Playing possum

Woke up around 12:15 this morning and found a baby possum on my bedside table.

I’m willing to catch mice with my bare hands (and have done so more than once when my late cat would bring them in), but this thing was maybe 3 or 4" long, not counting his tail, and I didn’t want to get bit. I remembered the dustpan and brush in the bathroom, went and got that – he jumped down and ran behind the radiator (a long one that runs under the bay window). I chased him out the other end with the brush, and tried to brush him into the dustpan, which I did, but I couldn’t hold him down with the brush, which has pretty soft bristles – he jumped out and ran behind the radiator again. Poked and poked and poked, but no sign of him – there must be a hole back there, it’s right above the porch roof – so I guess he got out again. While I was down there with the dustpan and brush, I cleaned out under the radiator (which clearly hadn’t been done recently – I should have a talk with the cleaning crew :wink: ). I stayed up for another half hour reading to make sure he wasn’t, yanno, just playing possum, but there was no sign of him, so I went back to sleep.

What’s new with you?

I find it interesting that the possum ran away. We had one in our yard a few months back, and as soon as the dog got close to it, the critter plopped down on the ground and didn’t move. I was able to get to the dog and drag her away, and that possum didn’t move for some long minutes. First time I ever saw one *really * playing possum!

twicks not to be all alarmist but, should you see baby possum again, it might be best not to try to catch it but to call somebody like the landlord or an exterminator cause those things can be mean and also there could be a mama possum nearby. Possum bites are not a good thing. Plus they can carry a lot of nasty diseases.

I know way too much about possums.

Alas, I am the landlord. Guess I should do something about critters in the porch roof, eh?

“I call the big one Bitey.”-Homer Simpson

Aw, but they’re so cuuuuuute!

People – we’re getting sidetracked here. It was on my bedside table, between a stack of books, the alarm clock, and a bottle of moisturizer.

I agree that that is not a desirable place for a possum.

Kudos on your bravery, what with the jumping into action with the broom and all. I don’t know that I’d have done much more than an impression of the old cartoon ladies, putting on a skirt and heels so’s I could jump on top of the nearest table and scream “EEeeek!”

Your way is way better.

However, yeah, you gotta call someone I think. My yellow pages doesn’t seem to have “Professional Possum Removal” as an entry, but maybe you’ll have better luck with yours?

Thank you. That was all I was looking for here. :smiley:

So…was it perusing your literary choices, seeking to be a more moist possum, or observing the nocturnal habits of bipeds?

Or, it was a large rat.

Just be glad you didn’t awake at 12:15 A.M. not knowing a baby possum was on your bedside table, decided that you need to moisturize, reach over and pick up a baby possum to squeeze on your dry, chapped hands. :eek:

Oh, good lord. I don’t know what’s funnier, the comments, or the mental image of a baby possum on one’s nightstand. I will have to check mine tonight–I mean, like yours, there are books, a bottle of moisturizer, but my glasses, in lieu of an alarm clock. I think I would heartily pee my nightie should I reach over, fumble around, and find a small wild marsupial in the wee hours.

Good luck with possum-removing!

twicks bein’ the ever helpful bear that I am, I have thoughtfully and ardently (it was number three on the google list!) searched for sump’n to help you with your baby possum plight. Thus I give you the possum faq.

I already knew a lot of the stuff found there. Again, I know waaaaaaay too much about possums. My knowledge includes a couple of recipes should you be so inclined. :smiley:

twicks, how in the world did it get there, and WHY? I’m glad you weren’t bitten or peed upon.

Yet another reason twicks should be glad she did not mistake the baby possum for the bottle of moisturizer. :smiley:

We rescued a baby opossum, and before we gave him to an animal relocator (now in a state park-the possum, not the relocator) discovered that he could make himself itty bitty and fit between the bars of a parakeet cage. You might want to check for small holes.
An adult possum lived in my Mother’s attic one Summer, but never, to my knowledge, attempted to enter the living space.

This got me curious. It appears that playing possum is an actual behavior.

The last time I tried to threaten an opossum it screamed like a banshee at me. Of course, it had fallen into a trashcan and was making a bat out of hell racket at 3 in the morning.

Actually, as swampbear’s link notes, it is an involuntary raction. They pass out. This probably helps when a predator noses around to see if it is really dead. If the act was vouluntary, the critter might start up at having a dog muzzle running across its stomach, but unconscious it “ignores” such threats and many predators will leave it for dead. As long as it wakes up before a scavenger arrives, its strategy has been successful.