To paraphrase Mr. T., a rare occurrence in my daily existence, I pity the possum that runs up against Sir Blakey. The other night, in honor of his upcoming, 5th made-up birthday (we have no idea when he was born or where he came from), he decided to do a little early shopping.
My husband and I were watching "Homeland," when I glanced over and saw The Royal Rescue Pup of Questionable Lineage staring at something on the floor near the back door, a thing that looked like his favorite, much-abused stuffed bear.
But then, caught up in the tension and suspense of the "Homeland" finale, I sensed that my initial observation was off. I looked again. Much of the next 40 minutes is a blur, but it started with me screaming:
"OHMYGAWD! Honey! Blakey killed something!"
"It's a rat!"
"It's not a rat!"
"What the eff is it?"
"Get away, Blakey."
"Hurry, do something!"
"OHMYGAWD! It's not dead. It's... ALIVE!!!!"
"Where did it go?"
"It's under the couch!"
"Hang on, hang on!"
"Why do you have a hockey stick?"
"To reach it."
"Do you see it?"
"Yeah... I'll just..."
"HONEY!!!! It ran thataway!"
"The living room!"
"Should I call someone?"
"Don't call Animal Control."
"I'm Googling how to trap a possum."
"It's playing dead."
"Are you sure it's a possum? It's too small."
"It's a baby possum."
"Is it in the living room?"
"Not anymore. It left a crap and moved on."
"Not on the rug!"
"Yes on the rug!"
"Then we need Blakey's help."
"Blakey the hunter!"
"Come on, Blakey, find the possum."
Well, he sniffed it out in my office. The pitiful possum was under the couch. Now it was just a matter of retrieving it. That's all. "Not with the hockey stick!" I yelled.
Whereupon my husband ran outside and came back with, what else, the pool skimmer, aka Possum Catcher.
And after much coaxing and swearing and possum-pleading, he got him and set him free outside. The possum then proceeded to taunt Sir Blakey for the rest of the evening, scurrying back and forth on top of the fence, whispering, "Come n' get me, Sucka." The good news: No animals were harmed before, during or after the writing of this tale.
Carol Starr Schneider is a writer living in Sherman Oaks.