Saturday, May 12, 2007

things i don't need to read in the paper....

it's not the first time I've seen a story like this:

Possum glad to be free after toilet bowl excursion

08:51 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

By LaKISHA LADSON / The Dallas Morning News

After what happened this week, John and Pat Heard are beyond any tussle over whether to keep the toilet lid down.

Mr. Heard went to the half-bath in his Rockwall home Monday and found a pair of eyes staring up at him. A baby possum, its hind legs and tail still in the water, was marooned at the front of the slippery bowl.

Mr. Heard's initial shock and revulsion quickly turned to compassion.

"He was sitting still, but he was aware that I was there and turned his head and was looking at me," Mr. Heard said. "I could tell from the doleful look on his face that he didn't really want to be there."

The soggy ball of fur didn't make a sound.

Mr. Heard speculated that the possum, about the width of his fist, was exhausted. He figured it must have traveled more than 50 feet – through traps and pipe bends – from a partially opened sewer access pipe outside the Heard home on Sunset Hill Drive.

Mrs. Heard cautiously peeked into the toilet at the creature – just long enough to put the lid down.

Her husband called Rockwall animal control, and an officer with a cage, gloves and a stick with a lasso on the end arrived in about 15 minutes.

Scott Faucheux took the cage into the bathroom and had Mr. Heard shut the door behind him. The officer quickly had the possum inside the cage, where he let the animal rest a while.

"I wanted to make sure he wasn't in shock or anything," Mr. Faucheux said.

Mr. Faucheux said large possums are docile, but the smaller ones can be feisty. He wasn't worried, though.

"Possums really don't cause harm to anybody," he said.

The Heards' home sits about 100 yards from Lake Ray Hubbard, with only a grassy swath separating it from the water. They've seen armadillos, turtles, herons and ducks, and even heard coyotes.

But the possum in the toilet was a first.

Mr. Faucheux said it was a first for him as well. He said people need to keep in mind that it's spring and make sure their homes – including attic vents – are sealed against all manner of critters.

"This time of year, snakes are moving," Mr. Faucheux said.

He said he set the possum free Tuesday in eastern Rockwall County.

Mr. Heard said he planned no change in his approach to toilets but would leave them differently:

"My wife said from now on, she wants the lid down on all three bathrooms!"

emphasis added by me.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, and if i have it would have been years ago, but shortly after we moved to Texas I started getting really paranoid about bizarre stuff. mainly that any moment i was going to see ghosts at night and then I would die. It was at that point I figured I should seek professional help, I'd been treated for depression while I was in college, but it was more annoying than helpful.

anyhoo, I've been much better since then and even off medication for a couple years now. but a couple months ago I was wondering if I shouldn't consider it again because I was getting really nervous about snakes being in the toilet. I mean really, you don't know what could be in there until you lift the lid up (and I can't leave the lid up because then kitties get their feet wet trying to drink from it). and once you're seated, you're so vulnerable. so now I read this in my paper! this house is not THAT far from me. I've seen possums in my backyard! so perhaps i'm not crazy, which would be a good thing.