Posted by Dory @ Lucky Dorito on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Lovely huh? I dubbed this little gal *Patti the Possum*. She and I both nearly had a heart attack at our close encounter – ok, well I DID anyway – she didn’t really stick around long enough for me to ask her. I opened the grill when I heard noise, saw her – we both screamed and I dropped the door shut! I ran in to get my husband (and the camera) and snapped the picture just before he shooed her out of the grill with the broom handle.
Over the years since then, we’ve had a recurring possum visitor to the back deck – I think she is quite sure that the cat food is intended for HER. As a matter of fact, I have practically quit feeding the cat outside so that she’ll quit coming around. Every now and then, if we’re going to be gone or something – I still have to put out cat food but you wouldn’t think that one time every few months would be enough to bring her back again. But, evidently it is.
About two months ago, I opened the back door and let the dogs out to do their business while I put the last few dishes in the dishwasher. They generally go across the deck and down the stairs to the backyard and come back in a few minutes. This time, however, I turned around 30 seconds later and noticed that both dogs were still at the back door – looking in at me. I stopped what I was doing and returned to the door, opening it to say – “Girls, go on out and use the potty.” As the words left my mouth, I noticed WHY the dogs were so frantically eying me down. Out there, laying on the deck in front of the stairs, was a possum. It was on its side, perfectly still – appearing to be dead. I opened the back screen and let the dogs in as soon as I saw it and closed the French door. I stood there watching it and after about 30 seconds of silence, the possum slowly raised its ugly head and looked around. Seeing that the dogs were no longer a threat, it raised up on all fours cautiously, hesitated a brief moment and then sprinted down the stairs.
Fast forward to this past Sunday night, which is usually hectic around our house as we prepare for the week ahead. This night was an exception though. I had the laundry done, clothes laid out for next morning, backpacks ready, my work scrubs hanging up, garbage and recycling out by the curb for a Monday morning pick up. All that was done and it was only 9:30pm. My husband still had a stack of paperwork in front of him and the girls were in bed so I found myself still awake with a little time to kill. I decided this was a good night to pour a half-glass of wine and grab a new book off the shelf to read until I got sleepy.
I poured my wine and let the dogs out for one final time before heading upstairs. While the dogs were out, I quickly ran to the bookshelves in the den and grabbed the next book in my ever-growing stack of *things to read* before returning to the kitchen to let the dogs back in.
So, as I distractedly opened the back door, while sort of skimming the back of the book – out of the corner of my eye, I saw the dogs pass by me on their way inside. I reached back for the French door and closed it as well. I went to step across the room to grab my glass of the island table when I realized that Lillie (my weimaraner) had a big fuzzy something sticking out of her mouth. In that millisecond of time – I saw a dangling body – back feet and tail on one side and front paws and ugly head on the other! I screamed “HONEY” (calling for my husband) and then “LILLIE!” at the dog! My husband hollered back – “What’s wrong?!” at the same moment Lillie, frightened by me yelling her name DROPPED what she had in her mouth and looked at me, with sort of a cowered look – assuming from my tone of voice that she was in trouble. I could then see clearly that it was a possum – LAYING. ON. MY. KITCHEN. FLOOR.
I ran around the table, saying “Lillie – come here!” and together we ran out of the room and I closed the dog gate that blocks the kitchen doorway from the rest of the house. About that moment, my husband showed up in the doorway saying, “What? What is it!”
I was rather frantically doing the *bug dance* and pointing toward the possum. As we stared in, the possum raised its ugly head and looked around. Then it got on its feet and started walking. It went straight across the kitchen and …. right into a corner cabinet!
*Sidenote – Ok. Here goes. Major confession ahead… prepare yourself.
I took the kitchen cabinet doors OFF the hinges when we first moved into this house to paint them. And. Well. I just haven’t done it yet. A full….. ummm… well…… three years later.
Shew. Ok, I said it.
Ya’ll can quit laughing now. Really.*
Back to the story: Patti the possum darted into the corner cabinet and my husband instantly looked over at me and said, “It sure would be nice if we had DOORS on our cabinets.”
As if they are commonly used for a possum barrier.
So here we are, two grown adults – closed out of our kitchen by one of the ugliest creatures God put on this earth. We stood there, wondering just what in the heck we were going to do. My husband said, “Let’s prop the back door open and just leave it alone. Maybe it will just come out on its own and walk out the door.”
We tried it but after about 15 minutes of silently watching for it to beat feet outta the cabinet, we realized that was a complete and total waste of time. It wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. By the way, Lillie was standing there, quietly watching for it too. Every time she sensed my eyes on her, she’d look at me and WAG HER TAIL – like she was happy about this ridiculous situation! She almost looked as if she was grinning from ear to stinkin ear with PRIDE and PLEASURE over her newfound toy! Dork.
My husband went to the garage and returned with an empty Dell box and the rake. I grabbed the flashlight (and my camera, of course) and …. we went in!
I slowly reached into the cabinet and took most of the dishes out. Those corner cabinets with two feet of wasted space just happens to be the place where all the crap accumulates, did you know that? Good grief – HOW did all that JUNK get in there? I left a heavy glass punch bowl on the right-hand side, because it was blocking a cut-out piece in the drywall that allows the stove to plug into the wall. (Don’t ask me why – it was like that when we moved in!) I sure didn’t want ole’ Patti to weasel into that opening!
On quite a comical note – every few seconds, she’d turn her beady little eyes on me, staring intently at me and then – she’d face directly into the corner. Then she’d look at me again and face back into the corner. It was almost as if she was thinking “If I can’t see them – then maybe they can’t see me.”
So now what? After getting almost all the dishes out – she continued to huddle in the corner.
My husband said, “Ok, here’s the plan. I’ll use the broom to force her out of the corner and when she comes out – you throw that box over her and we’ll scoot it to the door to get her out of the house.”
I said, “Ok, I’m ready.” Holy heart failure, Batman! LOL
He reached in with the broom handle and forced it to the left of her and pushed toward the right – hoping to get her moving towards the opening. Being agile and fast, she scooted quickly to the right and when the momentum my husband’s Herculean force had on the broom handle caused it to swing right quickly – it flew directly into my antique punch bowl.
And Patti jumped past it and jammed her body halfway into the hole in the sheet rock! Holy haberdashery, Batman!
My hubby said, “Here goes nothing!” and reached in and GRABBED HER BY THE TAIL.
He pulled back his hand, Patti dangling and flailing around, trying to curl up towards his hand. He shook his hand to throw her off balance and started toward the back door. I threw my arms out, in similar fashion to an ump yelling “SAFE!” and yelled, “WAIT! Lemme get the camera!”
My heavens. Only at my house could something so darn crazy happen! After the quick picture on the deck, my husband tossed her off the deck to the ground and …. she scampered away. (I’m sure she’ll be back though)