The conclusion to the long running possum in the bathroom cupboard saga.

7/18/2006 04:09:00 pm

My encounter with a possum in the garden the other night reminded me about the long running saga in our household: possums living in our bathroom. Those of you who know me may've heard about this particular story, but for those who don't I'll summarise the story (you need to realise that when I tell it in person it takes a lot longer and many many facial expressions to really get it across).

The story starts in February 2005 when I first moved into Mulwarree. On the first day my brother and I arrived to an empty apartment...OR SO WE THOUGHT...
As we looked around, opening and closing cuboards, as you do in a new place, we heard some banging noises coming from somewhere in the house, and I have to admit, we did think it was just an antisocial Asian exchange student who was too shy to come out of their room. Stranger things have, after all, happened. But no, as my brother explored the cupboard in the bathroom I heard a gasp, and on going in to find out what was going on, saw that there was a small but plump possum quite happily curled around the hot water pipes.

Now, I don't really have an issue with possums, but they can be noisy, grumpy, and smelly, so I called the Housing Office to see if they could get rid of the possum. Answer: no, but call the pest control place. I have to add here that things really went pear-shaped communications wise because my phone was in the middle of porting from one provider to another and something had gone wrong, so I could make calls but no one could call me and I didn't realise, so that made things a bit..difficult.
Anyway, I call the pest control place and have the following conversation:
ME: Hi, we have a possum in our bathroom cupboard, I was just wondering if you could send someone out to catch it?
PEST LADY: Can you describe the possum to me?
ME: (a little surprised at the question)'s a possum. It's quite small, and..furry..with little beady eyes and a big bushy tail.
PEST LADY: Hmmn, ok dear, are you sure it isn't a rat.
ME: (pause) Yes. It's about as big as a cat.

So anyway, after we'd established that I do in fact know what a possum looks like she tells me that they can't actually come and catch the possum because if they did, it would just come back. Bizare.

I relay this to the Housing Officer, and so he sends some of the UNSW maintenence people to come and 'fix' the problem. Oh yes did they fix it: they locked the cupboard, so basically the possum was still free to come and go, we just couldn't open the cupboard to show him off to our friends. I do remember also that during one of my conversations with the Housing Officer when I said to him "Graham, there's a possum in our cupboard", he replied "you know you're not allowed to have pets right?" Sigh.

So there is the orginal story. Over the next 12 months we developed quite an affection for Percy, he stayed in the cupboard and played in the trees outside and got really unhappy when we turned the cold taps on. It was a happy family really.

So now we come to the present. Our shower has been leaking into the apartment belows ours, which in itself has been a big adventure as they try to fix it and take tiles out and stick tape over things and disconnect pipes. The usual really.
But the first time the plumber came, he opened up the pipe cupboard and got a bit of a shock to see not just one possum happily ensconsed, but three. Snigger.

So surely you are asking by now, what is the promised conclusion to the story? Well, they did come and catch the possum family, but it was a bit like that creature from Greek mythology where you cut off one head and two more grow back. Those possums just seemed to multiply everytime they took one away. Anyway, below are pictures that Robert took during the removal of the last possum, which actually ended up being two because it had a baby in its pouch. Oh, the drama just never ends.

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