I know a lot of people on this board find possums to be vile creatures that must be exterminated immediately. I think they are kinda cute, too and absolutely fascinating! I occasionally have them come around and just give them a wide berth. My corgis do a pretty good job of keeping them at bay. I think my pot-bellied pig may chase them out of the barn at night, as well.
Possums aren't evil, but the diseases they can carry are. However as animals they do crack me up...I love the display they put on when confronted, all hissing and teeth until you get too close and then wump! Playing dead. (some are easier to rehab because they won't stop playing dead while you're bandaging them, LOL)
I've had my feral cat food taken by all sorts of wildlife. 2 racoon brothers Bartles and James used to love stealing it, although Bartles would also give way to the cats and then sit close by and beg. Crows like cat food too. Had a skunk enjoying it once, smelled it but never saw the little sneak.
Funniest was the time I went outside to put out fresh food in fall and I have one of those small Dogloos out there for the cats...there was a coyote tail and nose poking out of it. Putz Puppy, an old as the hills coyote I rehabbed once had decided if he scrunched really really small he could wedge himself in there. I'm surpised I didn't need a shoehorn to get him back out again, but he came out stretching and yawning looking for breakfast himself, LOL! After that I made him a little house unde the deck...the deck where I feed the cats and put out the cat homes is a second story deck and wildlife has never had issues coming up there.
I've lost one feral cat...the other got a cat door into my garage this fall and the heated bed put in there.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
I've had all kinds of variety of cat food thieves, possums, skunks, coons.... but the funniest one was the pair or racoons that strolled in through the cat door, walked straight past the big bowl of food and went for the whole bag. This caused a bit of a ruckus, as the two were trying to shove a 25 lb bag of cat food through the cat door
We chased them away and locked the door, only to have them come back for a repeat attempt, find the door locked, so they stole the welcome mat in frustration. Hubby caught them dragging it down the stairs.....
I guess they were getting supplies for a big party or something......
Too funny about the coons and the bag of food. They're a quick study.
Yes, possums love cat food. I can't tell you how many I've picked up by the tail, popped them into a small carrier and relocated. They're poop is toxic waste, that's for sure. And they are supposedly one of the most heavily parasitized mammals in the US. Cute as youngsters but as adults; not so much. And STUPID! EPM is no joke as most of us know, but possums are everywhere and most horses really are immune to the protozoan. We have a whole herd of cats so not leaving them food out really isn't an option. I leave out lesser quantities. Having a good dog around who will go after them really is the thing. That will make them leave and not want to come back. They really are kind of yucky. Just eating the cat food they slime the food and water bowls. Blech!
Neat thread - really loving all the stories about everyone's fuzzy visitors.
We've has skunks, possums and raccoons all stop by to visit with the cats and share some snacks. My favorite story is the time my friend was picking up her daughter and starting calling to the fuzzy black and white "cat" in the ivy bed. When it got closer and raised its tail she realized her mistake, ran back to the car in the nick of time and called to tell me her daughter would be spending the night!
I have a cat door with a swinging door cut into the outside wall of my tack room (from the aisle into the tack room). The tack room is heated and the cat food is kept there. I didn't want to keep the cat food out in the barn because I didn't want to encourage critters coming into the barn to eat it. One early horse show morning I must have been really quiet because when I went into the tack room I surprised the biggest raccoon I have ever seen in my life. He was happily eating the cat food and we both stopped dead still and looked at each other. I quickly backed away and left the man door open to encourage him to leave. For the life of me, I don't know how this monster raccoon squeezed himself through the cat door!
Not a cat food story, but I just went out to feed my boys during the remnants of Ida (nothing major at all-just rain). As I was throwing the boys their dinner in their run-in, I looked out and saw a fox in the paddock. He continued to meander TOWARD us, curiously-until I threw a jolly ball in his direction. At that point, he trotted about ten feet away then SAT DOWN and watched me feed the boys. After about ten minutes, he got up, STRETCHED and trotted out of the paddock. He was awfully relaxed......
EPM is no joke as most of us know, but possums are everywhere and most horses really are immune to the protozoan.
Exactly - having had horses at home for over 40 years, mine have been exposed to possums over and over again and I can't remember a time when they weren't around. Maybe I'm a bad horse owner for not killing them on sight, but my experience with possums around the farm has not put my horses at risk, in my opinion. Possums around the farm is just not something I'm going to lose sleep over.
Interestingly enough, my Corgis will chase just about anything off the farm that they view as not belonging there. However, possums are not one of them. They'll chase them if the possum takes off, but otherwise, they pretty much leave them alone. My pot-bellied pig will chase them off, however. I think it's because the possums tend to help themselves to the pig's food which just chaps his hide!