this page, When an opossum is attacked and can no longer defend itself through bluffing (baring his teeth/hissing nastily) or biting, it will go into a catatonic state known as “Thanatosis.” Thanatosis is a defense mechanism that apparently makes the attacking creature believe the animal is dead with the hopes of it losing interest in “killing” it. The opossum will actually appear dead when this happens. So maybe the possum wasn’t really dying, I suggested to Fred when he came upstairs to get ready for work. Fred smiled. “Maybe he’s playing possum!” Fred got ready for work, and I dozed off and on. We talked about the possum some more, and then he went back downstairs to find a cough drop and check on the possum. I had almost dropped off to sleep when he walked back into the room. “Houston,” he said. “We have a possum!” The dying possum was now up and moving around and occasionally opening his mouth threateningly. Fred went to wake up the spud so she could look at it. And let me just say, DAMN are possums stinky things. Possibly because one of their main sources of sustenance is roadkill (which would also explain why so many of them are roadkill themselves – they’re not fast enough to get out of the way of traffic). We discussed what to do with the possum. Fred was in favor of putting it in the next door neighbor’s yard, because we’re pretty sure that’s where it came from – that’s where the adult possum came from a few weeks ago, and the couple of times Fred’s seen a possum, it also came from that direction. I nixed that idea, though, because if we put it back where it came from, it would undoubtedly wander back into our yard, or Fancypants would find it in the neighbor’s yard and bring it into the house. Finally, Fred decided to take it over to Rainbow Mountain on his way to work and let it loose. He called when he got to work to let me know all had gone as planned. Let’s just hope there aren’t other adolescent possums next door ready to be snatched up and brought into the house. You knew there’d be a picture, right? Amusing possum links I found a few weeks ago and meant to link to: Fat Possum Records. Old Possum’s Book Store. The ‘Possum Pages. The Possum Cookbook. Possum Dixon. Doesn’t everyone need possum fur nipple warmers? Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (thanks to reader Fitchypoo for reminding me of this one!)

Even shaved, he’s the fanciest thing around. ]]>