And I happened to turn around and look out onto the patio. A couple of cats were pretty interested in something on the shade cloth over the patio. I go out and look, I see pigeon head bob up, the shadow, not the head, since it IS shade cloth.
We get the occasional bird on it (over on the YouTube channel, there's a little video of Pancho checking out the birds), the cloth catches a lot of the seed pods from the liquid Amber tree (which are really, really horrible to step on barefoot). I think nothing of it and go back to what I was doing.
Later, Brian had left to go pick up supplies and I walked outside. The bird was still there. That's odd. I check it out further. I got one of my step stools, climbed it and pulled a little bit of the shade cloth as far as I could away from the edge (which wasn't very much).
Not a bird.
A juvenile possom. On the shade cloth. In the hot sun. Panting. I panic. I don't want this possom to die.
I call Brian, he's checking out at Lowe's, has one more stop to make, then he'll be home. I got a cloth and soaked it in cool water. I put this against the bottom of the possom through the shade cloth, hoping to cool it down. I put water in a styrofoam bowl that I was able to get through the opening of the cloth. It ended up dripping onto the bottom of the possom. It wasn't interested in drinking, but I'm sure the coolness helped a little bit.
I start to worry about Brian, I know he likes talking to people. I checked my cell, it's been thirty-six minutes since I last called him. I called him again, planning to request that he not get involved in deep conversation with the people at his last stop. I have nothing to worry about, he's in the driveway. Whew.
He got the tall ladder out, climbed onto the roof from the front yard, grabbed the kid by the tail (that's what the wildlife person did when she came out years ago to rescue an injured possom that was in our front yard) and carried it over the roof. We'd filled the fountain up in the entry way and I'd wetted down the non-concrete areas with a fair amount of water. There is a place there that doesn't get any sun and has a large plant which would give the possom privacy. Brian set it down and it immediately ran to outside of the gate and laid down by a planter just in front.
I checked on it a few hours later and it had moved on. It would have died had we not rescued it. I think what happened is it got onto the roof during the night and couldn't get back down. As anyone who's had a cat climb a tree, up is easier than down.
I felt so much relief when I knew it had left. To make sure, I went outside and looked in all of the shady places. No possom. I hope it's back with its family and none the worse for wear. As traumatic as this was for me, it had to be a lot worse for the possom.