The Night Visitor
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The midnight marsupial learned how to get to the cat's platform in the summer of 2002. Since then he's become quite bold, coming earlier in the evening. Sometimes we find him out there when we take Goldie for her last walk. Then great excitement ensues.
The first time we caught him with his snout in the trough was about four in the morning. William was leaving early for work and went out with the dog to feed up. The dog went berserk. William went for the camera. The possum held his ground:
possumface1.JPG (39002 bytes)
Or backed into a corner, depends on your point of view.
possumrear.JPG (38945 bytes)
Here are several more:
  
possumface2.JPG (38949 bytes)
possumface3.JPG (39926 bytes)
possumface5.JPG (40988 bytes)
By Spring, 2003, we're up to at least three regulars. After one spent the night on top of the cats' house and interfered with the breakfast feeding we decided that the time had come to take steps.
Step one, harassment. Poke at 'em with a stick
. Doesn't work. They're either too smart or too dumb.
harass7.JPG (40410 bytes)
Step two, Havahart.
  He's over the top,  looks back and laughs. Back to the drawing board.
one_that_got_away.JPG (51499 bytes)
Step three. A few nights later the other big possum was back, and had settled in entirely too comfortably  in the cats house.
squatter.JPG (26612 bytes)
We set the trap right up to the door and left. In the morning, success.
like_a_rat.JPG (40892 bytes)
He thinks he can talk his way out of it,
  but it's transportation for this bloke.
nor_iron_bars_a_cage.JPG (34696 bytes)
possumride.JPG (33961 bytes)
We took him about five miles, to a spot where the Palmetto Trail, running alongside Fort Jackson, crosses Colonel Creek.
The trail comes out to the road there, and there's a foot bridge over the creek.
We didn't have to push to get him out of the trap.  
possumstump.JPG (63437 bytes)
He was straightaway down the bank, into the water, and heading for the far distant shore.
swimming_for_freedom.JPG (64497 bytes)
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Notice the beavered gum-stump in the foreground. He's almost family.