It was the morning a couple of days ago. I went into the garage to start the car, and warm it up. An empty cardboard box lay on the floor where it is not supposed to be. I also bumped into two rakes that usually would have been well out of the way. I now remember thinking for moment how come these are “out of place”. Then, as I headed back into the house, I noticed that one of the trash bags was torn, and some of its contents spilled on the floor. That irked me! We must have put something sharp into the bag and it must have caused it to be torn off! More work now to get a new bag to put over the existing one, clean the mess etc.

So I went back inside brought a new garbage bag, and bent down to pick up the old bag, when Wow! Near the garbage bag in another bag containing some old clothes – I saw this guy staring at me:

opussum.jpgI had no idea what it was. My first instinct was “that could be raccoon”. I remembered my colleague’s story of finding a raccoon in his yard, and how raccoons can get pretty aggressive. I could not be sure if this was a raccoon either as I had never seen one!

(ps: I did not take photos and so photos here were borrowed from various sources. There were far more important things on my mind at that time, and taking out the camera would have been most inappropriate)

Teeth BaredI tried to “shoo” it away by just making a loud “sh” noise – hoping he would just boot out of the garage door. All it did was jerk a bit frightened and then bared its teeth – sort of like the picture (although not scary as this – but nevertheless an impressive show). But it stayed put still staring back. I told my wife to call the Animal Control. My daughter got all excited – wanted to see it, wanted to name it. She may have entertained notions of wanting to keep it, until she saw its sharp teeth. She mentions “that is scary” – but still she was intrigued by it.

When the Animal control showed up, I told the guy that I was not sure if it was a raccoon as I had never seen it. He took a look at it and said No, that is not a raccoon – that is a Possum (actually an Opossum). I had never heard of a Possum/Opossum before – apparently they are marsupials, and nocturnal. The guy said they are generally not aggressive, this one probably lived on one of the trees in our neighborhood and is probably scared and looking for some dark place. I had left the garage door open late the previous night, and so this one must have crept in. It had made itself quite comfortable by pulling out enough clothes from the bag to create a “nice, comfy seat” and had settled in nicely!

I took my car out and parked on the driveway – to make room for the Animal Control to take the animal out. The guy actually lifted the Opossum by its tail! And it was quite a big animal! Don’t let the above borrowed pictures mislead you – our visitor was as big as good sized, fat cat!

They took him outside the house and just let him on one of the snow banks on our sidewalk – and guess what? The fellow lumbered quickly under my car which was now in the driveway and settled there ๐Ÿ™‚ ! Like the guy said – just frightened and wanted a dark cozy place! The Animal Control guys said that it would eventually leave by itself once things were quiet and no one was around, and they left (!).

Now we were still in a fix. We had to take the car immediately, and leave to go someplace very important! But we had a fairly large (O)Possum who had taken shelter under the car! I guess I should have told the Animal Control guys to move it out before they left, but for some reason I didn’t.

There was no chance (in hell) I was going prod the animal out from under the car! The guy was big and had impressive teeth!

What to do? It was sort of a funny fix to be in. I took a good look under the car to see if the animal was “in the path of the wheels”. It wasn’t. I silently prayed, and cringing for any unpleasant sounds, I slo………….wly backed my car. As we backed out we were glad to see the Possum emerging into our view completely unscathed.

It was a funny sight to see the (O)Possum stare back at us and the car, a quizzical look on its face, stare back, teeth still bared. I could almost read his expression “Whatha …. ?!?!“. After a few seconds, it lumbered again a shady corner in the front porch! My wife was worried that it would just stay put there. But when we came back, it was gone! As the Animal Control guys said, once things quietened down, it went away.

As I was googling today to get info for this blog, I notice that such Possum experiences are not that uncommon. For example: See this one.

When I look back at it, I am glad the animal got out of the situation without getting hurt, and safely. I found the way it “lumbered around”, as well as how it made itself quite comfortable in that “bed of old clothes” somehow cute and charming.

Picture Sources: http://www.backyardnature.net/opossums.htm, Google Search (http://www.suddenly-sometimes.com/suddenly_sometimes/2007/08/index.html)

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