Last night at around 2 am the cat was prowling around as usual complaining about unreachable insects and promising noises in the forbidden outdoors. The sliding glass door to the back yard was open but the screen door closed, and several times she stretched up on the screen looking yearningly at the moths bumping into the porch light.

I had stopped paying attention to these antics for a while and then, around the corner of my laptop, I saw that another party had arrived. Usually this means that Dexter, the cat next door, has showed up to be a pest and taunt poor Poussin with her presence, but this was a smaller, darker, animal.

Nope, it wasn’t Dexter. An opossum was squatting just outside the screen door peering at Pouss, who was peering back. Totally in silence, the two regarded each other without moving for three minutes or so. I was expecting a catsplosion of yowling rage or at least the predator stance, but the cat remained calmly sitting, as did her new friend.

Then, almost with a sigh, the opossum turned around and headed back out into the darkness of the yard. Pouss leaped up and leaned on the screen as the other animal toddled off in the awkward way those creatures have, like a drunk old man.

Then she curled up and slept on the couch.

6 thoughts on “mildlife

  1. Hearing crunching noises, my daughter flipped on the kitchen light expecting to see her dad’s cat chowing down and instead, met eyes with a opossum who had managed to sneak in, up and into the kitchen to have himself a snack. CREEPY.


  2. chelsea is a specialist in the motionless catfight (more of staredown, really) accompanied by the extremely-low-volume growl. maybe it’s something they all do. i wish humans fought like that.


  3. possums are good
    It is my understanding that possums are badly myopic, on top of everything else, including smelly, cantankerous, and waddling. I like to think that the myopia thing is true, and is reflected in encounters such as what you describe.
    Does it count as mad-dogging, if you can’t even SEE THE OTHER DOG?
    Reminds me of an op-ed I read long ago, about how lucky people with bad vision are, because we can take off our glasses and get all poetic in the blur. Not something you two-eyes would understand.
    Also, GRRRRRRRREAT during numb-nuts meetings; it helps when you can’t see Brenda–it helps. Sort of like averting your eyes when you spot roadkill well ahead of the car.


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