Friday, September 14, 2012

It May Be a Great Name for a Lake (and a Rock Song), But My House Will Not Become a "Possum Kingdom"

Last night, there was a mystery afoot at Casa de Kev...

Yesterday morning, when I went into the kitchen, I noticed that a couple of kitchen towels were on the floor, and the little scrubber brush that usually sits above the sink was in the sink; a few of the plastic cups on my counter had also been knocked over. I wondered if we'd had a very small earthquake overnight; i didn't think anything could have run into the house, because I'm too far back from the street and on an elevation.

Those things were a minor annoyance at worst, but I was even more annoyed that the vent duct on my dryer (which I was about to use) was disconnected from the wall, and it took me quite a while to reattach it. But once I got that done, all was well and I left for teaching.

Upon my arrival at home last night, there was no further sign of mayhem in my kitchen, save for one thing: The carafe portion of my coffeemaker, which was drying separately on the counter when I left, was sitting in the middle of the floor! It was unbroken, mind you, but on the floor...and I doubt that it got there on its own power.

So my next-door neighbor and I came to the conclusion that it had to be a critter in the house--maybe a squirrel or large rat, something strong enough to knock the coffee carafe off the counter. And to tie yesterday morning's two events together, it had likely gotten in through the dryer vent...which was, at that moment, preventing its exit.

But a fairly thorough search of the house turned up no sign of a critter, nor had I seen the usual things that accompany such a thing (things chewed up, droppings, etc.). My plan was to leave some things randomly placed on the kitchen counter to see if there was a repeat performance, and I wasn't sure how well I would sleep...

But wait--there's more! The critter was spotted. I found it behind my washer, and appeared to be either a ginormous rat or a possum (the nose made it look like the latter). It was closed up in my laundry room as I threw out suggestions to my friends who were up late on Facebook, and the consensus was to call animal control, who we (correctly) assumed answered their phones 24/7 and dealt with after-hours emergencies.

And just like that, the "siege" was over. The Animal Control guy came in, ducked behind the washer, and carried the possum out of the house by the tail with his gloved hand. I could finally sleep in peace!

(And later today, I'll make sure that the outside of my dryer vent--which opens up into the neighbor's yard--is properly covered.)

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