Last night around 9:30 or so, little Esther the chihuahua started barking all bat-shit crazy in the back yard. And it was her high-pitched "I'm gonna kick your ass!" bark. She was racing back and forth all along the wall between us and our neighbors. Their dog was barking, too, so at first I thought it was just the dogs being bitchy with each other.
But she wouldn't stop. I went to the door and tried to call her in, but she was in a frenzy. She began concentrating her ferocious efforts in the far corner, underneath an overhang of honeysuckle, where there's a maze of branches by the back fence. Great place for something to hide. I was pretty sure I heard something hissing loudly.
After calling her repeatedly to no effect, I was annoyed by the sound of my own voice, and imagining our neighbors saying, "Why doesn't that idiot just go OUT there and GET that stupid little dog?!"
So I grabbed a flashlight and took off toward the far corner of the back yard. I expected to see a cat, but when I got close I could see it was a gross baby POSSUM Esther had cornered back there. All pale and red-eyed, frozen in silent terror on the lowest crossbar of the wooden fence.
|Not the actual possum, but pretty much like it. Imagine this at night,|
with an excited chihuahua and a scared homosexual.
I HATE possums. Not in theory, but in practice. In theory they're just these poor little animals that we've displaced from their natural habitat. In practice they're freaky and alarming-looking, and prone to hissing and scratching and biting. Naked tails, pointy snouts, razor teeth... YUCK.
I crept carefully into the corner, underneath the twisting honeysuckle branches, trying to hold onto the flashlight and grabbing at the dog, but trying not to spook the dog so much that it chomped the baby possum, and trying not to spook the possum so much that it chomped the dog. God knows what viruses & germs that possum was carrying.
Most of the time it was so awkward that I couldn't really see the possum as I was grabbing for Esther, the light bouncing around off of snarled branches and foliage. I was terrified that at any minute I would accidentally grab the possum, or that it would leap at my face, or that its MOTHER was maybe hiding in the bush and was about to attack my face or my dog.
I really hope none of our neighbors were listening to me hyperventilating and saying something like, "Goddammit goddammit goddammit gross-gross-gross godDAMMIT!!!" over and over again.
I was finally able to snatch Esther up and dash back to the house. She did NOT want to leave her possum post, so it was a struggle. When I got her into the house I quickly closed the back door. So Esther raced straight around into the laundry room and back out her doggy door, and we had to go through the whole thing AGAIN. (Hence the title, "POSSUM-GO-ROUND.")
Dog barking, possum hissing, me grabbing Esther's hind-quarters and dragging her out of the honeysuckle, lugging her kicking and yapping back into the house, yelling at Anthony to put the cover down over her doggy door...
|Imagine this, but with chihuahuas and possums...|
An ideal version of myself would have gone back out and tried to rescue the possum, maybe kept it in a shoebox with a little blanky and some water and food until the next day. But the poor little thing creeped me out, and I was scared of its claws and teeth and nakedness.
I sat there on the couch getting my breath back, and feeling bad that over the course of the night a cat would probably eat that baby possum, because I am NOT the ideal version of myself that would have rescued it.
Eventually Fox's "Animation Domination" numbed my brain, and I fell asleep.