Thursday, October 15, 2009

Close Encounters of the 'Possum Kind.

So, Girl dropped Dudley last night, and after an evening of manic dog activity, we settled down for a good night's sleep. Which didn't happen. I am not sure where to point the blame here. It could have been the dogs. It could have been that it was 75 degrees and humid as hell, and the A/C didn't know whether to run or shut off, and settled for keeping the house just slightly too warm. It could have been The Cat Who Was Disgruntled That The Other Dog Was Back, and bitched shrilly at 2 a.m. (or that might have been because I hadn't cleaned the litterbox yet. Whoops.) The dogs stirred to bark at the cat for waking them. So then THEY were up and I got up to let them out to pee, and staggered back to bed after they came inside. Time: 2:30 a.m. Tossed, turned, listened to dogs tossing and turning, with an occasional quiet cat bitching sound from the other room. Someone knocked something off a shelf, but it didn't sound breakable, so was hardly worth noting. Anyway, it was a lousy, lousy night's sleep, and my alarm goes off before 5. It's very, very dark at that hour, btw.

I got up, turned on the outdoor light and the indoor lights, summoned the dogs (Murphy wanted to skip peeing and go right for the morning treat) and let them out. At first all was quiet and peaceful. Then I heard a fury of barking and scrabbling erupt - and I swore and got my shoes and flashlight. But by the time I got out there, Dudley was on the other side of the yard "taking care of business" (I now think the encounter must have scared it right out of the great outdoorsdog) and Murphy was snuffling around, and I assumed that whatever they'd startled had escaped over the fence. I went back in the house and poured my first cup of coffee, turned on the computer, saw that I didn't win the lottery and had to go to work. Crap.

A few minutes later, I went to the door to call the dogs in, and only Murphy came in. "Dudley? Dudley? Want treats?" No Dudley. Oh shit, this is serious. I found Dudley standing beside the bougainvilla bush on his hind legs staring at something intently, eyes buggy with excitement. And I thought "Oh shit," and got the flashlight again. I shined the flashlight into the bougainvilla and saw what appeared to be a mid-sized possum - not fully grown. It was deep into the leaves so I didn't get a good look to confirm that is what it was, but that's my best guess judging by shape and color. I persuaded Dudley to come into the house with some strong language followed by the offering of bribes. He can always be bribed.

I'm going to have to go out in the yard with the dogs and a flashlight from here on, because this is getting crazy. And I do NOT live in the country - my neighborhood is a densely populated suburban area with no wild areas for miles. Dudley is all full of himself and thinks he's a real Outdoorsdog now - he treed a possum! Now he wants to be out in the yard all the time - Grandma's yard is exciting! Girl's going to have to watch him carefully in her new place, because it does back up to woods - far more rural than this place. The yard is fenced, but that stops nothing, of course. Outdoorsdog got lucky that this was a timid, smallish young possum - a full-grown adult with an attitude could have kicked his ass before I could get there to break it up.

The bookcases from Home Decorators Collection arrived last night and I dragged the boxes in and unpacked them and set them up, so that was my workout for the day. I really like the way they look against the French blue wall - I'll have to take a picture this weekend. Normally, folding bookcases look very utilitarian, but these had an optional mantel top, for which I opted. The top really gives them a finished, polished look, but because they are the folding type, they also look light and open against the wall. It took a bare, neglected area in the room and really made it look decorated, as well as adding useful storage space, so I consider them money well spent.

Oh, and after a long day at the office, my commute home took over an hour and a half. If that possum shows up tomorrow morning, I swear to God I will go out there and kick its ass myself.


Linda said...

Dudley's a tenacious little bugger ain’t he?

ellen said...

At least you didn't have to pry the possum out of his mouth, as I had to do with The Evil Wild Dog of the Prairie once. The beast was "playing possum" and left under its own power later. Possums seem to be pretty common in urban(ish) areas these days.