Go Forth and Multiply

Awesome Possum! This week somehow became all about these monstrous marsupials. On Monday, we lived through the original invasion. Petey the possum, five months after originally crashing our domicile, had returned in a fit of rage (covered Wednesday). He somehow dug his way out around the boards I had laid that had trapped him in, and we assumed Petey was out of our lives. Since we could see he dug out and was on the lam, I fortified the blockade, ensuring he could no longer enter our house. Thankfully, we have not seen or heard the 3000 pound Petey since that fateful night. We finally returned to peaceful nights of sleep (or as much as possible with a one-year old) and the issue was forgotten. But things are never that easy in life and not always what they seem, no?

It was several nights without incident that lulled us into a false confidence. How dare we believe that our house could be empty of dirty rodents for consecutive nights! We crawled into bed one night at 10:30 and my wife hopped up to double check the front door was locked. She walked out into the living room and I hear a kid-unfriendly word slip and my name being calmly called. I grew up watching 1950s cartoons where housewives would shriek at bugs and rodents and hop onto chairs; perhaps I was unprepared to marry a redneck who will hold spiders and snakes and is amused by rodents. So it was a mild plea for my assistance…she quickly explained that she saw a huge rat running across the hallway right when she was flipping the light on. Great. Now we have rats. Because I’m sure Petey didn’t drag enough disease into our house.   Anyway, I get down on my hands and knees searching for this ‘rat’ and quickly get a beady set of eyes looking into my flashlight beam underneath our couch. So it’s back to the same plastic tub I hauled Petey out in, but this rat had other ideas.

The rat climbed inside the couch and we played a monotonous game of cat-and-mouse (haha get it???) as I turned the couch upside down, it’d hop out, I’d set the couch down, and then it’d hop back in. My wife got a broom and we were quite the pair trying to wrassle a 17 pound rat from our couch. Eventually we got it dropped from the couch and started herding it into the container. WAIT WHAT IS THAT! Another rat dropped from the couch and made a run for under the fridge. What. Is. Going. On. No worries, we almost had the original perp captured. We finished the task and it all came together. This was not a rat, this was a baby possum. Petey must actually be a Petunia. And Petunia returned to our home with some kids. Or she had her kids here. We’ve been through the evidence and can’t quite sort the chronology correctly…but regardless, we’ve got baby possums in our home at this point.

We move out the fridge and, after another 20 minutes of hide-and-seek, corralled Petunia’s other child. So now we have two baby possums in a plastic tub and lord knows how many others in the house. It’s 2 in the morning and we’re laughing our backsides off about all these pets that keep moving into our house uninvited. The hunt continues and I trek downstairs with the broomstick and flashlight. I immediately catch a pair of eyes in an unfinished section of the basement. Sibling number three scurries through the framing and settles under the bath tub, safe from me having any chance at getting it. I comb the rest of the basement. Thankfully, number three is the only critter I see.

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To fast forward the story a bit, we gave up that night after another hour trying to trap number three. I borrowed a buddy’s live trap and number three quickly dropped in the next night for the tuna and peanut butter I ingeniously planted. Eliza got a few glamour shots with the possum youths and they were out the door. I might be tempted to say that the story ends there, but I’m not willing to close the door on these critters. We’re running on 10 months since the possum baby incident and the only new critter to our household has been daughter #2 Everly. We may be in the clear, but I don’t know that we’ll ever celebrate. I’m sure something will find its way back into our home. My wife and I like to think it’s just because, even from outside, these critters can sense what a loving and protective environment we have developed here. Hahahahaha…yeah right.

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