Pete would try the patience of any animal lover

Published 11:49 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

By Steve Stricker

My solid black cat Jag who adopted me in 2016 would stay out all night if allowed. Last Tuesday night I woke up, and in a sleep stupor was sure I had let him in, and went back to sleep.

At 3 a.m.  I heard a light scratching sound, but went back to sleep. At 4 a.m. I  heard more light scratching, and got up. I discovered I had not let him in, the door was ajar, there was a cat treat package on the patio. Then I saw the back of a grey animal slink in through the open door.

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I first thought it was my raccoon Bandit because he had been in my bird feeders before I went to bed.

When I  got a flashlight and no, it was possum Pete  who sauntered past me and towards my bedroom. I retrieved a piece of cane pole and looked, but couldn’t find it. 

With all the lights turned on and doors opened, Jag finally came in to see what was going on. I thought Jag would chase Pete (they are friends) out of the house, but he just sat down.  

It was now 5 a.m., the time Jag always gets me up, so I went about my routine of feeding us breakfast.  With no sign of the possum, I was praying he went out one of the open doors. Suddenly there was movement under the kitchen table. It was Pete. Jag he casually looked that way, said it was just Pete, and ignored him, like yeah, I see him every night.

So with my cane pole, I prodded Pete toward the open patio door and he slowly left just as it was getting light outside.

Now what?  I don’t like raccoons, as they are destructive. I kind of like having Pete around, but not in bed with me. And I’m afraid that now he knows where the food is, he will just walk in through the patio door I leave ajar for Jag. It’s tough being an animal lover.

Think I’ll put Jag’s food farther out in the yard, empty the birdfeeder before dark, and “Red Rider” their south end to re-establish some human fear in them. It’s always something, but I love my wild things, especially the deer.

Steve Stricker, an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at