What kind of Urban Pioneers would we be if we didn't have a few brushes with the wildlife in the area. Thanks to Princess, we get our share of close encounters of the wild kind.
This is Princess.
She is a lab mix and supposedly belongs to my daughter. She is a pretty sweet dog, but she is a whiner and I just have no tolerance for that.
She is an inner-city dog. But she is also a hunter. Not trained, of course. That hasn't stopped her instincts from taking down squirrels, birds, rats, and 2 of my chickens. This weekend she brought me this:
Dropped it right at the front door. I thought the thing was dead. But it is an opossum. I stared at it awhile and tried to decide what I was going to do with the thing and it moved ever so slightly. It was playing dead. Cool, huh?
My husband and son were out of town, so I was left to deal with an all too alive but possibly injured wild thing with teeth and claws. So I did what every red-blooded American woman would do. First, I called and yelled at my husband for not being there when there was wildlife on the porch. Then, I called my mother.
She talked me down and convinced me that he needed to be isolated for the night. If he was mortally wounded he might crawl away and die under my house. That would be even less cool. I agreed and went and got the kitty carrier.
I was glad they play dead because I was able to sort of roll him into the carrier. I gave him (her?) a bowl of water and a strawberry.
When I checked on him in the morning he had eaten his strawberry and was crawling on the cage door trying to get out. As soon as he realized I was there he quit moving. I opened the cage and took that pitiful picture. OK, so maybe he wasn't as ferocious as he looked the night before.
I called the TWRC. They are a life saver for ninnies like me who have more compassion than actual know-how. They said to bring it in and if he was OK, they would release him someplace safe. They will even e-mail me and let me know what the outcome was.
The ride over there was a...fragrant one. When I dropped him off, I commented on how stinky he was. They told me that opossums can excrete a "death scent" to enhance the whole playing dead experience. Awesome. I may have to air out the van.
And here is the little darling safe in the care of the TWRC workers.
Isn't he charming?
Live long and prosper, buddy. But please do it somewhere else.
If you are interest in learning a little more about the Virginia Opossum (That's what we have here in Texas. Go figure.), you may check it out here.