Monday, June 2, 2014

a tale of two possums

So Jon and I have long noticed a ginormous hole on the flowerbed side under our sun porch. The last time the exterminators were checking our preventative termite traps we asked if they could set some sort of trap to capture the offender. We're starting to worry about the state of our porch's foundation because this hole is huge.

When they came back with the trap, the exterminators mentioned they thought it was a groundhog based on the size of the hole. This was on Friday night. The trap was baited with apples. Halfway through the night I smelled skunk and was convinced that was what was living under the porch and was now captured in the trap. And had likely sprayed errythang. And I wasn't sure whether we had a number besides the main office number and who would be checking the phones on a Saturday? So we were going to have a trapped skunk dying of heat and starvation and dehydration with no means of removing it and I didn't sleep well the rest of the night.

Good news! No skunk. Bad news! Nothing trapped. But apples were missing. How does that happen?

Saturday we went about our day and after coming home and putting Elden to bed I noticed the trap had been triggered. Who's inside? This little guy making other-worldly hissing and barking noises:
squirrel from hell
I was sufficiently frightened, so I went inside and suited up in basically full body armor. As soon as I got the trap open he scurried out like a bat out of hell and scaled our house, which I didn't even know was a thing (it is). I reset the trap, added more apples and waited.

Nothing Saturday night or Sunday during the day. Not entirely sure there were still creatures living in said hole, Jon covered it up as a test. Around 9 o'clock last night I decided to go see if the hole was back.

Back it was. And it wasn't alone.

Four sets of beady little eyes staring back at me. I freaked out. I yelled for Jon. The eyes were unblinking. I got sweaty. Jon asked what the commotion was about. I said we either had possums or mutant mega rats. He said there was no way it was possums which only confirmed my mutant rat hysteria and I got sweatier. He spied what was in the hole and said "yes, possums. They're vicious. Get inside!" and I ran and got the sweatiest. We Googled what to use to catch them--wet cat food came highly recommended. We reset the trap with the rest of Marsala's wet food and then I had all the emotions. What if it was a mama and her babies? And we would be effectively separating them and the babies would basically die without her? Or just be heartbroken. Or be heartbroken then die. I second guessed our decision. I barely slept, and when I did I dreamt of sad and trapped possums. This morning I ran out to check the trap as soon as I woke.

It was empty. I'm teetering between wanting to keep the possum family happily intact and not wanting my porch to cave in. I put a call into the exterminators to see how they want to proceed since this seems to be a more complex project than initially thought...

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