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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Look What We Found!

I own an old house that was built in the 1960s. It's a big, rambling home. Lately, we've been hearing noises in the attic that sounded too big to be a rat.

Yesterday, the noise in the kitchen started. You could hear this scrabbling in the walls, clawing away desperately. Then when we snuck in, it would get quiet. I isolated it to the wall next to my refrigerator.

Tonight, while we were watching a movie, I heard it again. My Other Half got up to investigate, and ended up moving our large side-by-side refrigerator to get back behind it and see what the heck was making all that racket. He found out that it was indeed in the wall. Whatever it was had fallen down the wall from the attic and got trapped.

Imagine his surprise when he shone the light into a little crack and saw this face staring back at him:

He called me over to ask what it was (it's a baby possum).

I hear they make great pets and we're now thinking of a good name while we try to decide what to do with her. I believe it's a she, but don't want to bother her too much (so I'm still guessing). Isn't she adorable? The poor thing is covered in fleas right now, so she's living in our 1960s style green tub with a towel, water, and some dog food (at what point did the original owners agree to have the entire bathroom done in this color??? I can't wait to remodel this bathroom next). What should we name her?

35 comments:

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,

You're not a country girl are you? The only thing a opossum is good for is pie. I would send it to TC ASAP. The opossum is very agressive and will try to eat you as you sleep.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mr. Gator, This possum is amazingly sweet. She has let us pat her, and she fell asleep in my hands just now. I nestled her gently back into her towel. The poor little thing is a fleabag, though. I can't wait to get her cleaned up. But I don't want to traumatize her right now, so I won't bathe her or mention your pie suggestion.

Saur♥Kraut said...

P.S. she curled her little tail around my thumb as she slept. Awww.

Dan said...

ick, says the city boy.

Tabasamu said...

*LOL* Oh c'mon, Dan. You have to admit, she's pretty cute... ;o)

Tabasamu said...

And Mr. Gator, I wouldn't DREAM of making a pie out of such a cute lil' critter. And even if I did, I doubt you'd eat it.

BULLSEYE said...

Your blog rocks!!!

Kathleen said...

Saur: Slap yourself and come to your senses. Take Mr. Gator's advise to get rid of it . . . don't eat it. Ewwwwww! Have you seen and smelled an adult opossum? Call the SPCA pronto. And about the flea problem the critter has, now you have a problem too. Scratch, scratch . . .

Oh, yes. Where there is a baby, there is usually a mother and a sibling. My guess is in your attic. Someone told me once, they have two offspring.

How do I know all this? I have a 1920s house and a yard that has 5 huge oak trees. Lots of critters.

If you insist on keeping "pie", get some Adams flea shampoo and spray. Very safe and prescribed for puppies and kittens.

Kathleen said...

BTW, how did you get it out of the wall?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Kathleen, No...possums are a new one to me. They smell? As in, ferret's smell? I wonder if there's a way to de-scent them (like skunks/ferrets). But anyway, the jury's still out. I don't know if she's a keeper. She's just a little animal in distress. I just want to get her through the weekend.

We had to tear a hole in the plaster to get her out. Luckily, the fridge covers that hole. I am just hoping no OTHER possums decide to jump down the hole, or my house will be flooded with possums (until we can get around to sealing the hole).

Yeah, I assume we have a whole herd living up in the attic. Ah well, it could be worse: it could be rats (see my earlier post). I read that possums eat rats...

However, this is turning into the song There Was an Old Lady... I wonder what I would have to get in there to get rid of the possums??? I don't wish to kill them. I read that you can build possum houses to entice them to leave your attic and set up residence outside. Arrgh! As if I don't have enough work!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dan, *LOL* You know, the funny thing is, we are city. Well, the burbs at least. I am about as far from a country girl as you can get. Perhaps that's why I'm so tolerant of the little creature...

TC You should see her. I just checked on her. She's all curled up inside her towel in the tub. But OMG, the fleas.

Bullseye, thanks!

bananarama said...

OMG, she is so CUTE. It's like a kitten I found once that was covered in fleas. Poor thing. She sounds really tame, too! I heard that possums are naturally very tame when they're little, but I don't know.

I would name her Blossum the Possum.

michelle said...

I am sorry Saurkraut, but the possum gives me the creaps. I'm glad you are having fun though!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, *LOL* I was wondering what you'd think of it. Did you show the boys?

blondie said...

OK, so far we've got 'Pie' and 'Blossum'. I vote for Wallie, since she was found in the wall. What an incredibly long snout she has! I've never seen one up close. Didn't she try to bite you? That looks like a lotta teeth.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Nope, she never bit once! She seemed to want to snuggle, but she is one dirty little thing so that was out. I have to decide if I want to chance bathing her today. Her patience may be short, and her teeth are long.

