Major Drama at Home Crap Home

Was minding my own business watching the Pens manhandle the Caps and spreading my special brand of sunshine on twitter when a ferocious ruckus broke out in the back yard. Thurston’s high pitched screeching combined with Rosie aggressive “YOU MUST DIE” bark, combined with my mother calling me from across the alleyway to tell me there was something going on in my backyard as I tried to find my flashlight and shoes made for some chaos.

At any rate, they had cornered a possum behind the compost pile, and it took me about two minutes to get them away from it. It was reared out, fangs bared, making some ungodly sound, and every time I got Thurston away and went for Rosie, Thurston came back. Lily stood silently in the middle of the yard with her confused look (“I was raised by cats- am I supposed to be doing something?”) Finally picked up Thurston and held him under my arm and grabbed Rosie by the tail and pulled her out. That knocked her back to her senses (JRT’s, when they go into kill mode, are really tenacious, the result of years of breeding to corner and kill varmints), and I got everybody back inside. Never a dull momemnt.

Quick Taylor update- he is recovering from surgery, and has some sort of tube hooked up to drain the infection, and will be released when his white blood cell count drops.

66 replies
  1. 1
    Nicole says:

    I imagine Rosie’s inner monologue went along these lines:

  2. 2
    satby says:

    Glad you got the herd in without bloodshed, because possums are mean.

    And very good news about Taylor! Get well soon kiddo.

  3. 3
    Caphilldcne says:

    Since I went to the game I can objectivly report that The Pens all went to see President Trump. They are evil and must be sentenced to live in Saskatoon in a cornfield or something. Alas the Caps are experiencing some D issues. We’ll sort that out and get back to you

  4. 4
    Caphilldcne says:

    PS, get well soon Taylor.

  5. 5
    jeffreyw says:

    Gabe barked up a frenzy at a smallish possum in our yard last night, Mrs J had to clip a leash to him to drag his doggie dumbass away from it. We thought maybe something was murdering the boy at first.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Time to install an LED floodlight or two?

  7. 7
    eclare says:

    I missed something, who is Taylor, and what is the story?

  8. 8
    Davebo says:

    Do possums serve some useful purpose I’m unaware of in W. Virginia?

    Rodent control? I got nothing.

  9. 9
    Davebo says:

    @NotMax: Or get a .22 long rifle.

    Just saying..

  10. 10
    NotMax says:


    Scroll down the front page to the post titled Think Happy Thoughts.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    eclare says:

    @NotMax: Thanks, will do.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    Bow and arrow. It might be illegal to discharge a firearm within town limits.

  14. 14
    eclare says:

    Glad to hear that Taylor is on the mend.

  15. 15
    RobertDSC-Mac Mini says:



  16. 16
    Sandia Blanca says:

    Good news about Taylor.

    This line totally cracked me up: “Lily stood silently in the middle of the yard with her confused look (“I was raised by cats- am I supposed to be doing something?”)”

  17. 17
    khead says:

    Two tickets, upper deck: $300
    Hotel, Metro, food, etc: $300
    Watching the game on TV instead? Because I JUST KNOW the Nationals will blow it and we have to work tomorrow anyway?? $5. On some Wawa snacks before I pick my wife up at the train station tomorrow night.

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    Why on earth would I kill a possum?

    First off, I don’t kill anything, second, possums are great for the environment and maintaining balance in the food chain.

  19. 19
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Davebo: Possums eat ticks, so that’s a big plus. And they rarely carry rabies. Both our present and our previous dog captured possums. In both cases I was able to get the possum away from the dog, pick it up by its tail, and fling it into the brush. Whether either or both were “playing possum,” I don’t know.

  20. 20
    Alain the site fixer says:

    Quick Taylor update- he is recovering from surgery, and has some sort of tube hooked up to drain the infection, and will be released when his white blood cell count drops.

    That’s really good news. In August I celebrated the 10 year anniversary of an emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix, from which I woke up the next morning to news that the house I grew up in had burned down. Luckily, mom was with me, so she wasn’t killed. More to the point, because it was messy, I had a second surgery a week later to clean me up (they never closed me up from the first one, so I was open and stinking for a few days) and I recall that drain post-second-surgery.

