Got A Little Surprise Doing Some Late-night Watering On The Patio...

JenC

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A possum scared the heck out of me!

I was in PJs and flip-flops, heard a lot of rustling, and there he was, blocking my access to the back door, so I jumped on a chair. It turned into a staring contest. (I'm sure I looked crazy, by the way.)

I tried to get around him but I was basically barefoot and I couldn't remember if they bite or carry rabies. Then he started climbing the cucumber plant right against the door. And he stayed there, staring at me. No way was I going to walk right by him.

So I walked around the house in the dark, dug up my spare key, let myself in the front door, and completely freaked out the cat in the process.

The pictures were taken through my back screen door. We're still in a standoff and I haven't finished watering my plants.

I guess he owns the patio now? :nailbiting:

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richie.p

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Why jump on a chair they are good climbers lol
It could be the start of a beautiful relationship
 

HoneybeeJenni

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Opossums are great critters to have around actually! Their internal body temperature is too low to harbor rabies and they prey on a lot of ticks and small mammals that can otherwise transfer rabies up the food chain. They won't attack something five times bigger than them anyway! Of course, eating your cucumber plant is a different story...
 

pagoda

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Much malligned & misunderstood little animals....OK so they have some seriously sharp gnashers but then so would you if you were that small.....since they try and avoid human contact, for obvious reasons, maybe he or she needs something - food, water....very cute creature with loads of character
 
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JenC

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He is kind of cute now that I look at the pictures... I've never seen a possum up close and thought maybe he'd attack. Now I feel bad for thinking that. But I'm still not going outside yet! ops:
 
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JenC

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At least it's not a skunk!
That's what I originally thought it was! And it took me a while to think of the key to the other door so I was picturing myself sleeping on the grass and having to explain it to the neighbors in the morning.
 

Fishcat

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I came home after dark once and found a young possum hanging around a foot from my front steps. Took some pictures and then squatted down to watch. Shifted around a bit and squeak-screamed because the neighbor’s cat was about 1/4 inch behind me and I bumped into him. So I watched my possum until he got to somewhere safer. Cute little fellas and tick-eaters, which is a big plus for those of us in the Lyme disease center of the country.
 

Cherie G

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Loved reading about your adventure! Years ago when I still lived in an apartment in the upstairs of a a large house, I came home late and went around the back of the house as this was a shortcut to my door. I had to pass by the garbage cans and when I did one of the cans started slamming back and forth which made a huge racket not to mention scaring the heck out of me. Needless to say I ran (possibly screaming :eek to my door as fast as I could. All I could think of was raccoon. :bear: Well my landlady's son and daughter in law let me know the next morning that it was in fact a huge possum that must have gotten into the can and could not get out. They found it when they were taking the cans to the curb for pick up. Scared them too at first. Fortunately they saw what it was and tipped the can so it could be on it's way.

I feel bad for them because lots of people don't like them, but they are beneficial and fairly harmless from what I have heard. Give it a name and maybe then you won't be as afraid of it .
 

e_watson09

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Haha I loved reading your post! I love opossums! We have one that lives on our farm we see him frequently. We named him King Louie! He's HUGE. We have a mutual understanding that he leaves me alone and I leave him alone. He's lived on our farm probably 3 years now living in one of our barns. Ever since he started coming around the tick population has gone WAY down. He's awesome. Scary looking but awesome!
 

mattgirl

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They hiss but seldom attack. We had one years ago that we finally had to live trap and relocate. It decided it was the only creature allowed to eat the food we put out for the cats that live in the woods around us.

There was plenty for everyone but this one would stay under our house day and night. Anytime anything other than it tried to eat it would promptly come running out hissing and chasing. I don't allow bullying from even the wildlife around here if I can prevent it.

Opossums only redeeming quality to me is those adorable hot pink feet.

You never know Jen. You and this little guy may become best friends but the little rascal may end up eating all of your cucumbers since they don't like to share. A live trap and relocation may become necessary. If that is the case take it a long way off. We have taken them up to a mile and they find their way back. They have to go much farther than that. We took the bully at least 10 miles and fortunately never saw it again.
 

Fishcat

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One of the advantages of having started a couch-to-5k program is seeing early-morning wildlife. I startled a deer who was about ten feet off the sidewalk today, and then there were two raccoons - young ones, I think - who went up separate trees and stared at me while I ran underneath. There are always rabbits. Last time there was a heron.
 

Guppygirl88

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One of the advantages of having started a couch-to-5k program is seeing early-morning wildlife. I startled a deer who was about ten feet off the sidewalk today, and then there were two raccoons - young ones, I think - who went up separate trees and stared at me while I ran underneath. There are always rabbits. Last time there was a heron.
You go !
 

Mongo75

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I live in the California desert. We have rattlesnakes, coyotes, trash pandas (racoons) and possums. Those living in the foothills and mountains also have bear and cougar to deal with.

I'll take the possums any day. I've had them come into the house when I've left the door open. For the most part, they're harmless, and they do eat other nasties we don't want.
 

jjohnwm

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What a fantastic thread this is! I laughed so hard at the image of an adult human dressed in PJ's and slippers, running around the house in the dark to avoid a small possum, that I startled the dog and almost spilled my coffee.

We don't have many possums up here due to the cold. They're not native here, but they do occasionally hitch rides on trucks coming from the south. My dogs have killed a few, and those that do survive their first winter are sad creatures with frost-bite damage to their ears and/or tails. I kinda wish they were better-suited to the weather, because anything that eats ticks is all right in my books!

Wait until you go out to the car after dark to fetch something and bump into a large black bear in the dark. It will give you perspective.
 
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JenC

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My scary/cute visitor was back last night!

I went to close the back slider before going to bed, saw a tomato plant shaking, and there he was climbing down a tomato cage.

Do you think he's eating what's in my garden or just using their cages like a playground?

I'll watch for him now but is it okay that he's basically moved in or is this something I should be addressing? One thing I've noticed is that I haven't seen much of the chipmunks who steal my tomatoes every year...
 

mattgirl

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It may be checking for bugs but it wouldn't surprise me to find that it acquires a taste for fresh veggies either.
 

JessicaSwanlake

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My scary/cute visitor was back last night!

I went to close the back slider before going to bed, saw a tomato plant shaking, and there he was climbing down a tomato cage.

Do you think he's eating what's in my garden or just using their cages like a playground?

I'll watch for him now but is it okay that he's basically moved in or is this something I should be addressing? One thing I've noticed is that I haven't seen much of the chipmunks who steal my tomatoes every year...
If he's eating your veggies you can try sprying them with a mix of blended habenero, vinegar, and water. That keeps basically all furry critters off your plants.
It does kinda sound like he likes hanging around at the very least. He might just be eating bugs, but if he is preventing you from going about your day just order some wolf/coyote urine and place some where he is hanging out and it should prevent him from making your home his new home.
 
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