Picture created by Eve Hoffman
|Opossums offer the world endless benefits, despite the hardships...|
Opossums are the cause of sleepless nights. Yes a family of opossums has moved in under the house once again. I suspect they are after the recent infestation of cockroaches that have tried to take over the house. The opossums I suspect has made a home under the bathtub.
In the morning hours and sometimes as the sun set, the female opossum can be seen standing upon the fence among the cats. Amazing enough the cats allow the opossum to eat and drink water without a fight or fuss. The opossums almost looks similar and act the same as the cats. The only difference is the long nose and the rat like eyes. I wonder why do the cats except the opossums, but not the dogs.
Especially Bojangles, my hunter does not care for the opossums. I have built a metal fence that separates part of the yard on the side of the house for the cats to have a safe place to eat and rest from the dogs. The area is about 200 square feet with a four foot metal fence. No matter what I do, eventfully Bojangles figures out a way in and then under the house after the opossums.
What is amazing is Bojangles has figured out how to open the gate. Even when I add things that makes noise such as a chain, Bojangles still manages to get through without a sound. At night, I have to lock the dogs in the house so they do not climb or jump the fence after the opossums. However, since the opossums have move under the house, the dogs spend some nights scratching at the bathroom floor and barking. This is were the sleepless nights come in.
Over the past 6 years of living in this house we have has several opossums families take refuge under the house. The sad part is most have not survived my dogs. The opossums just sit and stare at the dogs with confidence the barrier will keep them safe. Before I made the rule to supervise my dogs while they went outside I would find young and older opossums dead. I suspect the trap was getting water from the pool in the back yard.
Also, I have not had any opossums deaths since I have been better about keeping water on the cats side of the fence. I suspect most of the deaths came from the dogs unexpected going outside while the opossums attempted to drink some water.
I found how the cats allow the opossums in the area interesting so I went researching to see why. Clearly the opossums and cats have a mutual respect.
According to Opossum society of the United States (OSOTUS), opossums have been know since the dinosaurs. Also, the opossum is not a rat (OSOTUS). According to Opossum society of the United States report, the Opossum is similar to a kangaroo that hold the babies within a pouch to care and allow the babies to grow. The sad fact is most opossum only live for about 1 to 2 years due to predators, such as people, dogs and cats (OSOTUS).
According to Opossum society of the United States, opossums are actually a benefit to the area that they chose to live. The opossum main diet is bugs, such as spiders and cockroaches. Also, years back when I read about opossums they do not harm anything to make a home. The opossum simply takes advantage of what shelter is available, such as the opening that I leave open for the cats to go in during bad weather. Only a few of my cats care for the dogs, despite them being raised from birth. So I leave the bottom of the house open if in case the cats want to stay warm and dry in the winter and cool in the summer.
I wish my dogs could see the beauty and benefits of the opossums and allow them to live in peace. The best thing for the opossum to do if caught by one of my dogs is to play dead. My dogs are well fed and lose interest when the animal does not fight. Sad to say most of the time chasing and killing the opossums, birds, squirrels and raccoon are simply a fun sport to past the time.
This weekend when the ground is dry from all the rain storms this week I plan to take my camera under the house to see what world the cats and opossums call a safe place. Also, I am curious if we will see a nest under the tub. I know the last time I looked under the house due to a plumbing issue, there was trash from the people that lived in the house prior to me in which I have never cleaned up or removed the trash. So, stay tune and I will update this article later this week or next week with a video. Maybe we will get lucky and see the opossums.
Every-time I learn more about the opossums, my appreciation grows since the opossums is one of the greatest example of survival despite the short life and hardship the opossums have faced the past 70 millions years. As mankind faces a unknown future the opossums are a great example to take faith and keep living.
Caring is sharing. please share Bully love and Devotion to spread animals awareness and education, while helping to find homes for puppies and dogs in need.
Leave a comment. Tell me what is on your mind. Do you find opossums interesting or simply trouble?