I thought it was a RAT!!!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by wakeupcall, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    OMG!!! I was looking out the front door a little bit ago and here was this mangy-looking rodent wobbling on the sidewalk. I ran and got my digital camera, but I was too scared to get out the door too much to get a picture!! difficult child came home on his bike and I took him out to see it, but it had crawled into the shrubs by then so he couldn't see it good. I thought it was a rat.....arggggggg, but now I think it's a baby o'possum. It's tail is twice as long as the body...the body is about 4 inches long, grey fur, and I think it's sick by the way it's wobbling and there are a dozen black flies crawling on it. OMG...it's creeped me out. I'm most afraid of snakes and mice....and this is just tooooooooo close. Does anyone know of a way I can tell if it's a rat or an o'possum? I would hate either, but I'd feel better if I thought it was a baby o'possum and it just lost its way. :smile:
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    There are lots of opossums here in Dallas - not sure where in Texas you live - but I saw one just last night. Opossums sound just like you described, really long pink tail, and gray mangy fur, big teeth. Probably with all of this rain, the little guy has lost his mama. You could call animal control and they can remove him if you want.

    Interesting fact about opossums though - they do not carry rabies, it is impossible because of their low body temp. And they are a marsupial - the only one in North America.

    I am with you rats FREAK me out - but at least with opossums I can view them as a bit cute, given they really are a clean animal. My dog cornered one in our yard once, and that opossum screamed like a banchi - It was 3am and it scared the beejezus out of me. I sprayed water on it, and the dog, and the opossum was able to run away - down my fence and to some unknown destination. Where do they live in Dallas? Who knows!

    Good luck...............
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sure sounds like a possum to me. Doesn't sound like the lil guy was in very great shape either.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Pink is one of the giveaway colors. Could you see the feet?
    Sounds like it was very sick.
    It would have scared me, too, but then I would have felt sorry for it.
  5. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    The feet were pink. What does that mean?

    husband says it was a rat, and I'm still not sure, but I'm leaning toward it being an o'possum. (What does he know anyway?) By the time he got home from work it was dead in the bushes, so he scooped it up for fear our Yorkies would get to it. If it had been poisoned, he didn't want them to be poisoned also.

    EEEEWWWWWWW.....it still creeps me out and I dreamed about it all night long. I knew I would.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Whatever it was, it sounds like it was probably dying from rat poison. Opossums are omnivores, they'll eat whatever. They're also very ratlike, much more so than our brushtail possums. Opossums have small eyes like a rat, not the big, round, brown eyes like ours Down Under. Also I think our 'brushies' are bigger than the opossums. Yours have a longer muzzle, at least partly bare, while ours have shorter, furrier faces. I'd hate to meet a rat the size of our brushies. Ours are roughly cat-sized. And I mean a big cat.
    Opossums have a number of babies at one time, brushies generally only have one. Ringtail possums often have two, but rarely more. And with all of them, when the babies are big enough to hold on, they ride on the parent's back. If that back is crowded, they get pushed off more easily and babies often go astray when they fall off. Our parent possums will go back and get a baby, I assume the opossum would too, but it might be easier for a young opossum to go astray (or get led astray) by rat poison or snail bait. It really doesn't take much of either.

    Opossums have pink feet, but so do a lot of rats. A dark-furred rat is more likely to have darker pigmented skin on its feet, but the soles are generally always pink. Not sure about your opossums, but our brushies have weird feet - their back feet have two opposable big toes. A rat's hind foot looks more like a normal hand in configuration - a bit like a chimpanzee hand. Their front paws are very hand-like, but that's the same for brushies and opossums.
    Not sure about whether marsupials can carry rabies - I wouldn't rule it out, but they ARE more physiologically different to most other mammals.

    I'm glad the poor little thing is dead. Sounds like it was suffering.

  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, at least it's not suffering.

    I'm guessing it was a possum. Ours have pink feet. Our rats are darker, and particularly, what are called "river rats," have gray feet.

    Whatever it was, it is gone now.
  8. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I didn't get a very good photo of it....(I know I'm a big chicken), so that I could get more opinions. I'm still going to pray it was an o'possum, just so I can quit thinking about it so much. (Does this mean I'm obsessive?) After thinking about it, I wonder if a cat had mauled it and injured it. It's fur was yucky looking and it was covered in flies (this prior to dying). It's gone, thank goodness....but it haunts me. UGH!!