    Funky doesn’t begin to describe it, but it sure beat what my first (emergency) surgeon had advised: reach in and clean with soap in the shower. Did I mention he was a nutty (active/semi-active/retired?) special forces surgeon? My second/traditional surgeon asked me about who had operated on me and left me with little more than a (literally!) large safety pin holding my abdomen attached/not really closed; when I supplied that info, he proclaimed “well that explains it, battlefield technique”. Said technique literally saved my life, and the scar is truly minimal since I didn’t have two cuts, set of sutures, etc.

    Having the open wound turned out to be the correct call, and my doctor, pre-second-surgery, was thrilled to call in his nurses to lean in and smell my wound for the strong stink of infection. I can’t tell you how not-happy I was to be an involuntary medical subject, but I later realized that it was good of him to expose his nurses to such things when given the opportunity as it helps in future diagnostic care.

    Note: I did not, in fact, reach into my abdomen and clean things out. If it had been important, I would have, but I took his suggestion as more bravado-dare-to-the-hippie from an operator. I joke, but he saved my life and simultaneously was one of the nuttiest people I’ve ever met. He has my eternal thanks, and I know he’s done a lot to save lives for our special forces and the locals around the world he served with.

    So good luck Taylor, may you heal up twice as fast as I did and rebuild the strength to have a great winter!

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    haha I’m caring for the son’s 6 pound mutt, and made the mistake of sending him a pic of a snake skin that appeared in the backyard on the steps. As far as I know, snake skins don’t bite, but the son panicked cuz it was a pretty big snake skin.
    Son.. Well if Nona gets bit, she will die
    Me.. I’m just going to let her out front.
    Son.. We saw snakes there too.
    Me. Oh

  22. 22
    Laura says:

    It sounds like quite the scuffle ending in a detente.
    Well played Mr Cole, well played!

  23. 23
    stinger says:

    Thanks for the update on Taylor. May he continue to recupe!

  24. 24
    Percysowner says:

    The only time I ever had a possum in my yard, he literally played possum. The thing looked as dead as a door nail, eyes open, tongue hanging out, not moving a muscle. My beagle, however, knew darned well that the critter was alive and did her beagle thing i.e. would not shut up about it. I brought her into the house and she ran right back out and continued to go Woo! Woo! and tell me that “the prey is here! I”m a good dog!” I finally figured I’d get a shovel and get the (what I thought to be) dead thing out of the yard so I could go to sleep. I got it on the shovel, off the ground about 1/2 inch, it decided fuck this noise and ran out of the yard. If it had started hissing, I would have freaked out and had a baying beagle that was overjoyed that she had found something to hunt!

  25. 25
    khead says:


    Possums suffer from a bad rep, but they are cool. They just look nasty. We have one that lives in the woods behind the house but visits every so often.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davebo: Why kill something that poses no danger and isn’t something one would eat if one had other choices?

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    One of my friends said that the worst thing about having a baby at a teaching hospital was that they kept bringing groups of students in to look at her cervix. After a certain point, she couldn’t be sure that it was only doctors and nurses — for all she knew, the janitors were standing at the back of the crowd to get a gander at her cervix as well.

  28. 28
    Jim Bales says:

    Here is to Taylor’s complete recovery!

  29. 29
    Doug R says:

    Better than gangs of scrapping raccoons.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Doug R: My brother once had a nest of them in his garage. They hazed him when he took garbage out after dark.

  31. 31
    Lyrebird says:

    Thanks for the Taylor update! Continued good thoughts.

    @Alain the site fixer:

    I can’t tell you how not-happy I was to be an involuntary medical subject

    You can’t tell, but I do understand!

    Much milder condition, but I was barely 14, and having the pediatrician bring in the other docs, “oh my!” “never seen a case like this!” etc… was not amusing. Luckily I was still ill enough not to take it all in.

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    @Mnemosyne: The last time I had an MRI, a few years ago, it was at a teaching hospital, and the radiologist had a whole class of students looking over his shoulder as he prepped me. That felt a bit weird. The orthopedist who ordered the scan also had a student shadowing, but it was just one and it was an office setting, so much less weird.

  33. 33
    Glidwrith says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Do you know what a pressure cooked possum tastes like? The story is legendary in the family. Kentucky grandfather living in one of the hollers, old gnarly possum eating the garden veggies and Papaw took exception to that. No reason to let food go to waste, so……

    And there was no seasoning.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Glidwrith: I have never eaten possum, squirrel, or raccoon.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    @Alain the site fixer

    Mentioned this yesterday; dunno if you saw it.

