Thursday, September 6, 2012

Opossum Invasion

“Nightfall is beautiful,” I said dipping my bare foot in the swimming pool.  “It means—”
“Work is over,” Mr. Wonderful said clinking his wine glass to mine. 
“Look at the moon.  Look at its reflection in the pool.”
“Look at the opossum.  Look at it enter our house!”

As my husband and I lollygagged in the backyard calmly gazing at our house with its open French doors, a wild opossum waddled past the new pool filter gate and right inside our living room.  Now don’t get me wrong: I pick up trash at the park, I feed the hummingbirds, I donate to the World Wildlife Foundation but I like nature where it belongs.  Wild and outside.  Having an opossum in my house was too much wild nature, way too up close and personal for me.

I slugged the wine—for courage—then raced inside after Mr. Wonderful.  The lights burned in the living room, the kitchen, the bedrooms.  The whole house was illuminated like a Christmas tree during an electrical storm, which dumbfounded me as to why a nocturnal animal would choose to enter a bright house in the first place.  Maybe the opossum was confused, sick or tired of wild nature. 

On the plus side, all the lights made it easy to find the wild, black and white critter hiding under a bookcase in the guest bedroom. 
“Get the cat,” Mr. Wonderful said pointing to the intruder.  “He needs to fight this opossum.”

Thinking our shy, pampered, indoor cat would volunteer to attack a wild opossum made me realize that Mr. Wonderful was confused, sick or hadn’t drunk enough wine. 

I handed Mr. Wonderful a broom then scanning the house found Jackson nibbling kibble from his food bowl.  Sensing the excitement Jackson sauntered through the dining room and kitchen and plopped down in the hallway well out of the path of the opossum. 

“Jackson wasn’t raised on the wild plains of the Serengeti but in a West Hollywood condo,” I said.  “The only thing he’s going to attack is his catnip toy.”

Taking matters into our own hands, I grabbed a foamcore board to block off the open doorways.  Mr. Wonderful used the broom to steer the opossum out from under the furniture and into the hallway, which was right where Jackson lay—like the Queen of Sheba.

Seeing Jackson’s ample black and white body blocking his path to the great outdoors, the opossum stopped in its tracks.  The cat tilted his head at the opossum, which was just half the feline’s size.  The opossum opened its mouth to hiss and our fearless cat… playfully rolled over exposing his belly to the stranger.  I gasped.  One swipe from the wild critter’s claws would split our cat’s belly in two.  

Realizing Jackson was as fierce as dental floss, the opossum scurried past him into the night. 

Quickly we closed every door—French, sliders and kitty.  Jackson looked through the glass pane and meowed for the mean opossum to return.  Yes, our cat was confused, sick and totally lacking in brain cells. 

Or was Jackson so hungry for the companionship of other animal friends that he missed the opossum?