This last weekend was one I look forward to every summer: I kick out all the males in my house and a bunch of my good girlfriends come over for a night of fun and relaxation. We had a dinner of gourmet appetizers, some apricot daiquiris, and some wine. Then we tried out the Wii game Rockband, which my boys have been playing for about two weeks. We had to call my oldest son twice for tech support just to get it all started. We were terrible, but had a lot of fun laughing at each other. It turns out we have a few good singers in the group but no one who can play guitar or drums. Then, following tradition, we headed out to a local nightspot for some dancing to a live band near the beach. We all got back and went to bed much, much later than we do in normal life, happy knowing we could all sleep in as much as we wanted in the morning.
After lazing around all morning, drinking coffee and eating a little frittata whipped up by Em the Gourmet, we decide to get dressed and go on a walk. I go up to my room, relaxed, feeling good about going out for a little walk with my girlfriends in the fresh ocean air. I'm thinking what route we should take, as I open my closet and pull out the drawer that contains my workout clothes. I reach in to pull out a pair of pants . . .
and something moves.
black eyes looking back at me
I gasp in air, let out the loudest and most heartfelt scream my body has ever produced, and get the hell out of there. My friends are instantly panicked hearing this kind of scream and come running.
I can't speak. I finally get out the word "creature" and then the phrase "in my drawer."
Shannon instantly rises to the challenge of Crisis Management Coordinator. She goes to my room with my sister and they both bravely investigate what I am so freaked out about. She comes back out and announces, "You have a baby possum in your drawer!"
WHAT THE HELL IS A WILD ANIMAL DOING IN MY DRAWER IN MY CLOSET IN MY ROOM INSIDE MY HOUSE???
Working together, Shannon and my sister put a cutting board on top of the drawer, pull it out, and take it outside. All seven of us, still in our pajamas, follow them across the street and into the empty lot where Shannon carefully sets the drawer down and takes off the board.
The possum treats us to a good view of it's teeth and gives a little hiss for emphasis. We all back up. People on morning walks cross the street to avoid our motley crowd, apparently not at all curious what we are doing.
The drawer sits there with the workout clothes and the possum, while we all head back to the house and watch from a safe distance. The possum doesn't leave until we eventually dump the drawer out.
I continue to freak out. This is a young possum. Where is the rest of the family? Did it come in alone? How did it get in? I go online to investigate what the poop looks like so I can recognize signs of more creatures inside. Then I read that possum litters have 8 to 14 babies. My god, I think, I have to search the rest of the house! There could be 13 others and a mom INSIDE MY HOUSE! Then I read answers posted on a website in response to a woman asking how to get a possum out of her house. One suggestion is an elaborate homemade trap, another is shooting at the possum with a BB gun any time you see it in the house. Then I learn that they carry fleas that can transmit the plague and sometimes have rabies. That's when I decide I have TOO much information now and put the computer away.
My husband and boys, upon learning of the incident, think it is funny. I am not at all amused by their lack of sympathy and their failure to grasp the very serious nature of the problem at hand. My friends left (probably thankfully) and my family returned. That night when it started getting dark, I announce we are all going on a possum hunt through the house. We all go through the house very carefully and my husband, trying to hide his smirk, plays along. Thanks to my newfound internet knowledge, I find two places where a possum took a poo. I put it in a spotlight with the flashlight. My husband cleans it up after the boys carefully inspect it.
After much investigation and discussion, we decide the possum must have come in through a door that the boys had left ajar several nights ago. I have a feeling that no one dares leave that door open ever again.
We find no other possums. But I didn't sleep well that night, listening for evidence of something creeping around in the dark. In fact, I am listening pretty carefully right now. I think there could certainly be more in the house. My husband thinks I am just being paranoid.
So tonight I will play a little joke on him. I am going to put a small stuffed rat that belongs to one of my boys into my husband's drawer. I wonder what he will do?