March 2022: A Mold Runs Through It

Spring is here. The trees are flowering, the flowers are blooming, and the bees are making it difficult to walk past the porch. The weather has been, well, mostly nice, I guess. Except for the day when five tornados went whizzing around. And the night when the wind really picked up. But, in general, it’s nice during the day and cold at night.

Where The Wild Things Was
One night I was looking out the window and saw the opossum eating. I liked watching it. It was almost zen. I knew that, afterwards, it would drink some water then wash its face and, afterwards, trundle off to where it was that opossums go after a fine meal. So I didn’t watch it finish, as I had things to do. I’m a busy man. Stuff needs to be done. I lowered the blinds and did my thing.

The next morning, while I was pouring my first cup of coffee, I realized I was standing in a puddle. I opened the doors below the sink and found a lot of water. And a lot of mold. It wasn’t the best way to start a Sunday, I thought. After I got the first coffee down, I decided to take a good look at what I was dealing with. I turned on the lights and then opened the blinds to the closest window.

Something caught my eye. I looked down at the grass and saw the opossum, laying there, almost curled into a ball. It looked kind of dead. But, you know, opossums play dead. They’re famous for it. “Maybe,” I thought, “it got frightened of something last night and now it’s playing dead.” I decided to investigate the sink, then check again in a few minutes.

I couldn’t see anything immediately wrong with the plumbing. There was no water streaming out of anything. I placed a pan under it and left it to check on the opossum. It was still laying there. “That’s an awfully long time to play dead,” I thought.

So I told my mother about it. She suggested calling various wildlife places because those types of people liked to check dead possums for babies. After some false starts, we found a place. But they wouldn’t send someone out to check and haul away the body. No, I was told that I could go out there and check the dead body for a pouch and babies. Or, if I didn’t want to do that, I could put it in a box and bring it them.

If you know anything about me, you know I get really attached to animals. Even ones that aren’t, strictly speaking, mine. It’s more than attachment, though. Sometimes I feel as if I owe the animal something. For instance, I started putting food out for the cats, not because I wanted to attract every feral animal for miles around to my patio, but because I felt an “offering” was due since I presumed the one black cat (at the time) was doing his due diligence and keeping rodents and stuff off the property.

I looked down at the opossum. The first thing I thought, then, was that it couldn’t be dead because I had seen it just last night. It looked fine! The picture of health! I hoped that when I touched it, it would spring to life and hiss at me. But it didn’t. As soon as I touched the little body, I knew that it had shuffled off this mortal coil quite some time ago. It probably ate, drank, washed its little face, then started to walk back home. Maybe, then, it felt very tired and thought to curl up and take a short nap, before continuing on to its den. If they have dens. And it never woke up.

I felt, at that moment, it deserved something more than being tossed into my neighbors yard. I knelt down, picked it up, and placed it as carefully as I could in a box. Then I put the box in the trunk of a car. Because I was still hoping, in vain, that it would wake up. And if it did, I did not want to be locked in a moving two ton metal box with a confused and wildly hissing opossum.

To wrap up a long story, I drove it to the wildlife place. They told me that the opossum was male, so no babies. Gave me a description of his condition, because I asked for a possible cause of death. When it’s dark at night, I feel it’s a good idea to know what kind of deadly things may be roaming around. They were very nice and probably didn’t understand why this large man seemed very sad at the passing of a wild possum.

In other news, the cats seem to be doing fine. Ms Squeaks looks more and more with child. She still loves her head scratches and is sure she gets them, at least once a day. Several times she looked like she wanted to come in, and I’m fine with that. When it was freezing cold during the nights, I tried to coax her inside once. She wasn’t having it, though. Lately she stands at the door and will poke her head and, maybe a paw, inside but then quickly turns around.

The two grayish cats only come by occasionally since it started warming up. Poofball cat, though, is here pretty frequently and has finally stopped running away when I go outside. Now it just sits there and glares at me, much like how Ms Squeaks used to do. There’s also a new cat I’ve only seen twice. It’s white with a gray face. There’s also the black and white cat (with a heart on its side) that comes around in the evenings. So, still full up on cats.

My neighbor got a surprise, though. One day he didn’t close his gate in a timely manner and ended up with a stray horse in his yard. He had to call the sheriff’s office and have them try and figure out where it came from. They came by the next day and picked it up.

Oh. And then there was the spider. I opened the blinds to look to see who was lounging on the patio and a small, furry, black spider with a white dot dropped in front of me. I went and got my Spider Container and came back. It fell to the floor, so I lowered the container and the thing practically jumped into it. I closed it, walked out into the yard further than I did last time, and dropped it off. I’m almost certain it’s the same spider I had to get off my monitor a few weeks ago. I expect it’ll show up again, because I saw it on the patio the other day.

I guess that’s it. I don’t remember too much else going on. Just been busy. And now I need to be busier because the grass is growing out there. Time for lawn maintenance and all that. Maybe it would be easier just to buy some sheep or goats or something.

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