Thursday, April 06, 2006

Possum Central

I don't understand why people don't like opossums. I mean, look at this cute little thing. She's an arboreal marsupial, not a rodent. And that long, naked tail is prehensile. When she gets old enough, she'll carry her children in a pouch, like a kangaroo.

Her name is Leia, and she's the daughter (or son, possibly) of Lana, the first opossum I started feeding at the Cat Food Bowl of Plenty on my little back porch.

She's very shy. I tried to take photos through my screen door, but the flash just turned the screen into a blur. So I sneaked out, and she fled. I lurked. She toddled back and drank some rainwater out of an empty can of cat food left outside by my neighbors. (They are nice but tend to leave garbage out back for weeks at a time. I'm refusing to clean up after them, until I just can't stand it any more.) Then she made her way back to the cat food and began crunching. Guess she got used to the flash, because she stayed and ate while I got a few shots.

The other night I heard a scrabbling outside my front window. I pushed aside the curtains to see Leia's little paws clutching the ivy growing over the windows. I shone a light on her, to see better and perhaps discourage her from trying that too often, since if she fell, she'd crash through my screen. But she was gone. Opossums are arboreal, dude. They don't look as dextrous as monkeys, but stick 'em on a vine and watch 'em zoom upward.

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