A few weeks ago I was under the house putting outgrown clothes into bins for boys who will soon grow into them. I came back upstairs to tell Ted that I thought I smelled a rat, a dead rat. Some people collect stamps as a hobby, others knit, Ted rats. He heard the word rat and immediately went down to check it out. His verdict was that we were rat free but that a baby opossum had made our basement his home. He made contact with him(in the form of a “robot claw” ) but he was small and wiggled out and away to safety somewhere under the house. Over the next few weeks there were two sightings but no contact was made. We pondered ways to rid our home of this member of the family of the only North American marsupial. We knew we didn’t want to kill him(rats are a different story), so our first idea was a havaheart trap. We definately didn’t want to spend $76 plus shipping to relocate him. Years ago we had tried to catch an opossum with a havaheart trap. It didn’t work. What worked, grossly and accidentally enough was Henry’s pail of soiled diapers out on our patio. We didn’t want to bait him with Simon’s diapers, so we kept thinking.
Yesterday morning there was another sighting under the house. He got away but in the chase Ted discovered two very dehydrated and long dead rats. I felt vindicated, my nose never lies. We gave up on the opossum and set about our day. At dusk, as I was doing dishes and looking out the kitchen window, I saw him edging along under the tangerine tree, making his way to the flowform for a sip of water before bed. I called to Ted who grabbed his work gloves and he and the boys all ran outside. The opossum did his best to run, but they just can’t. He waddled up a tree and waited for Ted to grab him. We then had to figure out what to put him in and where to take him while he “played possum”. The cooler and the Methodist Church down the block seemed like safe transportation and a safe haven. In ten minutes Ted was back with an empty cooler and we’re hoping we are oposum free at last and that there isn’t a mommy or some siblings wondering where he went.