Friday, August 14, 2009

The possum

Apparently I have done such a good job of disposing of dead mice I have "graduated" to bigger rodents. Yea me!

Tuesday, I had every women's favorite doctor appointment. I won't go into details, but the result of that appointment was my doctor decided I should have an ultrasound within the next two weeks. Lucky me, they could fit me in the next day at 5:00.

Since I was going to be late getting home on Wednesday, I came home at lunch to "release the hounds" as I like to say, just like I always do when I am going to be late. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw a cat in my yard and wondered why that cat seems to think it lives here and why it looked "off." I was looking at it from the side. As I came to a stop, it looked at me and I realized it looked different because it was a possum not a cat. This was the first time I have seen one that was still alive. They are usually roadkill when I see them. Actually, the first time I saw one, I had no idea what it was and we had to look it up online because James wasn't sure either. I've lived in the NW most of my life and having never seen one before, I didn't realize they lived here too, right smack dab in the middle of Suburbia.

I looked at the possum and thought "crap. There is a possum in my yard." The only thing I know about possums is they are wild animals and they are mean. And they get hit by cars a lot. So, being the intelligent woman that I am, I decided I should see if I could get close enough to it to take a picture. (Yes, the first part of that sentence was highly sarcastic). So, I got my phone ready and crept closer and closer thinking the entire time that was definitely not the smartest idea I have ever had.

It was by taking the picture, which I apparently took at a weird angle since I can't get it right no matter how I rotate it, that I discovered the poor thing was injured. Earlier in the day, I had received a call from the doctor's office that my blood pressure was unusually high and they wanted me to have it checked again. Finding an injured wild animal in my yard did not help my blood pressure. So, I called my boss, who was not at his desk. I tried another co-worker who wasn't at her desk either. So, I decided to ignore it in the hopes that it would crawl next door and die (yes, I realize this is not neighborly). I took care of the dogs, sent a text message to my friend and started to head off to have my blood pressure read (which was fine), grab lunch, and head back to work.

I couldn't leave without doing something, so I called animal control. I was told they couldn't come get it if it was alive and to call back when it was dead. So, feeling very bad for this animal who looked so sad, I left. Sitting at a stoplight, I happened to glance over to see the animal control van also waiting at the stoplight. I found this to be incredibly ironic.

Then my friend called to tell me she was at my house and the possum looked so sad. She was trying to figure out a way to capture it to take it to the vet. So I called the vet to see if they would take it. They said if it was injured there probably wasn't much they could do for it. I called my friend back and repeated what the vet's office said and told her I didn't want her to risk getting attacked by a wild animal so she left it there.

When I got home from my appointment, I saw it was still there but didn't check on it. Denial is my happy place and I didn't want to see it suffer. About an hour later, my friend texted me to see how it was so I got out the pole that gets attached to the handle of the paint roller and went out and poked at the possum. It had died.

I could have just put it in the garbage can, but garbage day was Wednesday and it died after the garbage was picked up. It is supposed to be in the 80's this weekend and I really don't want my garage to smell like decomposing rodent, especially since it smells good right now thanks to leaving Vanilla-Something coffee beans in the garbage can for several days when it was in the 90's. So yesterday morning, I called animal control and said that I had reported an injured possum the day before and it was now dead. She passed me on to dispatch who informed me that they cannot come on to personal property to remove a dead animal (someone should tell the receptionist that). So I asked "if I fling it into the street will you come get it then?" She laughed and took down my address and phone number and said someone would come get it today (meaning Friday).

I didn't want the poor thing to get run over, so I waited until first thing this morning to move it. I found what I thought was a nice, safe spot in the gutter and put it there (via shovel of course). So here I am at 5:45 in the morning, with my hair pulled back, wearing sweats and a sweatshirt, yellow rubber gloves and a face mask hauling a dead possum around on a shovel trying to find a spot to leave it where it wouldn't get run over. And I did this all very calmly.

The possum was gone when I got home. I think it is safe to say that I have sufficiently proven that I am quite capable of "manning up" and taking care of deceased rodents.


Steph said...

You are so much braver than me Heather! I make Pete dispose of my mice still. I don't even like to bait the trap and set it out. I'm such a wimp.

Shannon said...

You are sooo funny! I am just picturing this play by play. It was hilarious! You really SHOULD write a book, instead of reading them all the time! Hope your week gets better! You go girl for wrangling the rodent.

Sari said...

Heather, I can just picture you with yellow rubber gloves and face mask, braving shoveling that possum, LOL.

I'm glad you didn't mess with it earlier - they can get really mean and scary and it could have rabies...not something you want to deal with.

Good for you for dealing with it, and I'm going to have to try the coffee-beans-in-the-garbage-can trick.

Tracy said...

I really needed a laugh today and the thought of you with yellow rubber gloves and a mask carrying a dead rodent in a shovel....well let's just say I'm sitting here smiling.

Tracy said...

I even made Doug read this and now he's laughing. You go girl!

Rick said...

Great story!!!

You are too funny and made me laugh today, thank you!

You are also a VERY caring person. Good for you!!