Sunday, December 11, 2011
Opossum in My Overcoat
A man in a truck was driving the opposite direction and slowed down as she called to him. He stopped and waited to warn me of oncoming cars as she darted over to the opossum, she laid her Bill Blass overcoat on the ground and tried to coax the animal to walk onto the coat so she could then pick it up. The animal remained frozen, so she wrapped the coat around it, carefully picked it up and ran to the sidewalk. The opossum allowed her to carry it, but once they were across the street, it struggled to get down. She held onto it and put it in the open back of the man’s truck.
She asked the nice man to follow her to her apartment complex, which was just around the corner. Without letting him see which apartment she lived in, she ran up to her place and got a cat carrier. She went back to the truck, and the man helped her put the opossum into the cage which she then put in her car.
She went on her way and proceeded to call the city of Dallas about animal rescue, but they were unavailable. She called her mother who suggested she call the Highland Park police who are very resourceful. They were, indeed, as they gave her the name of a woman in Oak Cliff who is licensed to rehabilitate opossums. So she contacted Donna, “the opossum woman,” and drove out to Oak Cliff at 10:30 p.m.
When she arrived, her husband and she rushed out, unscrewed the cage and picked up the opossum (putting their hands under the belly to avoid being bitten). They knew exactly what to do.
She Fully Recovered
It turns out the opossum was a female, and called her Lucy. Weeks later, she called Donna and she said that Lucy was fine and that she had let her out on a green belt after her recovery.
“I never thought I would impulsively risk my life, ruin my favorite designer coat and let a strange man follow me to my apartment complex, but it was all worth it as it had a positive outcome. The funny thing is that, at the time, I didn’t even know what kind of animal I was rescuing. I thought it might be an opossum. Since then, I have learned a lot about opossums, which are marsupials that carry their babies in their pouches (from the kangaroo family, not the rat family). I now live in an area where opossums roam around my property at night and sometimes I leave a little food out for them.”
There are more than 60 different species of opossum, which are often called possums. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.