by Tina Stone
a true story about a few baby possums that came to live with me
|Word Count: 492
Some years ago, I lived in a rather run-down trailer in a shabby trailer park. The landlord was notorious for expecting his renters to deal with their own problems, even if it fell within the landlord's job. One day, I opened the cabinet under my kitchen sink, and hissing at me was a large possum and it was quite obvious she was a Mama.
After doing a bit of searching, I discovered a hole in the crack where the wall meets the floor behind my stove. I called my landlord and let him know that he needed to repair that. He was quick to assure me he'd take care of everything, don't worry. Well, days turned into weeks. Mama possum left me alone and I left her alone, telling myself, the landlord would take care of it.
I should mention, at this same time, I had a few cats that were indoor/outdoor cats and they seemed to resign themselves to the presence of the possum. As long as the possum wasn't hurting me or the cats, I just left her alone. I knew at night she was eating from the cat's bowls and drinking their water.
Wasn't long and the babies started toddling about. As a matter of fact, I'd call "kitty, kitty, kitty" to the cats and the cats and the baby possums came running! Before this time, I never would have really considered a possum as a pet. Just an outside critter to watch from afar. I learned possums are curious, love food, and are quite playful. I was still hopeful my landlord would come to remove them, but it was looking like they were going to be MY problem. What was I supposed to do? The Mama was wild, sure. But these babies had basically grown up in the house. Could they survive being turned loose outside?
One night, I woke up about 2 in the morning and had to go to the bathroom. My bathroom was right there off the bedroom and as I sat on the commode, I happened to look over at my bed. It was normal for a few of the cats to sleep with me on my bed. But the eyes looking back at me were not cat eyes. I realized, the baby possums were also curled up on my bed with the cats!
At that point, I realized one, I needed to get these critters out of my house. Two, I had fallen in love with them and three people would think I was nuts trying to rehome possums. I did what I should have done in the very first place. I called my oldest brother and explained the situation. After he stopped laughing at me, he came and brought live traps. He caught them and my sister agreed we could turn them loose on her property by the barn. They lived there with my sister for several years and became quite tame.