Last night I was snuggled all cozy in bed under the covers, with Ellie curled up on my right with my arm wrapped around her and Taj stretched out against my left side with my arm around him. Ahhhh - all was peaceful on this first truly chilly night of fall. I had my quartz space heater on -my furnace is broken- but I wanted the lovely fresh air to breathe, so I left the sliding glass door in my bedroom -which does not have a screen- open about the width of a Basenji's head at the ears. I drifted off to sleep cuddled with my babies.
Some time later, Taj shot out of the bed like a rocket. Given that he is a 20-month old B-boy, that wasn't terribly unusual
However, he didn't jump off the bed.
I opened my eyes and saw Taj at the foot of the bed, silhouetted by the
glow of the space heater, staring fixedly at something on the floor - and then
I heard the growl.
RrrrrRrrrrrrrrr. Not Taj. Not Ellie.
The thing on the floor.
My first thought was "oh, crap, one of the neighbor's cats came in the slider." Then there was another growl -RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR- and it sure as heck didn't sound like any cat I've ever heard. It was too big. Too resonant. Too something. As Taj leaned down to take a closer look, I hollered "NO!" and the thing shot across the room. Now its growling, hissing, and snarling was located halfway between the slider and my bedroom door. Taj backed up to the head of the bed and Ellie was now on full alert. I slowly reached up to the reading light attached to the headboard, turned it on, and -
Bs: (wide-eyed alert silence)
It was an opossum! The HUGEST possum I have EVER seen in my life! Its body was as big as a basketball and it was sitting in my bedroom at 1:30am, screaming and cussing at me and the Bs. As I pondered what to do, Taj apparently decided he would protect Ellie and Mama and charge the marauder. I again hollered "NO!", but Taj leapt down, followed by Ellie, and the possum bolted behind the barely open bedroom door.
Now, we all know Bs are smart dogs, but sometimes they can be a little flaky. While our visitor hastened herself behind the bedroom door, my kids sped OUT the bedroom door. I took that opportunity to leave the room rather quickly myself and slammed the door behind me.
I stood in the hall breathing hard, not really sure whether this was actually happening. Honestly, I don't know of anyone else who has been thrown out of their bedroom by a possum. Ellie and Taj were racing all over the house, trying to figure out where that critter went. Finally, they determined it was behind the bedroom door and commenced scratching and whining while the possum uttered more obscenities.
It was then I made my decision. I am The Alpha Female of This Pack and this was My Responsibility. I bribed the Bs into my second bedroom with some treats and shut them in. I returned briefly to my bedroom and pushed the slider wide open, went back out and shut the door.
I considered waiting for the possum to leave. However, it was cold and damp outside, and warm and dry in the bedroom. No right-thinking creature would willingly make that trade. So, I picked up a long narrow box and slowly opened my door. I figured if I reached around and gave the possum a few taps and pushes with the box, she'd take the hint and leave. Instead, she sunk her teeth into the box and nearly pulled it out of my hands. So much for that. I dropped the box and shut the door.
After another minute of thought, I fetched my yardstick, because I sure as heck didn't want to open the door again if I didn't have to. I figured maybe poking Ms. Possum a few times from under the door might motivate her. All my first tentative pokes did was confirm that she was an extremely well-fed creature that definitely weighed more than either Taj or Ellie. While the Bs kept up a commentary from the other room and I thought of my nice warm bed, I thwacked the possum a few times on the side with the yardstick, then poked it rapidly into her ample hind end. I felt her lift off the yardstick, heard her charging away, and then silence.
I cautiously entered the room, concerned whether she had perhaps gone under the bed, but I had reasonable proof she had left. There was a steady trail of possum poop heading straight out the sliding door.
After a bit of cleanup and SHUTTING THAT SLIDER, I let Taj and Ellie out of the other room. Of course, they had a lot of exploring to do before they came back to bed. Ellie vocalized for about ten minutes after she crawled back in bed with me and Taj was up and down for about an hour.
When I woke up this morning, I doubted for a minute whether this whole thing had happened. Then I looked out the slider. There was a trail of possum poop leading to the back yard.
Hoping tonight will be more peaceful,
Linda Krajewski, Redlands, CA
Ellie (can't we get some sleep around here?)
Taj (I can kick that possum's butt, Mom!)