Snicksnack said...

How about Wee Wallie Winkie?

Some Random Girl said...

sooooooo cute! Boo-Bah. That's what I would name her. I'd let her climb all over me and just cuddle her all the time. So sweet. I want one!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

That's disgusting Saur!

It looks like a massive rat.

Fred said...

Are there more up there? Hmmmmm.

actonbell said...

Bananarama beat me to my name suggestion!
Possum pie? Ew. Aren't they--rodents?
My hubby didn't know what an opposum was, either--he came back from a run one day and told me "there's this huge dead rat at the bottom of the hill, and you should see the tail on it."
You've been very kind to this little creature:)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, *LOL* Yeah, she is rather rat-like. But, coming from a strong scientific background, I've dealt with almost any animal you can think of, so I'm not at all prejudiced.

Jules, she is a cuddlebug. My son (Saurkid) and I just went to Petsmart to get flea spray, shampoo, and hedgehog food (they're omnivorous and so are hedgehogs, so I'm thinking this is the best choice) as well as kitten milk. She's so young she's probably still nursing.

Fred, I wouldn't be in the least surprised. However, what are we to do about it? No one is volunteering to go up there and face a mad mama possum...

Acton Bell, actually they're marsupials and were around when the dinosaurs roamed. They carry their babies in pouches like kangaroos do. Funny about your hubby *g*. How's the family reunion going?

Kathleen said...

Saur: there is a person locally that specializes in removing large animals from houses. They trap them and relocate them to a better environment.

Again, how do I know this? Sadly, from experience. I'm having flashbacks!

Some Random Girl said...

You might try ferret supplies too! I used to have a ferret and they are prettty fun too!

Anonymous said...

Name him Ray for RABIES!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Kathleen, yes, I might have to hire someone if it looks like he has other relatives living upstairs.

Jules, a good idea, but ferrets tend to be carnivorous, not omnivorous, so I think the hedgehog food will be the better bet. I have an excellent vet in the area whom I'll take her to tomorrow morning, and we'll see if he recommends anything in particular.

anonymous, funny! But, believe it or not, opossums are the wild animals that are the least likely to contract rabies. They have a natural defense somehow.

Everyone, halfway through the day we started calling her "Pie", thanks to Mr. Gator and Kathleen. I think she's stuck with that name.

I gave her quite a bath. I had a large bowl that I filled 5 times (she was caked in filth and blood from all the fleas). Once she was finally clean, I sprayed the remaining fleas with a hamster flea spray (very weak). I didn't count every one, but I estimate the poor thing had over 100 fleas on her little body, and it's no more than 4" long (minus the tail).

Jamie Dawn said...

Here are some name suggestions from me and my kids:

Courtney said to name her Poppie.

Taylor said to name her Ginny Moog.

I said to name her Rat.

Have fun!

AP3 said...

Aw, she's cute! I knew someone who had a squirrel as a pet. It used a litter box and everything.

Anonymous said...

This blog gives me faith in the human race. I know that sounds crazy but with all the crazy stuff going on in the world people have a sense of humor and a little compassion for a little creature named PIE. thank you I needed this.

Eddo said...

Cute! and I want to see pictures of this big rambling house too! I love old houses.

Kathleen said...

Saur: I just thought of this. These critters are nocturnal. I would close my bedroom doors if I were you.

What did the vet advise? Best regards to pie.

Saur♥Kraut said...

The Vet: The vet advised that we keep her. He said they make wonderful pets, and she was very healthy (no disease, etc.) He gave her a little medicine for worms (just in case) and didn't even charge us! He has an assistant in his office that has three pet possums.

He told us that she will be like another dog, will grow to be a little smaller than a cat, and will follow us around and be as affectionate as a dog. They live 5-10 years if they're a house pet.

She's currently living in the bathtub, with blankets and water and food. Thank goodness we have 3 bathrooms. We will get to work on building her a nice residence next weekend when we have the time.

She's getting less spooked now, though she's still shy (Shy Pie). She isn't holding her mouth open as often, which must be rather tiring. Plus, when she holds her mouth open for a long time, she drools and looks rather comical. I think she's decided that isn't ladylike.

michelle said...

Saur,
You are too much! Glad you are having fun.

Kathleen said...

Saur: Did the vet discuss neutering her? I think that would be a good plan. I am imagining your house surrounded by agressive male opposums vieing for her attention.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Kathleen, *LOL* No. Not a problem. The vet feels she's just fine.