Mr O. Possum arrived in our life one early morning in late September and I documented his visit here:
I have been sharing our favorite Opossums winter activities on facebook and realized readers of this blog should also be privy to the fun! If you did not yet read the above post you may want to to understand how Mr. O. Possum came into our lives.
Warning: Before the haters start to rail about the evils of opossums and or any thing negative about this post in general, don’t even bother. People who troll to complain about other peoples actions are the same people who want to suck the life and fun out of everything. So troll somewhere else :)
Nasty comments are trashed and will never be posted as I have to approve of all comments prior to their being made public.
Let it be known that we respect Mr. O. Possum’s wildness and in no way are seeking to try and pet him or tame him or keep him as a pet. He is a wild critter and always will be.
Mr. O. Possum has and always will be a garbage eater and if it isn’t ours it will be a neighbors. It is the opossum way of life.
To others who enjoy life and want to know what I learned about opossums since Mr. O.P. entered the picture I present to you some interesting opossum facts.
10 Opossum factoids:
1. Opossums eat snakes (yay!) and due to their very low body temperature they can and do kill and eat poisonous snakes with no ill effects (double yay!).
2. Opossums do not carry rabies.
3. Opossums eat anything and everything. They do not have “special diets” they are wild omnivores. The garbage bucket eaters of the wild.
4. Sadly they only live two or three years in the wild.
5. Opossums are the honey badgers of the marsupial family in that they just don’t really care about anything. Their buddy gets hit by a car, whatever, tasty garbage trumps all.
6. Opossums are North America’s only marsupial.
7. It is a myth that they hang by their tails to sleep.
8. Opossums have 50 teeth.
9. Some Opossums grow to be the size of large tom cats.
10. Not all opossums “play possum”, some just freeze up, some become paralyzed for awhile and some actually get paralyzed and pee and poo like they just died. Some just don’t do anything because they just don’t care.
Why I do not worry about Miss Lulu and Mr. Opossum fighting.
Now Miss Lulu and Mr. O Possum have their own special relationship. This has been developing for 6 months (a long time for both of them). If Lulu chases Mr. O. Possum he runs if he feels like it. If he doesn’t want to run he stands his ground and hisses. As Miss Lulu has cats of her own, her cat experiences have lead her to reckon that hisses are followed by paws that have teeth on the ends of them. We know they are cat claws but to Lulu they are paw teeth.
Therefore, Miss Lulu keeps well out of any hissing animals striking range. To her Mr. Opossum is a mousey smelling big cat.
Mr. Opossum probably carries various micro nasties like most all wild animals carry. These are part of nature and are in the soil and such already. This is the circle of life. Miss Lulu and the cats are exposed to these as part of their natural habitat just as humans are exposed to dust mites or other bacteria that live on us or in us. If our pets get sick they go to the vet. Once again if this upsets you go reread the previous warning.
Since our initial encounter, Mr. O. Possum has become like family. Let me qualify that, like family you invite over for a back yard picnic because for various reasons (hygiene issues, sticky fingers ect.) you just don’t want them inside of the house.
Well, Mr. O Possum has decided that even with a slightly crazed barking, chasing Boston Terrier and a woman who squeals with delight when he comes to visit, that, well our garbage is worthy of such disturbances. Yes we have some mighty fine garbage.
I am not partial to wild critters so close to the house but Opossums are pretty benign and it has been a very snowy and very, very cold and long winter. I truly believe if Mr. O. P. did not have the food we left out he would have died a tragically premature death. I placed food in places I knew he would visit if he could.
Dec. 27, 2013- Guess who came to visit tonight? Mr. Opossum. (Mr. Opossum has always had a rather bald back, we don’t mention this as we do not want him to be self conscious, bald is beautiful).
Jan. 25, 2014- Mr. O. Possum came for dinner! He is having ribs and bread. I think he is looking a little fatter too. Mr. O. Possum is a bit of a messy eater. He took the meat off of the bones, tossed them aside and went on his way. The bread obviously was not an acceptable offering. Too funny!
Feb. 4, 2014 Mr. O. Possum came by for some grapes and cat food. I guess even he realizes there is no way to get around walking in the snow.
March 7, 2014. FANTASTIC News! After almost a month without a sighting I am happy to report that Mr. O. Possum is ok. Tonight he was on the back porch rooting through a bag of garbage. He waddled off before I could get his pic this time though. I did get a chance to tell him how wonderful it was that he was ok. I really worried about him with all this cold and snow. I guess the food I left various places around the property paid off after all. I seriously got so excited I think I scared him. He looked up at me like why is this psycho woman squealing and walked off stopped looked back at me and kept going. Obviously Mr. O. Possum doesn’t find my company as exciting as I find his company to be.