    Site has reverted from thin solid lines between comments to the toilet paper roll look of dashed lines.

    Win 7, Firefox current.

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    I have never eaten possum, squirrel, or raccoon.

    At least not knowingly.


  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Good point. The rabbit in NOLA could have been something else.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus



  39. 39
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:


    the janitors were standing at the back of the crowd to get a gander at her cervix as well.

    I had a couple of miscarriages, four IVFs, and a passel of other gynecological and surgical indignities visited upon me while we lived in France, where bedside manner is one of zese stoopeed zings zey do in ze States but which we do not need because we are very Franch. After a while, I stopped giving a damn – it was just goddamn Grand Central Station in there with everyone passing through. Happy to have been of service.


    Best wishes to young Taylor and I hope all he retains is an interesting scar to show future girlfriends (or boyfriends, if that’s how he rolls).

  40. 40
    No Drought No More says:

    I was growled at from the pitch blackness on the night of the last blood moon by a fox, and it made my blood run cold. I relaxed once I realized it was outside my fence and not inside, however, and quickly grabbed a flashlight from inside my front door. I caught it full face a few feet beyond my gate, and doggone if it didn’t give me a, “Fuck you, what are you looking at, schmuck” look in return, a look that I was forced to respect. Even as it moved on across the street, it stopped twice to stare me down. It’s incredible how effectively animals can communicate when they’re of a mind to..

  41. 41
    eclare says:

    @NotMax: Hahaha….

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    I read a really hilarious story one time by a guy who landed in a French hospital in massive pain and the doctors were debating whether or not his testicles were in torsion (twisted) and that was causing the pain. One of the doctors grabbed his balls and said, “No, no, if the problem was torsion, it would look like this!

    And yet the poor guy was already in so much pain that it barely registered. 😱 Turned out to be kidney stones, which I have always heard is the only pain that truly compares to childbirth.

  43. 43
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Watching Designated Survivor and boy is it stupid. They’re covering the Confederate Statue Controversy idiotically. They have an old black Civil Rights activist character who’s against the removal of a statue on federal land because…. It’s whitewashing history! Somehow. Oh and he told a real zinger to a young white woman in the room that because she’s young and white she can’t know what racism really is. She did make a crack about him selling out, but his position is stupid.

    No mention yet of tiki torch wielding Nazis rallying around them. This show reeks of idealism.

  44. 44
    mainmata says:

    This kind of mammal GOT happens fairly regularly at our Shenandoah Valley farm (not that far from where you live). It’s usually our dog vs. a groundhog or rabbit but she’s taken down a baby deer even though she’s just a middle-sized boxer-pointer mix with a sweet disposition (except when she goes into hunt mode).

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Everyone is off to bed. Got it.

  46. 46
    Steve in the ATL says:


    I missed something, who is Taylor, and what is the story?

    This may possibly be unrelated to your query, but our CHRO just told me a story about two of our female trainee sales reps, both named Taylor, and a dude trainee in a holiday inn express hot tub (they have hot tubs?!?). Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for their marriages or employment status.

    And there were no pics. Wtf?

  47. 47
    Mary G says:

    Lily is a lover, not a fighter.

  48. 48
    feebog says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Missus and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Maui. A couple days later I came down with intense abdominal pain. after a day and a half, which included a visit to a local doctor, I gave up an went to the county hospital. The internist on duty diagnosed appendicitis, and out it went that evening. Kinda ruined the second week of our vacation. About 10 years later, I woke up in the middle of the night with the same (though less intense) symptoms. I did not wait, but immediately went to the ER. Turns out I was passing a kidney stone. Both times.

  49. 49
    Glidwrith says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I am up for two more minutes because I forgot I was making bread. And there’s the timer. ‘Night.

  50. 50
    eclare says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That is a very different story! This one does not involve marriages, jobs, or hot tubs. I have the same question that you did, Holiday Inn Express has hot tubs?

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Still kickin’. Waiting on the experiment making port wine and bleu cheese bread to finish up in the super duper bread machine.

  52. 52
    CaseyL says:

    Glad to hear Taylor is doing well; also glad to hear peace has returned to the Cole Animal Kingdom.

