Harriet the Possum


Harriet the Possum, May 26th, 2020

It was hot today in Healdsburg. The high temperature was around 103F and it didn’t cool off much after sundown. At 11 PM it is still 75F.

We have the window air conditioner going, but that just cools the living room, hallway, and bedroom. We opened the windows to the bathroom, den, kitchen, dining room and laundry room next to the back porch to let in some cooler air. The fans are going, too.

I opened the back door to the laundry room to let in more cooler air. It’s 81F in the un-airconditioned parts of the house. Then I went out to sit on the cooler back patio and look at the bright stars overhead.

Buddy came over and laid down at my feet on the cool concrete. Then we heard an animal banging on Buddy’s cat food bags in the laundry room.

I walk over and shine my flashlight in the laundry room. Harriet the possum runs away and hides behind the washer and dryer. Damn, Harriet is ugly. She’s covered in thin black hair and has a long rat tail to boot. The nose is way too long and those beady eyes… It’s no wonder that possums are the only marsupials to survive in North America for millions of years. They are too ugly to eat.

I don’t want to get a broom and force the possum out. That would scare Harriet and she’d no doubt shit and piss all over the place. So I place some of Buddy’s food on the back porch and go back to sitting on the patio next to Buddy (who seems totally unconcerned.)

Soon I hear Harriet banging on Buddy’s cat food bags again. Good grief! So I go back into the laundry room. Harriet is hiding again behind the washer and dryer. This time I shake Buddy’s cat food bowl full of his salmon cat food nuggets in front of Harriet and place it on the laundry room floor.

As I sit on the patio next to Buddy, I hear Harriet eating Buddy’s cat food. Possums are noisy eaters.

Then Harriet starts banging on the cat food bags again.

Okay, this time I go into the laundry room and again, Harriet is hiding behind the washer and dryer. She ate the cat food on the porch and ignored the food in Buddy’s cat food bowl in the laundry room. I move Buddy’s cat food bowl outside onto the porch. I put the cat food bags up onto the laundry table. And retreat again to the back patio and sit next to Buddy.

Soon I hear Harriet crunching down on Buddy’s food on the porch. This goes on for a few minutes, then quiet. Harriet is full of cat food and has shambled off to the orange tree for desert.

Possums are dumb, and ugly, but they survive. Harriet convinced me to feed her tonight. So who’s the dummy?


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