Last week was a doozy. Thankfully everything turned out okay.
Sunday night before last the entire family fell asleep by 8:30 p.m., but I had had a Coca Cola with dinner and was ready to party. So I turned on the light next to the back steps and waited for the wild gray cat to show up so I could sit in front of the back door and stare at it for a little while.
She, or he, darts on and off the steps but won’t eat the food I left because I am sitting there. Before long my back yard opossum strolls across the yard and scoops up the crust from a peanut butter sandwich that I threw out earlier in the day, not noticing me sitting there at all and seemingly enjoying the buffet of all the scraps I have left.
When it moved to the bowl of cat food I put out for the wild gray cat, the cat came over to the steps and it looked like they were having an exchange of words, but the cat just wasn’t brave enough to eat while I was still sitting there so it sulked away and let the opossum continue its feast.
The opossum had its feel of food and waddled away. The cat still darted around nervously but wouldn’t come near.
I guess after months of isolation this is where I’m at. Sitting by the back window trying to make wild animals be my friend.
At last I got bored with it and went to bed.
But at 1 a.m. the dogs woke me up with loud barking. Finding it impossible to ignore I took the BB gun out of the closet and went to the living room where I found that the dogs had the poor opossum against the door. I crack it enough to shoot the BB gun and that hushed them so I went back to bed.
They started barking again as soon as my head hit the pillow though.
I got up and went out the garage door to the yard where I found that they had killed my back yard pet, the opossum. It laid there in the yard, still and bloody. I fussed and shot the BB gun in their direction, though not really at them, until they headed back over to my in-laws’ house.
At 4:30 the following morning, the boy woke me up and had a terrible fever. I called Michael in a panic and told him he needed to come home, because I guess I was confusing this time with three months ago when everyone was concerned about the coronavirus. Thankfully he did come home, because I would not have gotten through the day if he hadn’t.
I was fairly certain the boy did not have coronavirus, because we have been around no one sick. Some late night research on WebMD helped me determine that he actually had West Nile virus, which he caught from some mosquitoes that bit him while we were planting pumpkin seeds.
The next day he didn’t have much of a fever and so I cancelled the doctor’s appointment I had made him.
That night though, his fever spiked again so I went ahead and took him to the doctor the next day. Totally unimpressed with my Google search, as doctors tend to be, she tested him for Covid19 and not West Nile.
I was concerned that he might have the dreaded coronavirus and with the fact that we had just celebrated my Mom’s birthday and my father-in-law’s birthday. The first two normal-ish days we had had since March 12, and we could have infected and potentially killed half the family. It was a scary thought.
The test came back negative thank goodness. The boy still isn’t back to his normal speed, but he is much better than he was last Monday.
On Friday morning Michael told me I had another opossum in the yard. My guess is it’s the same old one that has been eating my table scraps and that it was only playing dead when the dogs were attacking it.
I guess all is well that ends well.
Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.