Monday, April 03, 2017

A sleepless, restless Night

Indeed, it started out all right.  I crawled under  the covers and then heard noises out on the patio right outside my bedroom. 

I have succumbed to feeding a feral cat for the last week or so.  The feral cat has been around for a couple of years.  Here even before Velcro the cat died!  But, I have not fed it until last week when I noticed that she was VERY pregnant.  I had to feed her.   Even though I've been told not to feed feral, I thought it was her except for the fact that she eats quietly and whatever this was was not quiet at all but moving the bowl around and making weird noises.

A couple of days later, while sitting with the doors and windows open, I heard little mews and crying from baby kittens!  I walked all over the garden and decided that they are in a clump of aloe vera that is six feet tall and about six to ten feet wide and six feet deep.  If they are in there, I cannot get to them without a pith helmet and a suit of armor.  That aloe vera has thorns about an inch long.  Mama cat would be smart to have
had them somewhere inside there.  At least they  would be safe, I thought. 

Then I never heard the kittens again.  I have continued to feed the Mama cat.  I thought it strange if she had already moved them, but you never know.

Last night I found out why she might have moved them or that they have met their demise.  ANÖTHER possum was trying to eat the left over food that I put out for the Mama cat!  I heard the bowl moving at about 11PM, got the flashlight to see if it was the Mama, but instead it was a big brown possum. 

The one who died a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about was grey and white.  I went out to retrieve the bowl, after I had put on running shoes and a big heavy fluffy robe as armor.  Heck, you never know if a wild animal is going to run away from you or at you.  This one just stood and watched me.  I could not have been more then three feet from it.  You can rest assured that I never took my eyes off of it as I picked up the bowl and backed up into the house.........

I turned out the lights.  Got back in bed and then my mind went crazy thinking about it out there and had it eaten the kittens.  I also wondered why in the world I have had three possums here in the last couple of months.  (You can rest assured there will be no more cat food outside)  Then I wondered how to get rid of
this possum!

I don't mind having created a nature sanctuary here, sort of, but couldn't it be sweet bunnies or something docile with no big teeth and claws that decides to take up residency?  So far it has been a coatamundi, a skunk, squirrels, feral cats and the good creatures - the hummingbirds, the red headed woodpecker, the vermilion flycatchers and the chartreuse birds that I have no idea what they are - oh and the gazillion of bats on my roof who decimate the mosquito population so that I can sit outside all year and never have any problems.

Anyone have any ideas how to get ride of possums?  I had the brainstorm in my foggy brain this morning to call Ecologia and see if they have a trap or something that they could come set and that they could come get when there is something inside of it.  I am going to check to see if that is a possibility.  Then they can take it
farther into the campo to release and let it live.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of the possum.  Hopefully with no food other then berries in the trees and natural food, it will go away on its own.  Wishful thinking?


Cat in KC MO said...

Babs, if it were me, I would keep putting food out for the cat, but bring it in at night. In the area were I live (KC, MO), normally you only see possums after it gets dark.

norm said...

Barrow a two year old Jack Russel, that will be the end of your varmints.

Babs said...

Cat, the feral cat was hanging around here until Friday and now I have not seen her again, except for a very short period yesterday. She used to sleep on top of the chaise or under it. I guess the possum has scared her. If I see her, I'll put food
out for her at that time. Good point about them coming out at night.

Norm, I don't know anyone with a Jack Russell. How about a cocker spaniel or some other kind of dog? Great idea. I guess it is time for me to get another dog. When Flash was alive there were NO varmints in the yard........

norm said...

A full size wiener dog can be hell on varmints, the main thing is getting a dog that back in the day was kept to keep the farm yard free of vermin. Dogs that do not mind going down the hole after some pest. My Jack in her day was known to kill racoons weighing in over 30 pounds and she is but 15 pounds at best. She is over 17 years old now and in her retirement years but in her heyday, she was fast enough to kill with one bite. We never ever left her alone with little children, she was ok with cats and puppies but I never trusted her with little fingers.

Wire terriers are good pest control , really any terrier enjoys killing vermin. I would see if a friend with a young dog would let you keep it for a month. I'm sure that would send the possums and what not on to safer ground. Most dogs that live around cats are willing to leave them alone if its is explained to them in a stern tone of voice. That's my experience anyway.

Babs said...

Thanks Norm for all the info. I would LOVE to have a weiner dog or something. I have to go to Texas for several weeks soon, but when I return, I'll be getting a dog. It has been way too long without a pet. I'll borrow my son's cocker spaniel and see if Scout has any interest in checking out the bushes for varmints. Doubtful, but you never know.

I did not hear or see the possum last night - thankfully.

Unknown said...

Norm has good advice. Here's the Wikipedia introduction to their piece on terriers: "They were used to control rats, rabbits, and foxes both over and under the ground. Some larger terriers were also used to hunt badgers. The word terrier comes from the Middle French terre, derived from the Latin word for earth, terra. Terrier is also the modern French for "burrow"." A spaniel, including your son's cocker, is a bird dog, bred with a soft mouth to retrieve game, while a terrier will happily dispatch any and all vermin. My husband had a non-pedigreed small terrier on a city lot rife with moles. At the end of one month, there were no moles, and the dog was still a pup.

Babs said...

Wow, thanks so much for sending this info. I really appreciate it. My son, a former wildlife biologist told med this morning that if I don't put the food out the possums won't come, we'll see. There were non last night, thankfully. I do live next to a canyon where there is plenty of wildlife, so I'm not surprised that they smelled the food!

alcuban said...

Don't you be getting a dog without consulting with me. We have some fine specimens living outside our gate, neutered and ready to go. Have a good trip to Texas. We're living Monday.


alcuban said...

How about leaving Monday? We're already alive.


Babs said...

I won't be able to go to Texas til mid-May,Al. First, I had to send my passport to CDMX to be renewed as it expired in March! And then last night my tenant let me know
that she is vacating the guest house early on April 30th, so I need to find a new person and get the place ready to re-lease.......Wish I could be following ya'll up. That would have been ideal. Oh well. I promise I won't go get a dog before I come to your place! I promise.
I know you already told me when you're returning , but I don't remember when.....