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Monday, March 26, 2007

All Creatures

posted by on March 26 at 9:17 AM


I’ve seen this guy around town lately with what, at first glance, looked like the biggest rat I’d ever seen. Perched on his shoulder. Turns out it’s a possum. I didn’t know possums could be pets, or be tamed, or really be anything besides road kill.

Well, as it turns out, this possum was destined to be road kill—until Montana found him.

Montana rescues small animals and birds—that’s what he does, he told me. He lives on Beacon Hill and he saw this baby possum get hit by a car near his house. He paid for the possum to have surgery on its jaw. He thinks the possum is about nine months old. And since the possum’s going to weigh 60 pounds one day, Montana is training him walk on a leash. But for now, until the possum recovers from his jaw surgery, he gets to ride on Montana’s shoulder.

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Posted by Levislade | March 26, 2007 9:26 AM

that must violate some kind of zoning law, and i bet you it isn't licensed. lets report the giant fucking rat!!!

Posted by war pigs | March 26, 2007 9:28 AM

I'm so happy you posted this picture. My partner came home about a week ago and said she'd seen someone in Fremont with a possum. I gave her the benefit of the doubt but secretly worried about the possibility of her hitting the bottle too hard before biking home.

That said, I think possums are some of the most hideous creatures ever made...

Posted by solved | March 26, 2007 9:32 AM

"That said, I think possums are some of the most hideous creatures ever made..."

Hideous Creatures of the World Unite! :)

Posted by darby | March 26, 2007 9:35 AM

i rescued a bunch of baby opossums a couple years back. their mother had been hit by a car, and they were still there, trying to eat from her dead teets. quite sad. in any case, the wildlife officer offered to let me keep one, because apparently they make great pets.

but, yeah. ugly.

Posted by konstantconsumer | March 26, 2007 9:37 AM

60 pounds? I don't know where you got that figure but it seems at least two times too big for a possum. Wikipedia says they can reach 32 pounds.

Posted by Eliza | March 26, 2007 9:43 AM

He must have forgotten to mention the all-Snickers diet Montana will be raising the possum on.

Posted by Levislade | March 26, 2007 9:45 AM

They are nasty little bastards when cornered.

Posted by monkey | March 26, 2007 9:54 AM

@7 hah!

@6, many times a 'lifespan' listed by someplace like wikipedia means in the wild. Captivity tends to radically increase the lifespan of a formerly wild animal; cats in a feral colony are lucky to make it past two but will live with humans for 20 years, and the cardinal tetras in my fish tank are annual species in the wild (they live one year, which syncs with their life cycle) but will live 6-7 years in my tank.

My own original comment was along the lines of Hooray! I think those of us living in the city need more exposure to more of all kinds of animals. We forget we are also animals, and part of a closed system. It's kind of an environmentalist thing, but it's just as much a philosophical reminder of who we are. With that said, I have to go appreciate my orange tabby. Yay!

Posted by Juris | March 26, 2007 9:56 AM

I can't wait till we are allowed to bring possums into bars and restaurants!

Posted by Whatevs | March 26, 2007 10:11 AM

Speaking of crazy animals, did anybody check out the BBC/Discovery Channel show "Planet Earth"? It was in HD last night (Comcast channel 663) and it was jaw-dropping. On again next Sun.

Posted by him | March 26, 2007 10:12 AM

Notice how similar the guy's hat and the possum's ears are, and their matching shades of facial hair. Everyone ends up looking like their pet.

Posted by rodrigo | March 26, 2007 10:22 AM

actually, possums are awesome. the babies are so cute! says, he who rescued many during his stint at a no-kill wildlife rehabilitation center.

Posted by seattle98104 | March 26, 2007 10:38 AM

This is even more terrifying that that squirrel guy who's been banned from Earl's on the Ave.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | March 26, 2007 10:40 AM

there was a possum that lived in the attic of the shitty u. district rental house i once called home. at night, my boyfriend and i would hear his toenails (claws?) scratching on the ceiling, as he shuffled his (undoubtedly) filthy body above us.

to this day, it is one of the most disgusting noises i have ever heard.

Posted by kerri harrop | March 26, 2007 10:42 AM

I've seen this gentleman, too. Once waiting for the bus stop and once singing a tune inside of the Recovery Cafe.

May I say it's a real shame you didn't get a picture of him in hi OPOSSUM PONCHO that he was wearing both times I spotted him.

Posted by Meagan | March 26, 2007 10:46 AM

@8, they are only nasty bastards when cornered because to them we are HUGE and we are predators. If raised not to fear humans, they can actually be reasonably friendly, if quirky, pets.

