A Mystery…

This morning we solved a mystery that’s been bugging us for quite a while now…

A few weeks ago, Harland and I were working our computers one evening when we heard a noise in the basement.  We shrugged it off, you know, old house creaking and groaning…right?

But we kept hearing it.  Every few nights – banging… We would stop to listen….and all would go quiet.

Then we went on vacation on August 25th and were away for 2 weeks.

One night after we got back home, we heard the noise again as we were working in our office one evening, only this time it was louder – more insistent. It sounded like something was rattling the basement window!  (We open the basement windows in the summer to let fresh air in, but they’re only open a crack and are nailed in place so nothing can get in.)

Harland went into the basement while I went outside in the dark with a flashlight. I was shining the flashlight around the basement windows when I heard Harland yell and I ran back inside.

Me:  What is it? Did you see something?  

Harland:  Yeah, somebody was shining a flashlight into the basement window! 

Me:  Oh geez. 

The next night, we heard the same noise again, window rattling.

I looked at Harland.

Harland and Me:  “Something’s down there!!”

So two days ago, Harland set our Havahart trap in the basement and baited it with catfood.

Yesterday morning all the catfood was gone and the trap was empty. But since the critter, whatever it was, now knew where to get food, we knew it would be back the next night.

So this morning first thing,  I tip-toed down into the basement stairs in my bathrobe. I peered across the basement…..

And there was something in the trap!

It was curled up like it had been sleeping. As I looked at it laying there, it stared back at me with two large dark eyes…



“Hey lady, turn the light off already! I’m trying to sleep here.”


A possum!

How in the world did a possum get in the basement? Well, there’s only one way it could have.

Remember the mystery hole we discovered in our remodeling project?


We discovered the hole when Harland broke out and removed the old patio next to the house. Turned out it was a old cistern that had been filled in and settled over time leaving a hole.


Well, it was several days before Harland could fill it in with concrete.


But during that time the hole was open, Mr/Mrs Possum must have moved into the basement. We just never noticed the little moving van parked outside the house or the little moving men bringing in the  furniture. Must have happened at night.

But here’s another mystery: Harland filled that hole in on August 16, unknowingly trapping our new tenant in the basement.  There’s water available down there (the air conditioner drains into the basement drain) but there’s no food of any kind. How in the world has Mr/Mrs. Possum survived for a month without food?

Poor thing.


No wonder the food dish was empty that first night we baited the trap.

Today Harland will release our tenant back outside.

Fresh air, green grass, and bugs to eat.  If possums could sing for joy, I’m sure this one would.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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22 Responses

  1. Lorraine says:

    Oh country life! How cute. We have had a couple in our honeysuckles but never in the house.. I am surprised Kitty didn’t alert you…..

  2. Jody Neece says:

    A more pressing question would be, “Where did it get the flashlight?” 🙂

  3. Glenda says:

    Oh my! I hate those things! A poor relative left from the dinosaur age as far as I’m concerned! No patience for them at all! However, I’m glad it wasn’t a raccoon. They can really tear things up. Glad your mystery is solved!

  4. Carol says:

    Suzanne was that in your basement while you were on vacation? Kitty must have become used to the noise? We had a raccoon in the attic, he was mad and snarled at us, like we were living in his house!

    • Suzanne says:

      yep, while we were on vacation, we had a houseguest we didn’t know we had. I wonder what Kitty thought of the noise each night? Fortunately for us, possums aren’t destructive so there’s no evidence it was down there all that time.

  5. Becca says:

    What a surprise!
    I bet the poor thing found a snake or two maybe a mouse to eat!

  6. Becca says:

    Was it Tiggywinkle??

    • Suzanne says:

      I went back and compared the pics cause I was wondering the same thing. The ears are different, so this is a different one.

  7. Teresa says:

    Poor thing. Glad you managed to capture it and release it back to the wild.

  8. Betty says:

    We just caught a opossum in our trap also. We released him or her about five miles away in a wooded area much better suited for it. I can not believe the poor thing was alive after a month of not eating. Amazing. Love your site!!!

  9. Amelia says:

    That is one lucky possum to have stumbled into your basement! I am surprised Kitty didn’t sense there was an uninvited house guest with you.

  10. Donna W says:

    I hate chicken-killing varmints.

  11. Aww, little possums are so cute. But they do belong outside. Tell him/her that he/she will have to find a new apartment.
    We have them all over our suburban neighborhood and they are always getting hit by cars at night. 🙁 Not me. I should have a bumper sticker on my car that says “I brake for possums, and squirrels, and all Gods creatures”.

  12. Rural TN says:

    We have been attempting to catch a coon for 2 nights. Maybe this will be the night and he can be relocated.
    From the Phony Farm in TN

  13. Lorraine says:

    Hmmmmmmm! Maybe Kitty was subletting???? She would claim of coarse that she had lost the key and wouldn’t let her out the basement door(if there is on). After I left for work yesterday, my husband was waving good by and he saw a mama raccoon and three babies walk across the street into the sewer.

    • Suzanne says:

      No wonder Kitty was quiet about our tenant, she was collecting the rent and making a little pocket money. Never thought of that….. crafty Kitty.

  14. Lorraine says:

    I love the avoidance of the wooly worms. I have been known to pick up worms after a heavy rain, if they are found on the sidewalk and throw them into the garden. Sometimes if I use my imagination I can hear the worm say ” hey, I really wanted to get to the other side”.

  15. Jeanne says:

    I loved reading all these comments! I got a lot of chuckles!! 🙂

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