Yup. That's a creature, all right. (That's Andy from Creature Catchers doing the science part of his job.)
I had a busy day and was finally able to meet up with Andy back at the ranch--I mean ranch house--after 2:00 p.m. Thus, is was the afternoon of the first day of incarceration for the Creature in Trap One before we were able to serve him with a writ of habeas corpus and allow him a chance to get out on bail.
There was food in there. We met all the international treaty requirements on prisoners.
Andy, a truly nice man from Creature Catchers, put on these really huge gloves. Then, he tipped the trap endwise, opened the lid, and looked inside.
"That's a really big 'possum," he said.
"Would it be ... I mean ... do you think I could look?" I asked him. I've only seen a live marsupial in the zoo, except for that one time I saw this 'possum as large as my house in my Florida driveway. I caught him in the headlights of my car and ... wait, I'm getting off track here. Let's get back to California.
Andy said it would be okay. So I approached. My iPhone camera at the ready.
Mr. Possum said hello by barring his sharp teeth and hissing.
One look was plenty.
But could this be the Creature who has done all that damage to my lawn?
Andy said yes he could. Should you haul him away, I asked? Yes I should, he said.
"If he has been out grubbing on your lawn in daylight," he said, "he may not be healthy. That's not normal for a 'possum. They come out at night." The lawn damage seems to take place at about 3:00 in the afternoon.
Then, to add to the fun, my Neighbor came over to kibbutz. He's the guy who is trying to train his big, friendly, yellow Lab called Toby Tyler. Toby has grown to an enormous size and is working very successfully at avoiding all attempts at behavior modification. (Toby is also a very good television critic and writes for this blog, from time to time, when he can sneak away from his important "sit" and "stay" sessions.) But back to the Neighbor, who arrived sans Toby.
The Neighbor comes over to look into the trap with Andy. The Neighbor agrees it sure does look like a 'possum.
"What are you going to do with that thing," the Neighbor asked? "You're not going to kill it, are you? I like 'possums. I had one that used to come in my doggie door and drink from my dog dish."
"Naw," said Andy. "I'll just relocate him."
"How about if we relocate him to your yard?" I asked the Neighbor. Ha ha ha, he said in return.
So, as the sun began to set in the West, we took one last look at Mr. Possum before Andy took him to the truck.
Bye Mr. Possum!
Mr. Possum hissed goodbye to us all. They Andy said goodbye too. It was his wedding anniversary and he wanted to get home so he could take his wife out to dinner.
Andy smiles his goodbye.
Before he departed, Andy moved Trap Number Two to the place where we had success with Trap Number One. Why not? It was baited and there might be another creature involved in lawn grubbing that had been working with Mr. Possum on his Lawn Damage Project.
If Trap Number Two was still empty after the weekend, Andy said, he would just come and pick it up and take it away. No charge.
Then ... this morning ... I had to pass Trap Number Two on my way out to get the newspaper. It was Saturday and I had slept until 7:30 a.m. and the sun was up. Oh No!
Trap Number Two. Saturday. 7:30 a.m. Sprung.
Trap Two had been sprung and I could see something inside, resting quietly in the nest-like surroundings of the white plastic trap. It was black and white.
I called the Creature Catcher hot line. Their card reads: "Seven Days A Week."
The Trap awaits Andy.
I need to get Andy to the house ASAP. Because if Toby Tyler should come over to visit before Andy does, and that black and white thing in the trap is what I think it is ... the entire neighborhood is going to know about the meeting of dog and ... Creature Number Two.
I'll keep you posted. Oh, I said that yesterday. How about "stay tuned?" Also--possibly--stay clear.