Wednesday, October 28, 2009


For the past week, Mighty has flown out of the house in the mornings to chase off a rather small opossum. Originally he caught it long enough to evoke the "playing possum" defense. I caught up with Mighty to see him standing over a motionless opossum.

Thinking he had killed it though there was nary a scratch on the opossum, I picked it up by his tail to heave over the back fence. His tail was cold and I was almost convinced he was dead. I later learned via Internet that they have a very low body temperature which I guess enhances the "play dead" defense.

He must have been young and inexperienced for I felt his tail curl around my hand as I carried him. That made me a bit concerned that he may snag me as he swung near my leg but I managed to heave him over the fence with out incident. When I checked later, he was gone. From then on, Mighty was confined to a leash in the dark hours.

Now Mighty had been humiliated by a 3 pound Miniature Pincher earlier this year while he was recovering from surgery. I know he needed his confidence rebuilt but I had to remove his play dead sparring partner as there was always the treat of rabies. He is current on his shots but they are not a guarantee. I put out my Havaheart trap baited with a little dry cat food and went hunting as I usually do from the comfort of my bed.

This is what I found in the morning. It was the same one I am pretty sure. The size was identical.

Mighty really wanted a piece of him.

I took Opie the opossum (yes, I name everything) on a ride about 5 miles from my house. My relocation spot for trapped animals is beside a nice sized creek with lots of woods. This actual spot is about 100 feet from the larger creek. I wish no animal harm, I just have to protect the furry little fellow that shares my bed.

When I let him out, he ambled off down a small ravine and back up the other side. He then climbed under some rocks and peeked out at me.

This may have not been a good move on his behalf for he appeared to have crawled into a freshly dug den. Sure hope it didn't belong to something that eats opossums. I quickly left so he could scout out a better place to call home. Live long and prosper Opie, just not in my yard.

All is quiet in the yard again...for now.


  1. This is about as good as blog posts ever get. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact I read it twice.

    But you know I never know what to say that makes sense. I mean I have left the usual, "Wow," "Beautiful photo," and dozens of other things, since 2005 when I began blogging and it all boils down to nonsense. What we are all trying to say is that your photograph was seen, and your writing was read and we felt some obligation to say something to indicate we saw your picture and read your words. I suppose it should be understood that we were here and approved or disapproved of the post. I don't know why Google doesn't come out with a widget that we click so we don't have to repeatedly type something. Wow. What a nice picture.

  2. What Abe said! I admire you for going to those lengths to save Opie from Mighty!

  3. Love it Patti! You know we have haulded off 4 Coons to the river which is about 5 miles away. I can't stand killing things!:(

  4. The opossum is one of my favorite critters, if I have to have a favorite. Your dilemma is probably a common one and it's good to see you could think for yourself and handle it. Many people would be be at a complete loss as to what to do.

  5. Well done, Patti! Great save of little Opie. I hope he lives long and well.

    I always name critters too.

  6. My neighbors recently went on a short vacation and left me incharge of feeding their cats. What they didn't tell me was that a possum had taken up residence in their garage. He is liv'n high high on cat food and doesn't appear to be move'n on anytime soon.

  7. I have a draft about my husband the possum hunter. We had an infestation of them at one time under our mobile home in the insulation. YUCKO ODOR as some died. Drove my dog at the time nuts as they seem to "party" at night. We have floor HVAC vents. It was really pretty funny except it cost us a pretty penny to fix all the damage.

  8. Abe, Thanks so much , twice yet. I know how you feel about commnets. Sometimes I read a really good blog and can think of nothing interesting to say.
    If I knew how, I'd create a gadget like that. Kenju has one where you can check a box but it won't say who checked the box.

    Thank you so much. You have the gadget Abe wants but it lacks the personal touch.
    I guess Iwould do what ever I have to keep peace and the animals safe.

    You have a real draw for the wildlife with your chickens. Think you will always be at war. So glad you are a trapper also.

    I used to think they were ugly till I saw one that a lady had bottle fed. Any creature with a bottle in its mouth gets cute in a hurry.

    Thanks, me too. All animals have a function in our world and deserve their place. I just hope he got out of that den.
    Nice to know another "namer".

    That is funny. They can get huge on cat food. I inadvertantly fed one in Florida as I had automatic feeders. Mine was a morbidly obese monster. Good luck with that one.

    OH no, a dead one yet. Yuck. They sure can move right in and make them selves at home. Hope you are opossum free now.
    Ah, is that sunshine????

