Saturday, August 26, 2017

R.I.P. Petey the Possum

My husband had planned on getting a haircut first thing, but then he came in from the yard with

"I have good news and bad news."

I said, "What's the good news"

He said,"I'm not going to have to trap Petey the Possum (that's living under an evergreen shrub in our yard) and rehome him to the forest across the river."

"Why Not?", I asked

"He's dead, Jim". (Yes I'm a huge Star Trek fan).

I went to check.  Peter, indeed was laying as if well. . . playing possum by the dog dish water bowl that's in the unfenced part of the yard for the critters, as if he just laid down for a nap. Petey was by far the largest possum we'd ever seen around the neighborhood with an unusually long tail, so we knew it was him. There were no signs of injury, he was just deceased.  He wasn't playing possum though -  decomp had set it (that's something I know what to look for, Peter was just past rigor but not quite "I'm a fly motel" yet).

Technically he was in the adjoining neighbor's yard, but my husband let her know about Petey and assured her we would bury him downwind on our property.  Having once been tasked on her own to remove a dead skunk from her garage, as an older widow, she was VERY happy to not have to wrangle another deaded forest creature. We have extraordinarily quiet and kind neighbors on both sides of us so we're happy to do this.

As the deep hole was dug, my husband said, "I think he was old or sick - the other night, he didn't even hiss at me and he was walking really slowly".  I too had noticed he was out in the daytime just a day or two ago drinking a lot of water from the wild critter water bowl, not a normal sign for a nocturnal critter.

So Petey got a proper burial.
No, not here - behind the garage. There's a large chunk of concrete that used to be part of the front sidewalk to mark his spot and keep other forest critters from bothering him (we live fairly close to some city forest preserve that's hundreds of acres).

Of course, that threw the whole day's schedule off as we had an appointment at noon and our church picnic in the afternoon.

I said, "Well you don't expect a dead possum. . ."

To which my husband replied, in his best Monty Python Spanish Inquisition Voice. .

"NO ONE expects a dead possum!"

It went downhill from there as. . .

More Monty Python.

Husband: " That's no ordinary possum.  That's the most foul, cruel and bad-tempered possum you ever set eyes on."

Me:  "He's got huge sharp - eh - he can leap about --look at the bones!"

Husband:  "I warned you, but did you listen to me?  Oh no, you knew it all, didn't you?  Oh, it's just a harmless little possum, isn't it?  Well, it's always the same.  I always tell them--"

Me, "Run Away!  Run Away!"

Kidding aside, I'm glad Petey passed quietly and peacefully.  He was sometimes cranky, but never got into the trash and kept the mice population down as well as the slugs and the insects that eat our plants. I know that Abby is going to miss chasing him out of the yard.


  1. At first, we thought it was just going to be playing possum, but decomp is always a final sign. We think that a new Peter may move in, now that there's a vacancy.

  2. Hari OM
    RIP Petey; maybe not loved, but appreciated, now honoured. YAM-aunty xxx

  3. Kind hearts. I walked to and from school as a child, and when I was in elementary school, would pick up dead birds and bring them home to bury them. Used to freak out my mother, who would say things about lice and diseases.

  4. Oh Dear Petey all creatures great and small domesticated and wild deserve a proper goodbye. You found the perfect family to see to your needs.
    Run free and fast w/o any pain little friend
    Hugs madi and mom

    1. Thanks Madi and Mom - we just couldn't put him in a bag and out with the trash - every little soul deserves some respect.

  5. Oh, sorry abouts Petey. We gots them comin' around here all the time too. I bark at them butts they just stare at me. Ma pulls me away, sayin' they would do more damage to me, than I would do to them. I don't knows about THAT. butts, whatevers.
    RIP Petey. You will be missed.
    Ruby ♥

  6. RIP Peter Possum... we are glad that you found a good place to rest now... hugs to you for being such good people who care for all life...

  7. Poor Petey. May he rest in peace.

  8. Rest in peace, Petey. You served your neighborhood mightily.

  9. RIP Petey - if you were one of our possums, Choppy would (like Abby) be very sad to see you go. You are, apparently, fun creatures to chase (even when you bewilderingly drop "dead").


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

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