By Gary Bogue
Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 6:45 am in Opossums.
Woke up this morning to my cats staring intently up at a closed kitchen drawer. Didn’t think much of it at the time since they ALWAYS seem to be staring intently at SOMETHING!! When I opened it later, I quickly closed it when I saw a long tail retreating to the rear of the drawer. I was positive that a mouse or a rat had somehow found their way in. Imagine my surprise when I took a closer look and found this little guy curled up in the back of the drawer! (see above picture) What a cutie!! We ushered him outside and last I saw, he was heading into the field behind the house. I sure hope he finds his way back home!
Finding another baby opossum tonight in the 3rd drawer down (the first was the top drawer) is leaving me with a not so cute feeling! I’m wondering if there is maybe a family living under the house … and obviously an entryway INTO the house behind the cabinet. I’ll research that part by myself, but any ideas on what to do with the opossums? Are they dangerous to the few feral cats that live in the field behind the house?
Pat in Antioch, California
You are not the first (or probably the last) person to write me about finding a baby opossum in your silverware drawer (or a drawer in your bedroom dresser, or in a closet, or … ). Pretty common. Opossums don’t nest. Mom carries babies around in her pouch until they get too big to fit, then they ride around on her back, until they get bigger, it gets crowded up there, and they start to fall off.
The opossum in your photo is the size baby opossums are when they start falling off mom’s back and taking off on their own in the big, wide world. The mother opossum probably sleeps somewhere under your house and the babies are starting to strike out on their own. Releasing them in the field is perfect. They won’t hurt any cats. Opossums are actually quite gentle creatures, as wild creatures go. Do be careful when transporting these little characters. They will bite if frightened. /Gary