Mutual of Omaha

Remember Chuckles?

Well, he has a cousin.

Don’t be impressed with the cute, imploring look. Here’s a side view that betrays his RAT origins:

Seriously, people. I am NOT running a wildlife refuge here. A possum! (I believe the correct term is “opossum,” but does anyone actually say that? Maybe British people?) It comes and goes at will, during the day, from its cozy home under our deck. First, aren’t they supposed to be nocturnal? And second, does anyone have a trap? Or a gun? (Sorry, Aunt Rachel, our family’s Defender of Animals.)

Thea watched me prance around, moaning and saying things like, “Eeeewww! Gross!” She now calls our vermin “Da Poss,” as in, “Mom, Da Poss is cweepy.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The Animal Control people (an interesting lot) assured me I would rather have a possum than a raccoon or a woodchuck. Um, is this a multiple choice test? If so, I choose BUNNY. Or KITTY. Or LADYBUG. They also said I could sprinkle fox urine around the perimeter of the deck. Mmmm. That will smell awesome just as spring breaks! Tulips and fox urine! My favorite springtime aromas!

What do I do, dear readers? Do I wait and hope Da Poss heads to greener decks when the weather warms? Do I trap it (eeewwww)? Do we scare it off with loud singing and harmonica playing?

The Animal Control man said these creatures will play dead (“play possum,” he said with a weighted pause) for hours. HOURS. But just to remind you, Da Poss is very much alive. Here’s an action shot to prove it.

21 thoughts on “Mutual of Omaha”

  1. Oh man! I hate possums/oppossums! We had one in our garage a few years ago(because we never close the door, long story). I had a face to face talk with it and assured him/her that there would be severe consequences(as in, "you won't have to PLAY dead when I get through with you") to his/her continued occupation of the garage. He/she apparently saw the wisdom in my words and found another place to live and/or play dead. I vote for the loud singing and harmonica playing and would love to see the video replay. Good luck!

  2. the first picture makes me go "awww…so cute with his little round ears and tiny eyes." then his profile pic makes me think "precious…" from LOTR…you know, that creepy guy smegel? but seriously, the last picture of his rat tail and those claws…ugh! oliver saw these pics and said, "ew, mom. that gives me the jibby wibbys" as he shuddered. it's kinda like the eeby geebys, but i guess you get a little scared too.

    jibby wibbys, for sure.

  3. Erin — LOL!
    Kim — You need to make it so the possum CAN'T GET UNDER THE DECK. That will probably cause it to move on. Obviously you wanna do this when it's out and about. 🙂 Wonder if one of your neighbors has cat food outside? They love that stuff. But they'll flay a cat alive, so it's not really something you want around.

  4. Kim – Time for your sweet hubby to step up and 'take care' of business…whatever it takes to defend his homestead and family. Doing so will add a notch to his hero belt. Real men take out the possum. 🙂
    From your TX friend who's husband has gone to the wall for her over reptiles.

  5. Ew, gross, disgusting.

    I am going to email you because there are some things that should not be written in a comment to be displayed publicly. 🙂 Better yet…talk to my husband the next time you see him about our possum experience this fall. Just writing that sends a shiver up my spine.

    I'm with Erin on that comment…my first thought was "where the heck do you get fox pee?" Seriously.

  6. Seriously, call Josh d. With his story. Laughing with tears will be involved.

    We have a fox in our neighborhood, two opin fact, Francie and Frank. I will send them to your house.

  7. No comment necessary – I just laughed and laughed at all of the above. I could let you borrow my jack russell for the day – he could take him out!!

    Diane Sexton

  8. Kim, I was thoroughly enteraining by EVERY word in the post!!! HILARIOUS (of course not so funny for you living with the possum under your deck.) We have our share of animal stories around here, too, involving possums and groundhogs. One involving catching a groundhog in a bucket out of our window well and running like wild hogs as to not get attacked (per warning of the helpful animal control people). Hopefully spring will lure your littel fellow out!!

  9. You people are hilarious.

    I have been PRIVATELY E-MAILED by several of you with gruesome and helpful hints for possum removal, but I can't discuss them right now because Francie, Makila's fox, is waiting for me to set up the catch cup.

    Gotta run! I'll keep you posted on Da Poss.

  10. From experience in our garage…they will play possum for hours unless you interfere with them with an "oshovel". Less docile after that first encounter….

  11. Our experience when contacting animal control was they came and left a book on our doorstep, "How to Peacefully Co-Exist With Your Wildlife Friends".

    Uh, really? That would be a No.

  12. Last summer we had all kinds of random critters invading our apartment/building. Frogs in our apartment SNAKES in the building. Ammonia is usually pretty good at getting rid of unwanted guests. Just pour it around the perimeter of wherever they are staying – they don't like the smell and will hopefully vacate! Otherwise, you can get live animal traps and I have a father in law with a bb gun and good aim 😉

  13. Thanks for the link on goodreads!! I can't wait to get started on one of your reads!! Are you agented or just through a small publishing house?!

    Possums… Wow!!!!

    Happy weekend!!

  14. Hi Kimberly – I may be the lone dissenting voice here – I love possums, Love them! I would be pleased and honored to have a possum under my deck. You have a helpful comment above about making sure the critter can't get under your deck – assuming you make the changes while the critter is out and about. Also make sure that there is not a food source for the possum – they love cat food and dog food, so keep that inside, if you have pets. Here are facts about possums that may make you feel better: they eat mice and snakes and insects, they have a short life span, maybe 2 – 4 years, they are very shy & placid, even though they have lots of sharp teeth they aren't aggressive, they do not carry rabies. I know many people think they are ugly, but they are good creatures who help keep our yards free of pests. Please do not harm "your" possum, that would make me very sad, as your possum is quite harmless to you and your family. Here is a website with more ideas on discouraging possums in your yard: http://www.opossum.org/discourage.html

  15. Also, opossums aren't rats, aren't related to rodents at all, they are marsupials, the only marsupial in North America, and I think that makes them pretty cool creatures. I always feel blessed when I have a possum sighting, I don't know exactly why, they just make me smile and their very interesting looks and behavior lift my spirits.

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