Aardvark Art Glass

That’s our possum!
November 11, 2008, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , ,

DON (on the phone):I’m at Copps (grocery store). Do you want me to pick up anything?

ME: Get a bag of spring mix for Lucy and pick up another one of those pizzas that the possum likes.

DON: Do you remember that we didn’t like that pizza very much and we threw part of it away?

ME: What’s your point?

The possum was back tonight. He comes out around 7pm, it seems. I tossed him a chicken wing so he’d pull his head out of the garbage and let me take his picture. Either he’s kind of tame or he just can’t see what’s going on around him at all. I think he can’t see real well. Doesn’t care if the porch light is on or off. He does run away when he gets a whiff of people.

Here’s another picture:

I am enjoying the possum. He likes chicken. I already know that feeding a possum is a wildly bad idea but I bet I’m going to do it again. Do you know why? Because I’m a person and people really enjoy feeding other life forms. Whether it’s a good idea or not “let’s feed it something” is usually my first response toward any living thing toward which I feel remotely positive. I think it’s a vicarious enjoyment thing, watching something eat something that you like to eat. Some people don’t think that, though. There was this time years ago when my dad was in the hospital and I brought him some Twinkies. I figured they would be all the more appealing because they were forbidden. When one of the nurses found the Twinkies in a drawer she remarked that families were always trying to feed the patients because bringing food gives them some control over a situation where they have none. I thought that was an interesting theory, but, I just figured they had Dad on a bland diet and that a forbidden Twinkie would really hit the spot, like a chicken wing from a grocery store chicken would taste really good to the possum. Of course, I didn’t really want to watch my dad eat the Twinkie like I wanted to watch the possum eat the chicken wing. Hmmm…Know what? I’m really tired. I think I should go to bed now.


7 Comments so far
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Oh Cathy, I hate to tell you this, but possums are just plain stupid animals. And they can’t see well either.

Comment by Rosanne

That’s what my pal James said. He grew up outside the city where possums were rather commonplace. So much so that they usually killed them. His advice to me was “Don’t feed the possum.” When I told him all I did was give it a chicken wing so I could take it’s picture he said “I know. Don’t feed the possum.” I guess it would be kind of dumbass of me to not heed his warning. He knows more about possums than I do.

Thanks for the comment Roseanne!

Comment by cathylybarger

Possums are harmless and can even be beneficial… they help rid your yard of insects, snails, worms, and mice. (And they also eat carrion, so if anything dead is in the vicinity your possum will clean it right up for you!) 🙂

And they aren’t destructive like rats and squirrels, they don’t dig holes or burrows or chew wood or wires. (Just consume whatever they can find and then poop!) 😛

We were told by a wildlife rescue person (we were delivering an injured bird to them) that possums have such a low body temp that they rarely if EVER get or carry rabies or distemper, and thus are less of a health risk than nearly any other wild animal. (And that they also aren’t aggressive, compared to most other wild critters, and will generally “play possum” rather than bite or attack.)

They are omnivorous and while they like meat, they are supposedly also very fond of fruit, and tend to like apples and persimmons. (Or so we were told.)

We have one here ourselves (or more, it may not always be the same one) in our neighborhood that occasionally hangs out in our back yard and drives our dog nuts. But it isn’t as trusting as yours so we never see it on the ground, only up a tree or on the fence.

We don’t feed it because we also have tree rats here (which here in S. CA is not just slang for squirrels but actually refers to real rats, fruit & vegetation-eating arboreal rats, we call them “roof rats” because they often are seen ambling along the gutters. The avocado & citrus farmers hate them because they spoil crop fruit and supposedy carry root rot from tree to tree.)

We catch them in Haveaheart traps (the snap traps were too hard on the dog, she likes peanut butter too!) and release them elsewhere (well, theoretically, I’m sure they probably have tiny maps and promptly find their way right back here.) 😛

We don’t make a big fuss about going after them though because they don’t seem to like tomatoes or peppers so our garden is safe from them, they just eat the palm tree seeds and fling them on the sidewalk. (You can hear them rustling and squeaking in the trees. If you didn’t see occasional flashes of them you’d almost think they were birds.)

Well there you go, nature 101 in the suburbs! 🙂 (And then there’s raccoons, skunks, coyotes, etc., etc.!)

So just keep on feeding Polly or Pete possum there, don’t listen to the naysayers! S/he’s cute, which is enough reason anyway, right? (And will come and hang out more, in all its endearing cuteness, if it knows there is generally the chance of a good nosh in your vicinity!) 😉

Comment by Annie :)

I’m so glad you commented. That possum has been eating all of the detritus that’s left over from the juicer! That’s really the only food we throw away (besides pizza crust). I didn’t know they liked that or anything-but it’s actually a treat for them. I’ve been trying to figure out something to do with that stuff for a while.
And if they eat mice well, hell, that couldn’t be any better. Don hates mice. We all do but he really hates them. In fact I am extremely surprised that he finds the possum endearing what with it’s rat-like appearance.If he would have just seen that tail sticking out of the garbage bag he would have gotten the gun.
Pretty funny, this information. We never took the time to google ‘possum’ or we might have learned that for ourselves. Thanks!

Comment by cathylybarger

You know, one of the older members of our local Cherokee tribe came and told Cherokee stories to us on Friday, and he concluded the presentation with this:

“I’d like to share some knowledge with you… how many of you here go hiking out in the Smokies? Yeah, I love it. And how many of you have gotten lost? It isn’t hard to do with all the trails out there. Do you know what to do if you get lost? First, you stay calm, and don’t wander any farther than you already are. Then, find a possum…… oh, why? Because he’ll lead you to the road. Just don’t get hit.”

You’ve got your own little Finn Razel.
Ignore that if you don’t get it – I just revealed how much of a nerd I am.

Comment by Amanda

Hi Amanda-
I have to admit I had to Google “Finn Razel”to find out what it was. I found out it’s either a band or a character from “The Fellowship of The Ring”. Further investigation into TFOTR did draw me into a rather nerdy area. That’s ok though, we love the nerdy here.
Thanks for the story. I am going to have to share with Mr. Jingles (that’s the possum’s name) how popular he is becoming.

Comment by cathylybarger

Haha, really? Incorrect… they’re from this 1980’s movie called “Willow,” which is fairly Fellowship-of-the-Ring-esque, admittedly. You’ve never seen Willow? You don’t even have to be a nerd to love Willow!

Finn Razel is this powerful sorceress or whatnot that has been transformed into this… possum-looking thing. It may not be a possum – it may be a sugar glider or something.
The face looks the same. That’s the point.

I hope Mr. Jingles is prepared to enjoy the holiday leftovers he will hopefully be getting soon. 😛

Comment by Amanda

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