  53. 53
    Suzanne says:


    One of my friends said that the worst thing about having a baby at a teaching hospital was that they kept bringing groups of students in to look at her cervix.

    Hah. I have told family members to truly consider what it means to go to a teaching hospital when selecting where to get care. Most of them are good, many are specialists/quaternary care/research institutions,…..but they’ll have students practice giving pelvic exams on you while you’re anesthetized and that shit is in the fine print you’re not reading.

  54. 54
    Suzanne says:

    Oooops. I used “special-ists” and that contains the same core problem word as soshulism so pleez get me out of the mod filter.

  55. 55
    Mart says:

    @NotMax: @NotMax: How is a bow and arrow not a fire arm in town? An inadvertent kill shot does not care if it is from a bullet or arrow.

  56. 56
    ruemara says:

    @Alain the site fixer: That was a very informative and repulsive story. I’m glad your right as rain.
    I’m glad Taylor is on the mend.
    I’m rediscovering that pets = excitement and I’m glad I’m not having Cole levels of excitement. But I got the little girl to play with me and she hasn’t poo’d anywhere but her box. Peed yes, but no poo. I even got her to play a bit. Now she’s sitting at my feet while the boy has my lap. Much gamboling is about to happen.
    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: It reeks of rightwing alt-history, much like the prior wingnut fantasy, 24.

  57. 57
    eclare says:

    @ruemara: So cute!

  58. 58
    J R in WV says:

    When we were still living in the old farm house and farming, we had a party. One of the kids came to me and said the chickens were making strange noises, so I got a flashlight and went out to the coop. When I put light on the roosts, there was a possum, froze reaching for a chicken’s leg. I had nothing, so I went back to the house (40 yards or so) and got the fireplace/welding gloves.

    Went back out, possum still froze, grabbed him by a back leg, threw him out to a passel of farm dogs, who made short work of him. Female Norwegian who was about to have puppies took it home, 1/2 a mile or so, as emergency rations in case neighbors quit feeding her when she had the litter.

    Cole, could have been so much worse, could have been a skunk !!! Recipe in case, 1 qt hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup sodium bicarbonate (Arm&Hammer) big dash Dawn dish soap, scrub dog with mixture, let soak 15 minutes, rinse well. For bigger dogs, double peroxide and bicarb.

  59. 59
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mart: No one should be killing the stupid opossum. They look nasty when they hiss and show their teeth but they are tremendous cowards and will scuttle away given the chance.

  60. 60
    SWMBO says:

    @John Cole: They eat ticks. They can be ugly as fuck and mean as a snake but they eat ticks. Several members of my family have had several tick diseases over the years. Possums can take up residence near me any time. As long as they feast on ticks.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Well, glad all is well.
    Thanks for the update.Will continue to send positive thoughts and prayers 🙏

  62. 62
    LesGS says:

    @No Drought No More: Foxes, dang! Last autumn, I was at my dad’s place on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, near midnight on my way to sleep, when I heard a horrible scream. Like a, “My god, I’m being killed!” scream. I jump out of bed, then there’s another scream, and another… in a weirdly rhythmic pattern. I am freaking out, because really, it sounds like a woman being murdered. I dash out of my room, notice the light still on in the living room, where I find my dad. He’s sitting there calmly reading his Washington Post. “Do you hear that, Dad?” I say. “I think someone is in trouble!” “Oh, no,” he replies. “Everything’s okay. That’s just a fox.”

    Took me a little while to wind down again…

  63. 63
    LesGS says:

    And as to possums, let me just say they don’t make good pets. When I was a teen, my family raised seven possum babies we took out of the pouch of a train-killed mama, and there’s not much there there. They were not at all aggressive, and loved munching on the Japanese beetles that were a bane to our plants in the mid-70s. Weird party trick; if you grab a (hand reared, don’t try this with a wild) possum’s tail while they are walking forward, they will stop, move backwards a few feet, and then start moving forward again. Repeat and repeat and repeat. I think it’s an instinct against their long tails getting caught between rocks or whatever. They back to free it up, then go on their merry marsupial way.

  64. 64
    LAO says:

    Glad to hear Taylor is doing better.

  65. 65
    MoxieM says:

    @opiejeanne: Also, they eat ticks!

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @eclare: It’s probably too late, but just in case. I had to google “taylor” and found this thread. Taylor is Gerald’s son.

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