Monday, January 24, 2011

The Opossum Incident

The Opossum Incident

I was sitting at home when I got a frantic call from my sister-in-law Terri.

“You’ve got to come right over” she screeched into the phone.  “There’s a horrible animal in the house and you have to get it out”.  With that she slammed down the phone.

We lived about 10 minutes away from them, so I got in my car and went over.

When I got there, Terri, her daughter Brenna (aka BooBoo) who was 12 and her son Steven who was 8, were all standing on the couch with pots and pans in their hands.

“What’s going on?” I said.

“It’s in the office (a small room off the den/great room)” Terri said pointing towards the office.

“Look, It’s moving,” she said, and the three of them starting jumping up and down and banging the pots and pans.

“What are you doing?” I shouted over the din.

“We’re keeping it in the den so it doesn’t get out into the rest of the house” Terri replied after stopping her jumping and the banging of the pots and pans.

She proceeded to tell me that the creature had wandered into the house through the open sliding glass doors overlooking the backyard and lake.  “BooBoo saw this furry creature wander into the house and since both cats are here, we figured out it wasn’t them”, Terri explained.

Bob, her husband was out on an appointment so she called me to try and remove it.  Bob is always home. It was just bad luck he was gone that day.  Terri still hasn’t forgiven him for being absent.

I went over to look in the office.

There was an Opossum in the corner, dug into the carpet with its talons,

“Did you call Animal control?” I asked.

“No” she said.

I called Animal control. 

They told me they didn’t come out to take out wild animals, but would be glad to rent us a trap and deliver it tomorrow.

I didn’t think Terri wanted to spend the night jumping and banging pots.

I needed something to get at the opossum.  I called Terri’s neighbor, Mark, and asked if he had anything to help get the opossum out.

He came over with some helmets and if I remember correctly some protective pads and gloves.

We reluctantly went into the room. 

The opossum was staring at us.  We stared at its talons.  As we approached the opossum, he bared his teeth at us.  We opened the sliding door to the outside and tried to shoo the opossum out.  The opossum snapped at us.  We retreated to the den.

Since neither of us was particularly outdoorsy, we decided to call the across the street neighbor, Bruce.

Bruce is an outdoorsy guy.  He plays golf, tennis, scuba dives, always has equipment for things.  He has lived in Florida all his life.  We figured he would know what to do.

Bruce came over with a pole and attached wire loop he uses for Lobster catching.

He went into the den, looped the wire around the opossum’s neck and dragged it out the sliding glass door.  The opossum, dug its talons into the carpet, but eventually let go and was now out the door.

We observed it lying on the ground.  It looked dead.  We figured maybe Bruce had strangled it.

We were talking about that when the opossum got up and waddled away.

Mission Accomplished, just like President Bush, we (or at least Bruce) was triumphant.

Bruce, Mark and I departed.  Terri quickly closed the sliding glass door and things returned to normal.

A little while later, Terri received a call from Bruce.

It seems that when Bruce had come over to help, he had left his garage door open.  When he returned, the opossum had taken up residence.

Just like President Bush’s triumph, our triumph had unanticipated consequences.

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