I found him when I went out to dip candles (I will talk about that another day) sitting on the table where we feed the porch cats. He glared at me and kept eating. I could see why, this was one of the biggest possums I had ever seen. Half again bigger than the porch cats, and we are talking Texas Farm Cats here. Peppy, who would give Harry Dresden's "Mister" a run for his money was having nothing to do with him.
Bear, the Sheppard/Rott puppy Helene got me for Christmas, was more than ready to take charge. Bear is the new hire at HomePlace and eager to prove himself. He isn't full grown but thinks he's the size of a draft horse, and if his feet are any indication he may make it. I love Bear's willingness but in D&D terms he has strength second to none and intelligence of almost one!
Now if you folks know posseums you know they have teeth and claws and are more than willing to use both. They can be rabid, and even if they are not the bites and scratches can cause infections. Not to mention they hurt like hell in addition to the physical damage they can cause. This guy had the look of a mean drunk looking for a fight. I wasn't eager for any of us to experience that first hand.
Now I know some of you are saying "Why not just run him off?" Did you catch the 'mean drunk looking for a fight' part?
Truth be told, as hardnosed as I try to present my self, I had tried to run him off two nights earlier. He and I scared the daylights out of each other when I came on him while collecting laundry. If I hadn't dropped the laundry basket between us when I reached for the broomstick to run him off with it could have been ugly. The problem is once they learn food is available they will keep coming back. Now he sat at the cats dish glairing at me as if to say "I would have seconds when you have time."
Since he was on the porch I stepped into the house and got the old Winchester 69A .22 my Dad taught me to shoot with. I wanted something that would stay in friend possum. I also wanted something that shot strait enough to put him down instantly. I wanted to take him out but didn't want him to suffer. One shot and it was all over. The cats were gone and Bear wanted to know what he had missed.
This happens about half a dozen times a year. It isn't all bad news. Half the time the intruders are raccoons and they end up in the freezer. Waste not, want not. I wonder how one cooks possum?