There has been a possum living in the dark, dusty confines of the roof space of our home for some months now. We would hear him quietly scurrying around, particularly at night and in the earliest hours of a morning. The patter of his tiny feet could clearly be heard scampering over the ceiling on a nightly basis and it was almost like the possum was out each night exploring his new living space. Occasionally you would actually hear him fall from the air conditioning pipes or a rafter, but he never did any real harm so we let him become part of the character of our home – silly us!
There is nothing tentative or quiet about his tiny little feet now though! As our co-existence progressed he would screech, most likely to defend his territory from other like-minded possum’s. Who knew possums could talk!!?
We were peacefully sleeping one night only to be woken by a thumping noise that had us both thinking the damned possum would be coming through the ceiling and joining us in bed!! Now this wasn’t just one possum, it was quite obvious that there was a fight going on between 2 or more of them. The thumping was followed by muffled rolling sounds and outraged squeals. It was at this point that hubby and I started to spend hours during the night staring at the ceiling and cursing the unrepentant criminal that rampaged overhead, making noise from one end of the house to the other.
We often stared – bleary-eyed – at each other over coffee of a morning. “that thing has to go”, I stated in a flat, bone-weary voice.
Terry climbed into the roof space later that day and set 2 rat traps, hopeful that we could catch the possum that way. Alas, it was not to be! That cunning little break and enter artist seemed to know exactly what a rat trap was, and quite clearly avoided the area.
In response to our setting a trap for him, he retaliated by ramping up his nocturnal activity. Many times through the night he was heard jumping around, tumbling and squealing in delight. Wretched thing!!
The damned possum was wearing us down! Terry and our son Brett both got up on the roof to try to see if we had a broken tile that was giving this little hit and run artist access to the roof – they could find no access point.
These nightly antics became louder and louder over the following weeks resulting in what we now jokingly refer to as – the “possum’s footy match”. The scurrying started at roughly 11.00 pm when all of a sudden a very loud “thunk” was followed by a rat-a-tat-tat. What sounded like squeals of laughter were heard as I sat bolt upright in bed. The little buggers had brought a pebble or nut into the roof space and they were throwing it around. They’d charge after it, ramming each other, heading in all directions. I swear the possum’s were playing football, and it went on, and on, and on…………………
At 1:45 am I got up, weary from weeks of sleepless nights, made myself a cup of coffee (decaf as I needed no help at all to stay awake) and picked up a magazine. I couldn’t concentrate, but whether that was from being so tired, or from the rising tide of anger, I couldn’t tell. I’m sure that in some Possum Handbook somewhereit would state DO NOT PLAY FOOTBALL IN THE HUMAN’S HOUSE AFTER 10.30 PM!!
Just as that anger reached boiling point the noise stopped – this was very close to 3.00 am. What a blessed relief – I actually almost cried. My time spent savagely leafing through magazine pages produced a plan though, so I guess the sleepless hours were good for something. After work that very day I went down to our local Bunnings store and purchased 2 ultrasonic rodent deterrers, took them home and stuck them straight into the power sockets.
Well that was two nights ago. On the first night we heard the miniature criminals fall into the roof space, chat to each other and then jump straight back out, scurrying across the tin roof of the car port. And then came peace!! Last night the 3 human occupants of the house slept blissfully through the night, not waking once.
We’re all hopeful that the amazing full night of sleep was due to the rodent deterrent and not our own physical and mental exhaustion, but I guess that question will be answered tonight…….