Too much late night entertainment is wearing me out!

The last time Coco had a late-night interaction with a wild animal, she awakened me by barking at a bat which had gotten between a window screen and the bedroom window. Well, Coco seems to be on a roll.

Last night as I was getting ready to go to bed, I let her out for what I thought would be her routine nocturnal toiletries, and she took too long, and dawdled about coming in, even after I nagged her. (Normal on a beautiful sunny day, but late at night she's almost always ready to go to bed.) Only after I grumpily ordered her in did she finally comply, but she dashed past me, and I noticed she was carrying something in her mouth which looked dead and grey.

"Great!" I thought. "She's killed a squirrel and I'll never get it away from her." Like most dogs, Coco hates squirrels, and like most dogs, she cannot catch them. After being subjected to an instant, high-decibel human temper tantrum, Coco (much to my surprise) dropped the dead lump of grey, and even more to my surprise, it walked away from her and into the kitchen. The thing initially looked like a rat, but then I noticed it had a lumbering gait, funny hair, and was too fat to be a rat.

Coco had found and dragged in a baby possum!

Using a dish towel, I quickly grabbed it by the tail and inspected the poor thing for damage. Other than a coating of saliva, it seemed OK. Whether Coco wanted to keep it or whether it had played dead and tricked her, she seemed quite gentle with the little beastie, and after all she did drop it on command (itself a very un-doglike thing to do). But I thought it over, and decided that I didn't want the hassle of keeping a wild animal in my house. So after posing for this brief picture, I took the possum to a nearby park where I released it.


While I think it was probably fine, it did go through the possum routine of playing dead. However, when I picked it up with the dish towel, it gave itself away by clinging to the cloth (something dead animals will not do).

I don't know whether dogs can get along with pet possums, but last night I was in no mood to experiment. My tent is big enough.

posted by Eric on 06.10.09 at 03:11 PM


Possums are ubiquitous. I have seen them in rural and urban settings, north and south. The last time in an urban setting: a cat commenced to screech upon finding a possum eating at its food bowl.

Gringo   ·  June 10, 2009 6:08 PM

About fifteen years ago a female possum took up residence in our chimney. The pest control person lit a few pieces of paper in it and she proceeded to rescue her babies from the evil humans, except for one that fell down into the house. I had to lift it up with a table cloth and carry it after the others. Shortly thereafter a rabies epidemic among wild animals in MA reduced their numbers.

John Costello   ·  June 10, 2009 7:23 PM

Hahahaha, that's not an opossum, that's the Michigan Wolverine football team after R Rod got done with them. Hahahaha, they're playing possum, hahahaha. A wolverine in free-fall.

Less than 100 days until Penn State football.

dr kill   ·  June 10, 2009 10:57 PM

Cute, but not something I'd want living in the house with me.

Years ago when my youngest daughter was in middle school and my husband worked (on average) 3 weeks out of town at a time... we had a mouse who seemed to live behind our microwave.

Since we couldn't muster the nerve to kill him (at least we HOPED it was a him) we named him Charlie. While I was adamant that we not leave anything out for the mouse to eat, my darling daughter thought he should be fed.

This crisis was resolved by getting a cat. My daughter was thrilled to have a cat and the cat was delighted to rid of us of Charlie. My kinder side assumes he was merely driven outside.

Donna B.   ·  June 11, 2009 12:35 AM

Cute pic , I remember when I was 5 or 6 and took out the garbage, raised the lid and had two eyes staring back at me. Scared the shit out of me, I jumped and hollered the possum rolled out of the can and hauled ass ! omg!

JerseyGeorge   ·  June 13, 2009 8:33 AM

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