Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Outing the Possum

One downside of rural living is that sometimes the outdoors moves in. That is, what should live outdoors finds living indoors a bit easier.

I'm talking possums (or opossums, for y'all citified readers). It seems that almost every October, an adolescent possum or two decides that living in our garage is the way to go. We decide that it isn't and consequently have to evict the possum.

Why not just keep the garage doors closed? (1) Because our kitchen door opens into the garage. (2) Because the outside cats come into the garage at night, and it's easier if they come in at their convenience. (3) Because the garage can get #!* hot if the doors are closed. (4) Because it's a heckuva lot easier to drive in and out without stopping each time to open and close the door.

This year's possum was especially elusive. He (or she) also peed a lot in the garage. He (or she) was especially fond of the dry cat food and dog food we keep stored in the garage. He (or she)—being a typical adolescent—didn't clean up after himself (or herself).

After a few nights of puddles and scattered food, we'd had enough. So had the outside cats, who really weren't into sharing. We convinced the outside cats they'd be happier inside for a night of so and baited the trust Havahart with cat food.

(OK, some of you are wondering why we just didn't sic one of the dogs on the possum. (1) Because I know—from personal experience—that a dog who kills a possum will eat the possum. (2) Because I know—again, from personal experience—that the dog will throw up the possum. (3) Because I know—again, from #*&!#* personal experience—that cleaning up the massive throw-up will require a good-sized shovel and a strong stomach, only one of which I have. That's why. (4) Plus this possum was exceptionally cute as possums go. (5) And then there's the matter of karma. But I'm digressing.)

The possum visited the trap a few times but didn't get caught until my husband oiled the spring mechanism.

Then, a few nights ago, I looked into the garage and saw the trap was closed.

Told you this one was exceptionally cute!

Well, we knew the drill: relocate the possum to the far side of a creek or a major highway. (If you didn't read last October's blog entry about taking a possum to the Union Hall farm, you might want to check it out now. It's a better story than this year's, what with hauling that possum on the back of a bush-hog down Route 40 and all.)

Anyhow, we loaded the trap containing one angry possum into the back of the truck and drove to a suitable preselected location on the other side of Route 40. You'd be surprised how quickly a possum can take off as soon as the cage door is opened.

It's been a few days. He (or she) hasn't returned.

Meanwhile, the outside cats really like spending the nights inside.




Blogger Kristine said...

Out my way, we just run the possums over.

Well. It's not intentional.

12:11 AM  

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