Sunday, October 25, 2009

Poke the Possum

The possums were very wild last week. They are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and foraging and living during the night. Last week they were jumping and running wildly, on the roof and on the deck. They are heavy enough to shake the house when they land (it's built on blocks). At least the big ones are. The bigger ones are brush tail possums. Sometimes it sounds as if they are going to enter the house. We often wake in some state of terror or confusion after a frenzy of activity, which includes hissing and heavy breathing when they find another possum on their territory.

We returned from Brisbane to find a hole in the bathroom ceiling... eaten through. Fortunately our little friend(s) didn't break through, or there would have been mayhem in the house. After consulting with our exchange partner, Tom screwed a piece of wood over the hole. The other thing to do is to put steel wool in the hole as they don't enjoy chewing on it... who would? The next day I noticed another hole (yikes) in the hall. Our little friend (or another friend) chewed a hole here.

We stuffed steel wool in that hole until Tom could borrow the equipment he needed from his school. Until Friday afternoon, the steel wool stayed there. Then, in the afternoon, the possum went wild. Something woke it up. Must have intruded on its territory. They were chasing, fighting, running. Scared me silly. I actually thought someone had leapt onto the deck and was breaking into the house. Then the hissing started. When we got home from errands after school, we noticed the steel wool was gone. Must have pulled it into its sleeping spot. For all we know they're building nests in order to create a warm and loving environment for their babies.

So I thought it might be fun to wake up our little friend -- I mean, he/she has woken us up the last 3 nights, and a bit of its tail was sticking out of the hole. "Poke the possum"... it took a few pokes before our buddy shifted its butt. Didn't wake up though. Too deeply asleep after its hideous noisemaking and thumping and roaring around in the night. But the tail was still sticking out of the hole, and Nicole gave it a lot of love before Tom put some wood over that little hole. Once Tom started work on the spot, the little possum awoke and treated all to more hissing and snarling... sigh.

Kai has decided to name this possum "Noke". Here's Kai's version of the events. He sleeps at the end of the house where much of the nocturnal activity happens and has been awake each morning at 5:30 when they fight as they re-enter their sleeping spots.

Noke the possum was a possum who chewed a hole in the wall. Mom and dad decided that steel wool would stop the possum. It stayed a while. Today Noke must have pulled the steel wool away because it was not there anymore. So mom got a good idea to wake it up, after waking us up.

Dad got the chair and poked the piece of fur. After a while it moved but then came back. Eventually every one got a turn. Let's hope animal cruelty doesn't come to our door!

The possum is fine, the hole is covered, and the morning fighting continues...

1 comment:

B and Co said...

Dear Brigitte,
I'm the first kid to write to you. Wow. I hear Noke just now, knocking for more publicity. I think Noke should give up. The newspaper's not going to come.