Saturday, February 24, 2007

Furry Creatures- Part 2

Everybody has certains things that they never thought that they would do until it is thrusted upon them. If they can walk away from it with a little more insight and a little bit better person, then isn't it worth it?
I never thought that raising those opossums would have such a profound effect on me. And of course it spilled over to Roy. He is my best friend and we do everything together. Even if it goes against the grain of the Great White Hunter!
It didn't take me long to figure out that Bill was, without a doubt, a male. And Pete was not! He became Pattie. Pattie the Pooper in fact. She was like a sqeeze toy! The second you picked her up she would poop! Roy said something about scaring her shitless.........HHHmmmm!
I talked to them all the time and made kissing noises so that they would get used to my voice. In the beginning, they just sat there frozen with their mouths open, growling at me. Then they started to flinch, like I was going to hit them. Their little ears would bounce. The hissing stopped but the growling never ended. I decided was just the way they talked. It sounded like the Frankenstein monster when he was chasing the villagers or was it the other way around...........the chasing........never mind....focus..........
When they came to us, Roy didn't killed any more of the adults that get on the back porch. That was a big step for him. It didn't make a lot of sense to raise two babies and kill the others.
And one day, I stopped traffic to allow a mother opossum with 4 on her back and 5 following her to cross the road. All went across but the last one. It stopped and went back. I went around it and parked the car to go back to get him off the road when the 4th car back stopped and the passenger got out, grabbed it by the tail and threw in the ditch with the others!! She waved at me and I waved at her....Opoussm Buddies!
Roy just rolls his eyes!!! "YOU stopped traffic with your most prized possession to let 10 opossums cross the road?"
I took so much flack over this!!! 97.9% of the people I told about the opossums have said to kill them in one fashion or another. The BossMan was constantly telling me they make lousy pets. And that was true. Bill had tried to bite me twice!
They lived at the clinic. You can not legally possess a furbearing animal, not even for rehabilitation without a special license. That was the best place for them at the moment anyway.
They were growing fast, they were a whopping 3/4 of a pound. They were getting too big for the dog carrier that I kept them in. They made such a mess! In the water and half eaten apples everywhere, so I thought I would move them to a bigger cage.
I lovingly put down newspaper and put in fresh water and more apples and pears. Then added the opossums. Bill instantly started climbing and Pattie started to burrow. I covered the cage as opossums are nocturnal animals and lights are always on. And as always the phone rang so I had to leave. When I went back to check on them and they were gone!!!
Don't panic!
I could not have been gone over 5 minutes.
I looked under the cat cages! I looked up on top of the cat cages....Bill loves to climb!! I looked behind the door!
NOTHING!!
OMG!!!! They were not in the cat room!!!!!
Panic.......... NOW!!!!!
I turned to face the kennel. And there stood this dog, a huge dog waving his tail...........mocking me!!
"You ate my Opossums!!! I will kill you with my bare hands!!!!"
The kinder gentler side of my nature spoke up, "Stop! Take a deep breath and think about this for a moment."
"There is no blood." True!
"There is no fur." True!
"There is no opossum tails" True!
"And you know that Bill would not go gently into the dog. There would have been a hell of a commotion!" Oh, so True!!
"Let the dog live!"
I got down on the floor to look under a stainless steel table that is in the kennel and there they were! I think I heard a faint "Damn it" from Bill. I fished them out and but them back inthe small dog carrier scolding them the whole time.
But I knew that the day would come that I would have to let them go. That is what Bill wanted so desperately. The BossMan told me I would have to teach them to climb and get them used to being in the heat. They had been living in the AC all this time and that would be a shock to them.
So I told Roy what needed to be done. He rolled his eyes, "You have to do what?!?"
And do you know they have a group called "The American Opossum Society"!
Roy just rolls his eyes!! "YOU didn't join the group, did you?"

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