It all started a couple of weeks ago when the cat found a little skink in our bedroom. You know, skinks are pretty cute outside hanging out on rocks, but frankly the thought of a skink scurrying around under my bed just disturbs me greatly.
A couple of days later, we looked out the back door and saw a headless squirrel: the first hunting trophy of our half-grown cat. That thing was nearly as big as the kitten himself! And about that same time, my friend Donna, while waiting for me in our driveway one afternoon, watched a 'possum climb a tree outside our kitchen window.
I have a thing about 'possums. I understand that I'm supposed to think they are cute. I've gone to all kinds of wildlife programs that include rescued 'possums and "aren't they just the cutest things?"
No. I cannot find even one thing that is cute about a 'possum. They look like big fat rats.
So a few days ago, as Laurel and I were finishing math, we looked out the door and saw our Mighty Hunter with a very large mouse in his mouth. Once he had our attention, he tossed it up in the air and caught it a few times, did a few victory somersaults with it, and then deposited it on the welcome mat. "That sure is a big mouse," said Laurel. I was thinking, "Gosh, that almost looks like rat, but not quite." Then it dawned on us: it was a baby 'possum!
We both screamed. I don't know why. I am the kind of person who screams at mice. I've even been known to stand on a chair and scream. I wish I could claim to be a snake-loving, rodent-loving woman, but I just can't help myself. I scream at dead baby 'possums. And then I wait for my husband to come home and take it off the welcome mat.
But we're not done with 'possums yet. Perhaps they aren't very bright critters, but this evening the dog began barking hysterically. Sure enough, out the back door was another baby 'possum, this one heading straight for the house. And then, of all things, the dang 'possum perches itself right at the dining room window, in the exact place that our cats sit when they want to come in the house. Can it not smell danger? Can it not smell all kinds of hungry non-woodland creatures just looking for sport?
It just sat there at the screen, looking at it with its beady black eyes. Looking almost cute. Until it started climbing up the screen. Do you see that tail and that twitchy nose? I'm quickly thinking: "Do we have any holes in the screen? Could this 'possum GET IN THE HOUSE?" I
Meanwhile, the Mighty Hunter waits.