Whack a…

possum. Yep, at 2 a. m., that’s the game I was playing. Frankly, it was not so much fun. The dogs began barking furiously at 2 a. m. Of course, it woke me. It was their “Eureka. We’ve found something and we want to kill it.” bark. I went out and there on the fence was a possum. I “shooed” it, and that didn’t work. I knew too well if I didn’t get it to go away, the dogs would bark all night. I fetched a push broom off the patio, and gave the possum a good backhanded whack. All those years of tennis finally paid off. The possum fell into the neighbors’ yard. The dogs sniffed at the fence a bit and then lost interest. I hope I didn’t kill the possum, but I haven’t called the neighbor. Possums are pretty tough, though. I’m hoping it doesn’t come around again for a rematch.

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12 comments on “Whack a…

  1. Miko says:

    Wow! I don’t know about Texas, but NZ opossoms can be vicious when provoked, so you have to be careful. Fortunately they are nocturnal and usually only seen in daylight squashed flat on the road. Never heard of one being whacked off a fence with a broom!

  2. karen1945 says:

    Texas possums can probably be nasty too. I don’t intend to get closer than broom’s length to find out.

  3. Petra says:

    Our opossums here (in the backyards) are generally quite shy. They know better than to engage in any activities involving dogs or humans.

    Not shy at all are the skunks. Many an evening, when taking a walk, we have carefully crossed the street over to the other side when one of those pretty critters was purposefully marching along – visiting a neighbor, on the way to a date, rushing to go to some skunk meeting with lots of happy stinking – what do I know what skunks do to have a good time…

    Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say is, skunks are so numerous around here and so little afraid of anything that I always close the back door after dark, even though the cats hang out there, watching evening TV in the garden. My theory is – once a skunk comes by and the cats start hissing and growling, the striped one will turn around and deliver a full blast though the screen door into the kitchen. OH NOES!

  4. Miko says:

    Skunks are rare in my world! They don’t exist at all in the wild in either NZ or Japan, but I did once see one in a Japanese zoo. I thought it was kind of cute (I’m a sucker for black-and-white critters, thanks to a certain puss). Are they ever kept as pets, or is that out of the question?

  5. Petra says:

    Did I lose a post?

    Anyway, once again – yes, they are being kept as pets, after a swift operation to take out the stinky parts.

    Some more information about the “striped cats,” as we always call them, can be found here:

    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:Pwic712iM24J:exoticpets.about.com/cs/skunks/a/skunksaspets.htm+skunks+as+pets&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

  6. Karen says:

    Skunks are one of the most likely animals to be rabid, too. I’m quite afraid of skunks, more because of that than because of the odor. I noticed the link refers to the rabies propensity too.

  7. Petra says:

    Yes, there is that danger, but never forget – I am from Germany.

    We have rabies in wild animals, but we are also trained from an early age on to mistrust that sweet little fox or badger suddenly stepping out of the woods in broad daylight and not running away. Not petting! Stay away! Alert the local forest ranger or the police! (With very young children, alert your parents, of course.)

    So, yes, there is an awareness, but I am not particularly afraid of rabies. Somehow I think I could outrun any skunk being affected and trying to chase me.

  8. Karen says:

    I couldn’t outrun a snail. Also, you might be more afraid of rabies if you’d ever had to have the rabies shot series – in the stomach. I did, when I was about 5. One of our dogs went rabid. People were a lot less careful back in those days about vaccinating their pets.

  9. Miko says:

    Rabies! Whoah, I thought they’d eliminated it. Wait, I’ve just checked, and NZ and Japan are rabies-free. Seems to be prevalent elsewhere, though.

  10. Karen says:

    Well, we have a lot of wild animals here in the US. So, yes, rabies are not uncommon in those populations. Hopefully, most people here are faithful about vaccinating their pets. Bats are another animal that are known to have high numbers that are rabid.

  11. Karen says:

    I don’t know if it has changed since I had to have the rabies shots (that would have been about 1949 or 1950), but supposedly back then, one could not ever have the series of shots again. So, I’ve always worried (only slightly) about being exposed again to rabies. I haven’t heard in recent years that the series is a one-time only, though. Hopefully, that’s not the case anymore.

  12. Petra says:

    No, the recommendation today is to have it refreshed every 5 years.

    Well, recommend away.

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