Thursday, December 19, 2013

Playing Possum

   You know it's going to be an interesting morning when you are awakened by one of your dogs absolutely losing her SH**. Aki was going wild, and my first thought was she must really have to pee!" So I leapt out of bed and flew down the stairs to the back door flung it open. Cleared for takeoff, the dogs jetted off the deck. They ran straight to the back of the yard where the spirea bushes are… And plunged in. It was dark, but the floodlight illuminated the flash of underside their curly tails, and I could see that they were wagging wildly. They had found something good. Taylor started barking and howling and jumping about. Aki was silent...
   Suddenly I saw her pick up a large heavy object in her jaws, and shake it violently back-and-forth. Whatever it was, it was larger then my cat. I knew it was either a large rabbit or a possum. And my bet was on the latter, based on past experience. I ran out in the yard in my pajamas and bare feet, hoping not to step in landmines. It was so dark that it was difficult to make anything out, but as my eyes adjusted the possum appeared, lying on its side, completely motionless.
   Again, past experience told me that meant nothing… These guys are masters at faking death. Before I could stop her, Aki leapt in, picked up the possum, and shook it wildly back-and-forth again. I was screaming at the top of my lungs for her to "LEAVE IT!!!" I must've awoken all the neighbors, and they must think I'm crazy. I just couldn't bear to think of how much pain that poor possum must be in every time she shook it. I didn't want her to kill it.
   I kept screaming, and she finally dropped it again. I was able to grab her by her martingale collar so it tightened around her neck and she couldn't get away from me. I held her at arms length, while I reached down with the other hand and laid it on the possum's fuzzy side. I felt its body recoil ever so slightly, wanting to escape, but obeying the cowardly instinct that often keep these guys alive. Not with Aki; she's way too smart for that and polices the body, delivering blow after blow like &&&& in Zombieland with "the double tap".
   I could feel that it was still very warm, and its heart was beating rapidly. It was wet. I worried that it was covered in blood, and that Aki had seriously injured it. Critically injured it. I drag her by the collar back into the house, looked on the light, and looked at my other hand. To my release I saw nothing… I must of been feeling Ochuse saliva on the possums code, not blood. I close the dogs in the kitchen and fed them, while I went out on my run. I knew that would give the possum ample time to come to, shake itself off, and gamble away out of my yard, into the safety of… Anywhere other than my yard.
   I sure wish I could teach these stupid animals that hunters live here. And sure enough, when I return from my run, it was no sign of the possum. He lives to invade my yard another day. And while it may seem weird to many, I think it's pretty cool that I got this start my day by petting a possum. :)