Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Playin' Possum

I've heard that expression all my life, but I didn't expect to experience it first hand this morning, especially before my first cup of coffee. Nothing like standing in the yard at 6:00 a.m. in your pajamas talking to a baby possum.

September had finally come, and my spirits were lifted, so I decided to get up early and try to get some things done. I opened the door to feed Darby (she had been banished to the yard last night for a chair infraction), and she immediately started barking and running around beneath the crepe myrtle tree. She barks periodically, sometimes at voices in the next yard, sometimes at a neighbor's cat on a fence, and sometimes at nothing at all, but this time her bark was different - more urgent, deeper - and she was throwing herself up on the trunk of the tree and then going out and looking up in one particular place.

See Stella "helping?"

At first I was a little afraid to go see what it was - figuring it was nothing and dreading it was something I didn't want to see. I knew if it were a bird, it would have flown away; if it were a cat or a squirrel, it would be making noise. So by the process of elimination, I knew it had to be a reptile, legged or not, and I wasn't about to go anywhere near that tree.

Darby took time to eat her breakfast, and Stella Cat joined us in looking up into the tree, me from the safety of the doorway. But Darby was so frantic and worked up that I decided to venture out a little further and look at where she was barking. And then I saw it. A tiny ball of gray fur. My first thoughts were, "Kitten. Cute. Mine." But then it turned it's little head around and I saw that unmistakable pointed face. I felt sorry for it and talked nicely to it, but it was of course too scared to move and just clung to its branch.

This picture is in the general vicinity, and I think I can see some of the gray body but not the face. Too bad. It was kind of cute.

It took a lot of effort and bribing, but I got Darby in the house and both cats inside, so maybe it'll come down and leave. I wish I had time to watch and see it when it came down.

It's 7:30, and I just went out to check on the critter, and he seems to be gone. Darby accidentally ran past me and, after checking the tree and sniffing all around the bottom of the tree and yard, she agrees. Thank goodness.
Just so I won't forget: Medical transcription funny. My first report this morning with an ESL doctor, I heard: Main complaint: Mouse bite. Dr. blahblah to evaluate.... It was a 10-minute dictation, and I kept hearing things about abdominal aortic aneurysms and lichen sclerosis and a list of 12 ailments and more medications than that - but nothing about a mouse bite. She had fallen, so I kept waiting for her to have been bitten while she was down. But he finished his dictation without mentioning it again. So I went back to the first line and replayed it about 10 times and finally heard: Main complaint: I'm asked by Dr. blahblah to evaluate... Guess I have critters on my mind.


  1. Oh my goodness- I love the transcription funny! I should keep a list of those as well. I'll never forget the "allergic to salt" one though. How awful would that be to fall and have a mouse bite you, too?! =)

    Love the way Stella is helping and supporting Darby in her venture to get the possum.

  2. Poor thing, it is a relief that Stella the cat don´t chase it.


  3. You're probably the only one reading this that understands how I heard mouse bite, Molly.

    In case everyone hasn't heard the "allergic to salt" reference, it's what Molly heard instead of alleged assault.

    I'm not sure Stella was even aware that there was anything in the tree. She was just waking up, and the little thing was hanging there very quietly. It didn't waste any time leaving, though, when we went inside.