With moving countries, and houses, and running the business, life has been pretty busy, and I’ve been trying to publish this post for a few weeks.
About a month ago, Younger Daughter noticed a baby ring tail possum on our screen door when I was taking the kids to school. Of course, being a child raised in Hong Kong, she shrieked “It’s a rat”. That made me jump out of my skin, but on closer inspection I was able to identify it as a baby ring tail possum (photo below from the Blacktown Advocate website – and not of “our” possum).
One of the advantages of living on the North Shore of Sydney is the wildlife, and while the nightly possum disco on our roof is fairly annoying, the baby possums really tug at my heart strings. I spent the whole day out, and was astonished to find the possum in exactly the same position on my return.
In NSW, the organisation that helps injured/abandoned native wildlife is WIRES, and I got on the phone to them. They couldn’t send a volunteer for at least 5 hours, and asked if we could take it to a WIRES friendly vet. While the trip to the vet was the last thing I wanted to do (it was rush hour, Older Daughter had a sprained ankle, Younger Daughter was going to be the wildlife holder, having never held a wild animal in her life, both children were hungry for dinner…); the baby possum clearly needed help if it thought that our screen door was a good place to live.
I packaged up hopping Older Daughter with a snack, and tried to train Younger Daughter in the art of holding wildlife gently but firmly in a towel (we do not have a pet transporter). The first attempt was not a success, with the possum finally coming to life, jumping out of Younger Daughter’s hands, and stopping on her head. After I picked up the possum, the second attempt at holding by Younger Daughter was successful, and we braved the traffic to get to the vets. The possum (and younger daughter) calmed down substantially when I fashioned a hood out of the towel. Younger Daughter was intrigued by the amount of possum’s wee on the towel!
When we arrived at the vet, the nurse took the possum, and I asked if the girls could get a closer look at him when he had been weighed and caged. As it turned out, they didn’t get a good look at him, because when the nurse returned, he was nestled deep in a pouch. On further inspection, I realised that it was a hand knitted pouch, I dare say out of 8 ply royal blue Totem. While hand knitted gifts are not always appreciated, this possum looked like he had found his new home – only a tiny portion of his back was visible. Hand knitted pouches are apparently very much needed, and appreciated by the marsupial wildlife of Australia. I would like to thank the unknown volunteer that really made one possum’s day.
In other news, I am off to Wool Day in Canberra this Sunday – with my sister, and without our offspring. I’ll be meeting up with some friends, so if you spot me, say hello.