  9. Patti-- My twin brother sent me this link. I thought you might appreciate these very sweet and loving animals.

  10. I admire your resourcefulness. You see a problem and fix it! I've heard of getting a tiger by the tail but no an opossum! Way to go!

  11. Opie sure was lucky that it was your yard that he went to. Hope the little fella made it.

    Tell Mighty that he was so ferocious, the opossum left. He did a good job of protecting you and his home.

  12. robin,
    Thank you so much for that site. I had seen the original segment on TV but didn't know there was a follow up.
    I give them credit for turning down Disney. I would have had a hard time doing that as I would be thinking of how many elephants I could rescue with the money Disney would pay.
    Really admire them sticking to their principals.
    That is a beautiful story, I just wish the two animals had comparable life spans. I can't help but wonder how hard it will be when Bella passes.
    If you haven't seen the story about Shirley and Jenny and need a good cry, check out Thanks again.

    I guess living alone for so long, unless some one was in my life at the time, it only got done if I did it. Pretty sure you can relate.

    Thanks, good idea. Pretty sure he is convinced he ran Opie off but I will reinforce that notion. He does need his confidence built back up.

  13. Your possums sure are different looking to ours.

  14. eww I dont think I could do that Patti, his tale wrapped around your arm? uck that would freak me out!

    the leaves in your pics are so pretty..ours are turning but they seem to be missing something in depth of color.

    You shutter bugs have made me really want a camera...gonna get me one soon.

    my niece changed her blog...
    that is why we couldnt find her LOL

  15. Hi Patti, Well--hopefully, Opie is in someone else's backyard now irritating their little dog!!!!!!

    That is not a pretty animal, is it????? Cute story though....

    I love the idea that you 'name' everything. We do too... My new laptop is Polly. Our GPS is Miss Barbeak and our Prius is Mrs. P....

    Great post, Patti. Wish I could have seen your throwing that possum over the fence!!!!

  16. Patti-- That video is so moving, it brought us both to tears. Oh what we have done to other living creatures really breaks our hearts. Those two elephants say so much with their stunning, life-long affection.

  17. Opie's story was delightfully cute !!
    You're so sweet. I hope Opie lives long nourished back to health under your TLC :-)

  18. Amanda,
    You got me curious so I looked up your opossoms. They are really cute and make our swollen rat like creatures look bad. Strange they should be so different.

    You really do need to make the plunge for a digital. It is night and day compared to film. Go for it.

    Hopefully I have him far enough into a remote area that he won't bother any home owners. Amanda got me curious and I checked out the Australian opossom, it is down right cute.

    I had seen that story before the Bella story. The injury to Shirley's leg makes me sick and unbearably sad. That they remembered each other after 20 years stuns the mind. Elephants are amazing creatures that we as humans continue to abuse.

    Thank you and hopefully Opie will live to a ripe old age if he can stay from beneath a car or a larger animal doesn't get him. Nature is often harsh.

  19. he probably beat you back to your yard

  20. What an awesome post!! You are the Queen of saving animals. Opie is pretty darn cute!! Blessings to you!!

  21. I agree with Abraham Lincoln's comment. We do use the same synonyms and superlatives over and over again when there's only a photo and no text. But you have always an interesting story, which reminds me often of something I have experienced or of something that happened to someone I know. My Australian daughter found once a Melomys family( pa, ma and a couple of children)in her chest of drawers. She caught ma and the kids, but pa escaped. She took the family to a forest some miles further away from her house.

  22. 4th Sister,
    These guys have the speed that makes a turtle confident. Pretty sure he won't make the 5 mile trip any time soon.

    Cheffie Mom,
    Thanks and for an opossum, he was pretty cute.

    Reader Wil,
    Oops, had to go look up a Melomy. Kind of a cute rat. How sweet of your daughter to relocate him. Not many would bother, she is very special.

  23. Great story, Patti. Thank goodness for Havaheart Traps! We've had our share of uninvited critters over the years.
    Sunny :)

  24. Sunny,
    Don't you just love the guy who invented the Havahart traps? What a neat guy he was.
    Glad you are into the catch and release method also.

  25. Picking up possum by the tail, too much like a rat – give me a shovel please.
    Mighty seems like the typical small dog – he has an inflated ego or is in denial. He seems to think he is bigger than whatever his prey is.

  26. Grayquill,
    Mighty hasn't the foggiest idea he is 12 pounds soaking wet. His attitude gets him intp most of his troubles.