Friday, October 05, 2007

Midnight Visitor

Even in the post midnight darkness I could tell that the creature sitting on the railing of my deck wasn’t Alex. There was no white coat reflecting what little star and moon light was available. Plus, from what I could see in the shadows, the critter’s nose and ears didn’t look very cattish to me.

Thursday evening I had gone out to dinner with a friend. It was the first dinner date I’ve had since early last winter. It was also the first time I had ridden in a PT Cruiser—her new PT Cruiser. We didn’t drive far, just a few blocks up Frankfort Avenue from the Crescent Hill neighborhood of Louisville where I live to the Clifton neighborhood.

We lucked out and found a parking place directly in front of the Italian restaurant that is located in an old house. Unfortunately, I had forgotten the rather steep steps leading up to the porch and front door of the restaurant. However, with the aid of my cane and the blessing that the sandals I was wearing because of my injured and still swollen leg didn’t slip off, I was able to shuffle myself up the steps and into the restaurant, where we dined on the magnificent cuisine.

After the long and luxurious dinner, Ann drove me home and, thankfully, waited until I hobbled up on my porch. She had not yet driven away when I realized that my housekeeper had again set the lock on the door handle for which I have no key. Ann came to my rescue, just as my ex-wife had done a few weeks ago when the same lockout had first occurred. She somehow made it onto my deck and into the back door and opened the front door. And again I was irritated with myself for not checking the lock before we had left.

With me safely back into the house, Ann departed and I went searching for my feline owner, who had disappeared into one of his hiding places when Ann entered the house. I never did find Alex’s refuge; however, about half an hour later, the furball appeared and meowed, “Feed me!” After dining on two packets on his favorite moist cat food and being held, cuddled, and stroked by his human servant, Alex jumped out of my arms and began his seemingly never ending grooming ritual.

A bit later, as I was sitting at my computer attempting to read all of the bogs I had not yet visited because of my evening out, Alex attacked my right leg with his needing-to-be-trimmed claws. As is my habit, I screeched in pain, jumped up from my chair, and growled to my tormenter, “Now what do you want?” As is his habit, Alex ignored me as he groomed his nether region with his tongue. Eventually the furball stopped licking his ass and meandered through the kitchen, down the back hallway, and stood expectantly by the door leading to the deck, which I obediently opened and he pranced out.

I returned to the computer. About three hours later I found myself exhausted. “Bedtime,” my computer addled brain informed me. Being a good human servant, I thought about the cat who owns me and, rather than crawling in my bed (which is what I desired), I returned to the back door, opened it, stepped upon the deck, and called Alex’s name. That’s when I saw the creature with no white coat and non-catlike nose and ears sitting on the railing of the deck. Thankfully my Cannon digital was just inside the deck door. I grabbed it and began snapping photos in the darkness.

The creature never moved! Even with the flash of the camera, it never moved! It just sat there. I even talked to it and it did not move. I got within six feet of (as close as I was willing to approach) and it did not move or utter a sound.

Finally I gave up on the creature and went to the front door to see if Alex as out there. He certainly was: the furball was on the porch gazing into the night like a sentry on guard duty.

Finally he relinquished his watch and meandered into then house and we went to bed. I awakened at 4:00 a.m. this morning with Alex curled up (and purring) on my chest. We arose and, as is our habit, I prepared my master’s breakfast. Then I checked the deck. No critter out there. After breakfasting, when Alex demanded that I open the door so he could engage in his morning constitutional, I again saw no strange creature.

It was only then that I downloaded the photos from last night and obtained my first good look at our midnight visitor:


  1. Many years ago we had two outside cats, Dutchess and Kala, and there was a possum that would show up every morning and eat whatever food they had left in their bowls.

    She wasn't at all frightened of us. She would hop into the bushes when he saw us and just patiently wait for us to leave so she could finish eating.

    There wasn't really anything we could do about it, and she was only eating what the cats didn't, so we just named her "Matilda" and considered her a pet.

  2. Hi Nick ~~ Good story about your night-time visitor. Sorry to hear your leg is still swollen and sore.
    Thanks for your comments - about my flowers and jokes, a good mix. Glad you liked the family photos also.
    Take csre, Nick, Kind regards,Merle.

  3. wow, what kind of creature is that? i don't think we have them in the UK. great photos.

  4. possum's are the craziest critters. I walked along side one once. They don't run. They don't even walk fast. They're in no particular hurry at all. LOL!

  5. Hi Nick. That cat on the front porch is really cute. The "cat" on the deck rail is rather homely ;)

  6. Ahhhhhh the nocturnal possum!!!!
    One comes down at night to eat my grapes off the vines!

  7. I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree

    With ’possums clinging to each limb
    Like tiny, pink-tailed cherubim.

    A ’possum thinks of God all day,
    And lifts her gaze as though to pray;

    A ’possum may in Summer scare
    A nest of robins from her lair;

    And winter’s snow she does disdain,
    Although she will acquaint with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like us’em,
    But only God can make a ’possum.

  8. You're a very brave man for getting as close as you did. I would not have the guts to get that close ;-)

  9. possums are so ugly, they're cute. i don't think i've ever seen one up here, though.

    i hear they're real good at playing dead. is that what he's doin' here? playing zombie possum on your porch?


  10. We once got locked out of the house, except both doors were locked with locks we have no keys for...we ended up having to break into the house through the bathroom window.

  11. Is it a possum? I gather that it is from the comments. It looks sort of familiar, like it could be one of any number of creatures. He was certainly very brave.

  12. Y'know, I kind of miss opossum. When I still lived in Illinois they were all over the place -- opossum and raccoons. After four years in Montana, I've only seen two raccoons and NO opossum, and the raccoons were in cahoots with each other.

  13. You would love to hang out over here at night with a camera, Nick. My most frequent visitors are wild and stray cats, armadillos, moles, racoons, frogs and turtles.

    The date sounded good.

  14. I once had a fox visit us in the night, he/she too was rather unconcerned about us watching him/her. Sadly no photographs.
    I took my dad out to an Italian restaurant on Thursday evening too which I think is a nice coincidence. :o) Oh and 'grooming his nether regions' made me chuckle... must be the inner child in me!

  15. He's kinda cute, in a funny lookin' way. And you know a creature is funny looking when someone from Australia tells you so! We're the reigning champs when it comes to funny lookin critters.

  16. Cool! Great photos, too. OPpossums are cute.

  17. We had one up on our pergola last week. Being from the south (where possums are plentiful), it was odd to see one here in our neighborhood in Dayton. We decided he was an urban possum, and was probably carrying a little switchblade.

  18. Possums aren't very camera fact, I think they rather like having their photos taken. I have a lovely one of a mum with her baby on her back watching us have a barbeque outside. I must dig it out and put it on a post.

    Alex is lucky he didn't get attacked, but then he's obviously aware of possums and their long claws and left it alone. I don't think Oscar would have...

    Have a good week, Nick.

  19. ` Ah, the American marsupial! I used to take pictures of 'em on my porch in Ohio, along with the raccoons and skunks - once I was surrounded by six skunks!!
    ` Yours are kinda better though, because you have a flash, and that makes it somehow look cool.

  20. That is a funny looking critter.