Posted by SDA in SEA | March 26, 2007 10:58 AM

wonder what would happen if possum man and the rabbit man who's on the number 43 all the time, got on the same bus...are rabbits and possums friends, enemies or frenenemies?

and who knew Savage could do a human interest story? middle age is mellowing him...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 26, 2007 11:42 AM

Possums are the only marsupial native to North America.

Posted by Lark Hawk | March 26, 2007 12:02 PM

Wasn't there a story on "This American Life" about a woman who took pity on a possum and adopted it? I seem to remember there were unpleasant consequences...

Posted by pattib | March 26, 2007 12:34 PM

savory winter stew

Posted by rorry | March 26, 2007 12:58 PM

And this is news why?

Posted by Muther Fluffer | March 26, 2007 1:25 PM

Is it labeled "news," MF? No, it's labeled "city." Slog has a tag for "news," and the writers here are pretty good about letting us know which slog items are news and which are not.

I'm sick of folks jumping into to say "this is news?" every time someone at the Stranger posts some slice-of-lifey item to Slog. Kos posts pictures of his kid. Atrios posts pictures of his cats and links to bands. Andrew Sullivan posts pictures of his damn beagles. At Americablog JA posts pictures of orchids and short asides about walking around Paris at night. So the folks at Slog aren't doing anything different than anyone else with a high profile blog.

A good blogs is news and it's also errata, personal observations, funny asides, dumb links. It's part of what makes blogs lively. If you want nothing but hard news then subscribe to the Financial Times and go sit in a corner and read it.

Posted by EXTC | March 26, 2007 1:38 PM

Muther Fluffer,

This isn't news. This is Slog.

Posted by SDA in SEA | March 26, 2007 1:38 PM

Where's the posts from the uptight prigs who get all bent out of shape when someone spends (their own) money on an animal's medical bills instead of killing it?

I get that crap all the time whenever I have some major thing for my cat or dog at the vet. If I earned/stole/married the money, what do they care if I spend it on heart bypass surgery for my gerbil or it snort it up my nose? Do I tell them how to spend their own money? No I don't, thank you very much.

Anyway, right on, Montanna.

Posted by elenchos | March 26, 2007 2:16 PM

so much better than squirrel guy who is the bane of my existence. that guy needs to die in a fire asap.

Posted by alithea | March 26, 2007 2:18 PM

@9 Juris -- Thanks. Tis true that we are but one of multitudinous creatures that need to get food, water, and shelter every day. Amazing how all these living configurations go about getting it done.

And hey, PAWS is an excellent place to go with urban wildlife questions or concerns. They're great.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 26, 2007 3:36 PM

When did Dan Savage become Cute Overload? I'm not complaining, I'm celebrating! What a nice man.

Posted by Allie | March 26, 2007 3:49 PM

Whenver I see a possum--dead or alive--I turn and run at break-neck speed. They give the shivers, they do. Nothing on earth (civilized earth) is nearly as hideous. God love 'em.

Posted by homage to me | March 26, 2007 4:55 PM

cute little critter.

Posted by ME | March 26, 2007 7:26 PM

I love them possum sonsabitches. Of course they're nasty, bitey customers when you corner them. If your precious ol' Mr. Tabbypants von Kittykins grew up behind the Jiffy Lube instead of your living room, you'd be equally appalled at its skanky defensiveness. As a bonus, the possum's blood temp is too low for the rabies virus. The same can't be said for your cat or dog.

Posted by Tej | March 26, 2007 7:54 PM

Possums are CUTE people!
What's wrong with you?

I started feeding a family of them that seemed to live in the tree of the haus next to me when I lived at 16th and Thomas. That's right! 16th and Thomas! For those of you lamenting not seeing wildlife I wonder if you just don't spend enough time on foot. You should at least experience racoonicus urbanicus, I've seen families of the monstrous garbage-fed critters crossing Broadway!

Anyway! Back to the possums! I became especially attached to the little baby one. Enough so, that the nice gay couple that lived below me, was afraid to tell me when it got smushed by a car. :(
They kindly scraped it's carcass off the road so I wouldn't see it, and told my then partner.

If I ever had the opportunity to take in an orphaned baby possum I'd jump at it! (Doubt the cat would appreciate that too much though!) LOL

Out of curiousity IS there a place you can adopt them from? What happens to baby orphaned possums? Are they returned to the wild? Are they able to be?

Damn! Sometimes night shift sucks! I suspect I Slog after everyone else has Slogged and my Slogging doesn't get Slogged after everyone else has already Slogged. Does anyone multi-Slog?

Posted by K X One | March 27, 2007 4:06 AM

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