Terrier vs. Possum

Here in the South, opossums are referred to as “possums”. When I say “possum” here, I really mean “opossum”.


Anyway, my little 15-pound terrier Molly and I were in the basement the other day when all of a sudden – out of the corner of my eye – I see a gray blur and hear a snarl.

Then I look and there’s Molly with a young (maybe a couple months old) possum in her mouth. She’s shaking it back and forth, wildly. It sounds like “whap, whap, whap, whap, whap”.

Anyhow, the terror & exhiliration bring me to shout at her “Molly, NO!”.

She apparently has her wits about her enough to let go of the possum. The possum flies about a foot and skids to a stop on carpet. Molly looks up at me as if to say, “Look, I brought you a present. May I kill it now?”

Immediately the possum curls its fists into its middle and opens its mouth – it’s playing dead. Being a human and not so easily fooled, I notice that its nose is twitching.

I have basically just watched a cliche: the terrier got the possum (the thing, as small as it was, looked quite like a rat, and Molly surely didn’t know the difference), and the possum played dead.

I took Molly upstairs for a minute, then went back downstairs to see if the possum was back on its feet. It was.

So I let the possum back outside. I could see that somehow it had suffered a cut on its left shoulder, but it walked out of the house anyway. We’d managed to get Molly upstairs. She whined her head off.

I hope the little possum is okay.

For some background/perspective:

Molly had never attacked a possum previous to the engagement heretofore described.

She’d seen a full-grown possum once.

We don’t really have rats here.

She occasionally sees squirrels, but they’re too far off (generally) for her to have any chance of catching them - we walk her on a 15-foot expandable/retractable leash.

So for her it was pretty much 100% instinct. (must have been)

I have a large fat ginger cat.
Once my cat caught a bird when he was sitting on a sill with his tail wagging.
He was like playing with it and stuff, chasing it around the house. The bird was at death’s door.
But I decided to spare its life, took it away from my cat and let it out.
When I saw a bird in my cat’s teeth, I wanted to say “look what the cat dragged in” :slight_smile:

hehe, yeah, cats are great catchers of small animals too

The way cats catch birds can be amazing. I once saw my cat intently watching a bird from the top of the balcony railing. The bird was on the balcony. When the bird finally decided to fly away, the cat leapt and caught the bird in mid-air. :shock:

I have at home 6 years old dog - German Shepherd.
Almost from his puppy times he has been given many times raw meat to eat and never even once had biten a human.( they were some cases but not fully prooved)
Chasing alien cats or demanding respect from some dogs is his live prioritet over everything.
I had relized that he actually does not know what to do after a cat is caught in the corner without any escape.It is also possibly that he deliberatly
is loosing interest to finish a race by killing.
When some cat is stopped and completly teriffied ready to fight or die my dog wait few seconds and giving up returns to me in his full glorry.
(I hope my neigbours are not able to read this text, he is punished after of course).
I never let him go on cat by purpose but he is able to find his way to slack my control when walking out and once upon a while totaly ignoring orders, blind and deaf,
deliberatly choosing chasing and harsh consequenses runs after some poor creature.
In my view this is pure sport.
Home cats are totally relaxed

It sounds like your dog really enjoys being a dog – chasing cats, acting tough, etc.