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The Great DMI Possum Hunt
October 09, 2005 01:55
So last night, I was casually trolling down the stairs, heading into the kitchen to quench my thirst with a tasty diet Dr. Pepper, when I heard some skitter noises in the pantry. Figuring it was another rat, I started stomping toward the pantry to stir it up so I'd see where it was at. At that point, something very large and rodent like runs through the kitchen. I didn't get too good a look at it that time, so I figured it was a very large rat. So I call Miss Anabelle-Bob into service, tell her that it's time for her to start earning her keep around here, and deployed her to dispatch the "rat" with extreme predjudice. Anabelle apparently thought that her services were not necessary to continue living here, all perks included, as she was ultimately no help at all.
For the moment, the critter has evaded me, so I figure he jumped into one of the many holes in the floor. I go ahead and cover up all the holes so he can't get back in. As it would happen, he never left, and so a few minutes later, I hear more skitter noises, this time in the living room. I go in there, turn on the light, and there on the floor is a critter that doesn't look anything like a rat. Turns out it's a possum.
Great. I decide to scratch my previous plan B which was to set the rat traps, since I figure this creature will be too large for the traps to make useful work of. Anabelle notices the new potential pet, sneaks up on it. Gives it a couple good sniffs, and turns around and walks off. Either cats know which critters are safe to attack and which ones aren't, or they simply choose to ignore anything too large to eat in one sitting. So now I have this critter in the house. I want this critter on the other side of the walls. So I open up all the doors. This wouldn't be a big problem except it's not exactly warm outside and putting a good cross ventilation through my house didn't help my mood any.
So I approach the critter, crowbar in one hand and a broom in the other, trying to encourage it to head toward what should be an obvious escape route: Any open door. This possum either had a death wish or figured that the risk of serious physical injury from me was sufficiently outweighed by the desire to stay in a warm house for the night. Since the house wasn't terribly warm at the moment, what with all the open doors, that basically means that the possum thinks I'm a wimp. Well.. We can't have THAT now can we. Where did I put that broom?
So I'm chasing the possum around the house, constantly stomping, banging, or broom-nudging to convince this most stubborn critter that I am a force to not be messed with. The possum apparently gets tired of running and decides instead to see if he can just climb up into one of the walls to see if he can starve me out. His first attempt was both unsuccessful and quite comical, as you can see:
He eventually managed to climb up the wall and I decided to give up for a bit and went back into the office, although I kept an eye on the living room to see when he ventured out. Apparently he is more sly than I give him credit for, as the next thing I know, I hear noises in the pantry, and sure enough, he's back in there, only now less scared than before. He's not as quick to run away from the crowbar weilding freak. I manage to lose him again, and after a brief check of the house I've prematurely determined that he finally took advantage of the open door, so I closed all the doors, turned the heater back on and sat down to relax from my adventure.
Then I hear more skitters in the kitchen, so I run back in there, the possum is now on top of the trashcan. When I approach, he jumps onto the shelves, then up onto the sink counter and turns around and looks at me. I move forward and he runs away, almost falls off the counter, but catches himself and climbs back up. I get on the other side of him and start encouraging him to move forward. I now have him moving straight in the direction of the open front door. He's running for it, full steam ahead and just when I think I'm gonna win, he takes a sharp left turn and runs into my office. Great. Just great.
So he's sitting under the window looking at me. I figure I'll try to herd him out of the room and back into the hallway where I can have another shot at brooming him out of the door. I manage to get him to climb up on the couch, run across the back of it and down into the pile of boxes I have sitting on the floor. Now he's found himself a nice hidey-hole which I proceed to dig him out of. Finally he's trapped under the yellow dresser, and he's NOT coming out, no matter how much I bang on the dresser and swat at him with the broom. Finally, exhausted from the experience, I just box him in and go to sleep.
In the morning I call animal control which happens to not work on weekends. I call the police to see if they can help and they send THREE officers over to take care of the pest. It must be a slow day for the Denison PD. After taking a look and confiming that it is in fact a possum, they start talking about what to do about it. One of them tells another to just reach under there, grab its tail and pull it out. The officer who was the recipient of that sugguestion declined and without any better options available got the noose, noosed the possum, and pulled him out. He was not happy about it.
Once they get the possum outside, the one officer is standing there dangling the possum, wondering what they should do with it, since they don't have any cages to transport him in. We end up having them lower it into the cat carrier, then Gertie and I drive about 5 miles away and set it loose in the woods where it will find a happy home, or go bother someone else. In any event, for the moment, we are possum free. And possum free is a good thing. Anabelle is happy about it too. She'll just have to earn her keep some other way.
See more exciting Possum pictures.