Welcome to my blog! 8 Paws and 2 Tails is a pet blog dedicated to all things cat and dog related with particular emphasis on one family's experiences dealing with medical issues, hospice and palliative care, coping with grief, home feeding and our pet's quirky behaviors.
During the past month we've had two close encounters involving baby opossums.
Mid-afternoon about a month ago, I had fruit and vegetable scraps to add to my compost bin so I bundled the scraps and headed to the back yard. Once the future compost was deposited in the bin and the lid secured, I decided to check the drain under our porch to make sure it was clear of leaves and twigs because rain was forecast for the following day. As I approached the porch I could see a form underneath. At first, I was shocked to see a rat but a second look told me it was a young possum. It was dead with a big chunk bitten out of the poor thing. I figured one of the cats got it since it was 'rat-sized'
We removed it for disposal when Artie came home from work. Both of us were a bit sad because we know they're basically harmless and they 'clean up' after the cats and other wild life. Life returned to normal for about three weeks.
Annie's been particularly annoying about going on the porch after dark and lately even more so. One night last week she was very insistent about going out so Artie decided to do the honors; she usually bothers me. All of a sudden there was a commotion. Artie was yelling and I rushed outside imagining the worst. There on the corner of our porch railing was another young
opossum. Annie was hopping around crying and wining, trying to get close to him.
The possum was barely moving but he did turn to face Annie giving his best grimace and a loud hiss. Annie took the opportunity to stick her nose in his mouth to get a good sniff. We both freaked! After much corralling and yelling we managed to get Annie inside. The little guy continued to cling to the porch railing for awhile before scampering down the steps off into the foliage to disappear into the night.
Annie wanted to play! This is a big problem with her because she will approach any animal she sees. We were never afraid for the possum rather for her safety. Opossums are generally docile putting on a good show to protect themselves but Annie is our baby; we are always concerned.
Our visitor was the same size. (courtesy of Wikipedia)