dryer while I did a panicky little dance, and a moment later, a little possum popped out from under the stairs. 

I screamed. The possum scooted back under the stairs. My husband said, "Why didn't you stop him?"

"WITH WHAT?" I asked, then sent a message on my work group message to see if anyone had a live trap I could borrow, and I got two offers to send husbands over to help catch it and many requests for video of the whole nightmare. 

Back downstairs in time to see my husband with a broom and dustpan as he crashed into shelves as items on them fell to the floor, tipped over a drying rack, and knocked two trash cans over, I about-faced and ran back up the stairs, grabbing Nora first, who had come down to see what was going on, and closed the door behind me.

I could hear the scuffle continuing from the basement, punctuated with crashes and much swearing, then a triumphant, "I caught it!"

Huffing and puffing, my husband came through the basement door, holding the little possum by the tail. He ran out the front door and tossed it out in the yard.

It all happened too fast to get any video.

There are many questions that beg to be answered. How did the little fucker get in there? How long had he been in my basement? Did Finn have a close encounter with him, thereby sending his kitty anxiety level through the roof? Where are his possum mommy and siblings? 


The dryer vent duct had come loose from the back of the clothes dryer some time ago, and there is a strong possibility the possum came in the vent outside, slid down the rigid vent duct, and popped out at the base of the dryer. I went to the hardware store the next day, bought some flexible duct, and fixed it, plus I cleaned the old lint from the outside vent, so hopefully, the little trap door can't be accessed quite as easily.

Finn has finally calmed down. It took him four days, and he's still a little jumpy, but that's not out of the ordinary.

How is this my Ten Things of Thankful? 

1. My husband was the one who found the possum.
2. No one got bitten.
3. Possums don't carry rabies anyway.
4. He didn't get stuck in the vent and we find him after he was dead.
5. My friends got a lot of joy out of the whole episode.
6. It forced me to clean the laundry area of the basement.
7. I didn't find anything that appeared to be possum poop, so he must not have been there very long.
8. Finn is not having kidney problems that I can tell, although he was afraid to go to the litter box for two days.
9. It wasn't a snake.
10. It's funny now that it's all over.

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  1. It is funny now that it's over, and i am glad everyone in the house plus the possum lived to tell the tale.

    1. It's HILARIOUS now that it's over! I just hope there isn't a sequel!

  2. Those are the homely form of wildlife, not the cartoon-igenic creatures that oft shill for quasi-governmental agencies, right?
    Like the old saying reminds us, 'the older we get, the weirder the adventures'

    1. They're supposed to be great to have around. They eat bugs and mosquitos (which are bugs, too, I know). But they aren't. supposed. to. be. in. my. basement.