Sunday, 20 May 2012

Unwanted house guest

Remember I said there was lots of stuff knocked over when we came back from the mountains? Well we were thinking maybe a rat or something as it was big enough to have knocked over heavy ish things. One evening I was sitting watching tv on the sofa and I start to hear some scrabbling behind the fireplace. It was one of those noises that the more you listen for it the more you question if you heard it in the first place. I ignore it but about half an hour later there was the scratching again which was followed by an unmistakeable sneeze. Houses always creak and make funny noises but never do they sneeze!

I called in my housemate and we continue to watch tv. At one point I glanced over to the fireplace and I can see a nose poking down. My housemate was rather confused when I started saying “A nose! A nose! I can see a nose!” and pointing at the fireplace but sure enough she saw the nose too. This wasn’t a rat sized nose. This was something bigger.

Possum Santa
For the next couple of hours we took turns at manning the fireplace. After a while the nose was followed by a face. It was a possum. For those of you who don’t live here; possums are everywhere. You can’t walk through the park after dark without tripping over one of the things. They are fairly used to humans but can be vicious if they feel threatened.

Anyway we went to bed and everything was fine until I was woken up by a huge crash. The possum was in the kitchen. We tried to chase it out the back door but it wasn’t playing ball and ran back to the fireplace. As my bedroom is right next to the kitchen I went and slept in my absent housemates bed for the night.
We woke up to find the kitchen trashed. Glass shards covered the floor, there were footprints everywhere and it smelt disgusting. We tidied up as best we could and then went to work as you might be able to skip work as you have a cold but you can’t skip work as you have a possum.

We think it can’t have been very bright as it must have fallen down the chimney to get stuck inside the house. If it was able to leave it would have as it cant have found food and the soot made it sneeze.  Or maybe we had the possum Santa visit us? I did not appreciate the presents he left!

The next night it got more adventurous even coming out of the fireplace and sitting on the coals while I was in the room. At one point I was in the back room and I noticed it was in the kitchen. I opened the back door and went to sneak round it to chase it from the other side. I must have startled it as it ran back to the living room. I went and stood very still in the corner for what felt like ages until it went past me again. It was then a simple matter of not startling it and shooing it out the back door. Success! It pottered out the back door and seemed rather surprised to be outside again.

We told the landlord of course and he sent a man 2 days after we got rid of it ourselves! Once everything was disinfected you couldn’t tell we had a furry visitor at all. Lighting the fire for the first time might be interesting though, mmm roast possum poo smell. But other than that no damage done. Interestingly enough my housemate preferred the possibly rabid possum that smashed the kitchen to the tiny mouse that did nothing.

Australia always has to up the ante! In the UK the worst you get falling down the chimney is a confused pigeon not a damn possum!