The Possum King

Graham has been saying for years now that Izzy is half-cat, half-possum. Which may be true. I got Izzy when he was a kitten – actually, I didn’t “get” him, my sister called me one night to tell me that she’d put a kitten in my apartment because she thought I might want it. I already had The Cat, by the way, so with one unexpected phone call, I had two cats, a 400-square foot railroad flat, and zero desire to clean up after any of it. Basically, I was the worst kind of 25-year-old cat lady in the world with the exception of animal hoarders, who are clearly out of their filthy minds. Izzy looked like a normal kitten. Gray and white, blue eyes, partially Siamese. Because of that last part, he was a little…off. Siamese cats are known to have attitude problems, and by that I mean they’re fucking crazy. Most of them are mean, some are mentally retarded (and I mean that in the most literal, true sense), and they have this weird thing where their pupils don’t sit still. Seriously, they just kind of vibrate. It’s like looking at a person who’s looking out the window of a moving train. At first I thought that Izzy might be blind, but he’s not. He sees just fine. He’s just slightly cross-eyed and does that vibrate thing, and also he’s fairly stupid.

Graham didn’t like Izzy at first. I didn’t blame him. Izzy had this thing about cleaning himself in that he refused to do it, and as a result, he had these gigantic dreadlocks that he wouldn’t let me cut, and also his dander situation was just out of control. Graham is allergic to cats but mostly okay around The Cat, and he didn’t understand the point of a cat he couldn’t pet for unhygienic and also antisocial reasons. When Graham and I agreed to move in together, I decided to take care of Izzy’s dreadlocks and cleaning situation myself by pinning him down for close to an hour to cut all the naps off, then trapping and wiping him down with wet towels for another 30 minutes, and then forcing him to at least not have a nervous breakdown when I brushed him. And since then, he’s been okay. He’s still not the most self-motivated cat in the world, but having this house has improved his mental state, and he’s obsessed with Graham to the point where he’ll fall over on his side if Graham is walking anywhere near him, not because he’s afraid but because he wants Graham to rub his belly with his shoes. I don’t understand this part, nor do I understand the way he doesn’t know how to let someone pet him. Like, you know how most cats will rub the side of their head on your hand or something to get your attention? It’s as if Izzy wants to do that, but he hasn’t figured out the mechanics yet so he sort of just rests his canine (feline, in this case?) tooth against your finger and sits there making this gross rattling sound. Which is how he meows.

Anyway, like I said, for years Graham has referred to Izzy’s genetic background as part-cat, part-possum. He sort of looks like a possum. For a long time, he was antisocial like a possum. And this cat-possum hybrid theory may be closer than we previously thought, because I think this motherfucker might have come into our yard last night to kidnap back the Possum King* of our house.

I apologize for the blurriness and lack of light. I was leaving for work before sunrise (per usual) and I’d just heard something too slow to be a squirrel or rabbit moving on the other side of the yard. Turning, I saw a silvery blob of fatness crawling up the mulberry tree and got only as close as I was comfortable (probably seven feet away, because who knows if those vermin bastards can leap?) to take the photo.

What do you do if a possum is in your yard? It’s not living in any part of the house and doesn’t stick around that I know of, but possums are fucking scary. What on earth are they? Are they marsupials? I want to say they are. I have no desire to wiki it or I’d know for sure. I mean, I guess if they are marsupials, it’s kind of cool to just have one hanging out in my mulberry tree, but at the same time, we don’t have floodlights in back (until Graham replaces the bulbs, hopefully around the same time he cuts the grass and rakes the million and a half sweet gum balls in the backyard so we can finally have people over without worrying about all of our friends breaking their ankles) and I don’t want to surprise some pissed off possum in the morning when I’m  just trying to go to work. Those things have rabies, you know. They eat the garbage. They’re really unsanitary and I don’t even think Izzy would want to hang out with them.

*Note to self: “The Possum King” is a great hipster band name.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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5 Responses to The Possum King

  1. Carmen says:

    You definitely don’t want to mess with a possum. In the animal world, they’re the equivalent of JeffCo tralier trash on meth,,,,nasty-ass nocturnal scavengers with bad attitudes, usually lotsa babies somewhere….if backed into a corner of the yard, they’ll tear your dog or cat’s face off. I saw one prowling around my backyard once….the next day, it rained like hell and actually filled up the plastic garbage can with water…..I peered over the edge and found THAT possum, dead, all grey and swollen, floating…it had crawled into the can and drowned. I’m still traumatized by the mental image of those icky possum teeth “smiling” at me….

  2. Karisma says:

    Carmen is right about their teeth. Possums eat what is left after say for instance a road kill. Their teeth are so sharp they can break bones in half and they are not friendly when cornered. Look around your yard and see what might be attracting your possum. Garbage can, etc. You might have to move it for awhile until the possum leaves and he will leave on his own if he has no food supply. He could of course be after your neighbors garbage and it just might be your tree is the one he has chosen to hide in. Also, he will not run up and attack you..he is just as much afraid of you as you are of it, however if you go after him he will defend himself..if playing dead doesn’t work. Remove the source of food and he will go away.

  3. Carmen says:

    Right, Karisma —- it’s usually just the mere prospect of food that attracts a possum to a yard….garbage cans, dog droppings (ick!), fallen fruit from a tree, bird feeders, compost pile, BBQ grill….any organic matter or residue that would interest a scavenger. Mama Possums in particular turn extra nasty and defensive. If you see her, her babies are probably nearby somewhere. (Uh-oh….did Erin’s blog and comment gallery suddenly turn into “Animal Planet”….??!)

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