Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I am SUCH a Soft-hearted Sucker!

I wrote yesterday about the possum event Chez CBM. Well, stay tuned.

Tuesday afternoon I had a sock-knitting lesson with my good friend Madge over in Montrose, and imagine my surprise when I went out to the garage to find yet another baby possum, #5. I grabbed a handy empty coffee can and popped it over the critter. Conveniently, one of the cat carriers was still in the ever-shaky pile by the door in the garage, and I put the critter in it. Later I took the carrier and baby possum over to the Animal Shelter, where they asked me to chauffeur the little critter to James, the same care-giver who was fostering the 4 siblings. OK, it's on the way home. They rented me a humane trap for Mother Possum, along with teaching me how to work it. Deposit $50 here. Is this address on your driver's license current? TYVM, I don't think.

James is a fascinating guy. He's fostering all sorts of lost, rescued and injured creatures. He showed me a screech owl that's lost most of its sight from a traffic encounter, a mockingbird that has lost all its wing feathers and needs care until they grow back, and even a baby raven. That's 'baby' in a relative way; it's a nestling, but it's as big as most pigeons and has an amazingly big mouth. James made a heck of a try at convincing me that possums are good to have in the successful garden, eating snails, slugs, and all sorts of garden pests. No cats, unless they're really small kittens. Right. Not happening here. Thank you, James, for taking the possum off my hands.

Hello, Wednesday! I'm off to take Midnight to the vet's for a check on her kidney function, and hey, we've got something different: Another baby possum! No handy coffee can, but the carrier from yesterday was within arms' length, so I scruffed the little guy and into the carrier. Told the vet about my possum-y week, and he offered the not-comforting news that the average possum has a DOZEN babies that survive to walk around on their own feet (more die in the pouch; marsupials, right?) Oy!! Back from the vet's, open the big door: There's baby possum number 7, and it went into the carrier with sibling #6. See that picture? Those are #6 and #7

I delivered them to James, who found them a bit dehydrated and thin. I contributed a bit to his food fund, and left feeling good, if a bit sappy. So what did I do when I got home? Found a plant saucer, filled it with water, opened a little can of regular cat food (now on the shelf since Middy eats an up-price kidney-care diet), and put them out. In the garage. Behind the people door. I don't want them in my garage, but I don't want to kill them, either. I especially don't want to run over one with the car.

Now, there's the question: Catch Mother Possum or not? Leave the garage door open so she can retrieve the little ones? Sigh. Sorry, all you possum lovers, I KNOW they're not rats, I just can't get past the butt-ugly factor.

I am SUCH a Sucker!! One of my friends (you know who you are!!) is calling me the Possum Whisperer. Oy. Vey.

Oh, Yeah? About the knitting?

Well, Madge got around the gusset pick-up and has started on the decreases, working toward the ordinary around-and-around of the foot. She has Sock #2 to practice the gusset stuff on, and we'll have lesson #3 next week: Toes. It's so rewarding to have such a good student for my first knitting class!

And I stopped in at Stitches from the Heart's LYS on the way back from the vet. They have a brand new supply of gorgeous new yarns, upscale and not. They have the most amazing way of finding yarns and yarn brands I don't see elsewhere. They have skeins of North American-bred alpaca, undyed. Oh, yummy!! They have a Trendsetter version of Rowan's Tapestry that's wool and acrylic; lovely, but I got Rowan's yarn at Elann, at a great price. There are some gorgeous new wools in long-run colorways. And so forth. I try to stop in and buy a bit every time I'm in the area. They have a wide selection of baby yarns, including the best stock I know of TLC's Cotton Plus. All their profits go to baby clothes for needy kids.

I came out with yarn for a pair of socks, yarn for a baby jacket, and some of the new wool for a scarf for a northern-climate friend, a gift for the fall or winter. Plus I hit my $200 mark, and received one of their lovely big pale-blue SFTH tote bags. The last time I filled my loyalty card, I got a pair of Lantern Moon single-point needles, 10.5US size, perfect for wintery scarves. If you live in the LA area, you are missing a bet if you don't visit this LYS. It's right next to the SM Freeway overpass at Centinela and Pico.

And, btw, decision made: I just went out and baited the trap for MP


Madge said...

Oy indeed. What a saga! You're getting 1,000 bonus good karma points for being the Possum Whisperer. :)

And here's hoping Mama only had seven babies. (The average is 12? Good gracious. And that you can catch her quickly, reunite her with her young 'uns and can get back to knitting.

I'm having a great time with my socklets. You're a great teacher, CBM!

Lisa W. said...

oh poss ume....i bet that momma possum is just frantic! hopefully you've gotten them all out, but I'd leave the garage door open just in case so she can retrieve the rest of them...haha...I can just see you wrinkling up your nose in disgust as you picked #7 up by the scruff! too funny....hmmm...maybe you could just grow 'em up and hand tame them, then pluck fur for spinning possum yarn....or not!

jayne said...

Possum Whisperer, ROFL!

You do have a tender (and very large and generous) heart, and it's one of the things that endear you to all of us. I would not be able to kill them either.

The one little rat-face in the carrier looks kind of cute though...

Watch out or we'll have to call you catpossumbookmom. Ha!

Anonymous said...

I can't stand possums, but I would have done the same thing. I say catch the mama, and reunite the group. Then wash your hands real good!

Lucky Canuck said...

I knew a lady who found a family of raccoons sitting on their bums on her picnic table one day. They all scattered and the one baby went to jump over the edge of the deck (a couple of stories up). Lady grabbed it by the tail to keep it from falling. She said it just looked at her like, my hero! Major hand-washing there. Apparently that rescue endeared her to them and they kept coming back and putting their bums on her table.

I'm with you. Wouldn't want to hang out with the possums, but sure don't want to see them get in trouble, either!

mehitabel said...

Hopefully when you trap the mama, you will get a couple of leftover babies too. We've had possums nesting in our garage--have to leave the big door open, since it's too heavy to close--they never bothered my cats. The raccoons will come up on the deck and peer into our windows. They have also trapped my daughter in her car--they're big and she's not!

Cindy G said...

Oh you are a sweetie. I have a soft spot in my heart for possums, though I know I don't want a dozen in my garage. But you've built up some very good karma.

Having a Knit Fitt said...

The babies are kinda cute. But I agree the adults are beyond ugly.

catsmum said...

these sre opossums, right? possums are what we have in Australia and they are way cuter than those ratty looking things and not related to them in any way.[ but they can still be a nuisance ] oh and just btw, in New Zealand they're regarded as a pest and they make yarn out of them. Fabulous soft wonderful possum fur yarn. Seriously.