For Xmas 2004, GK made a gingerbread house for me. I didn't know
at the time that it would be instrumental in the attraction of a new
pet. The gingerbread house had been placed on a table near an open
window, and the tempting smell of it was too much for a possum to
resist. We had had a little bit of contact with Ginger before this
time, but the appearance of the gingerbread house led to regular
I didn't know much about possums, or that I would like them so
much. I would find it amusing that they'd make so much noise on the
roof, but not having direct, personal contact, I mostly shut possums
out of my awareness. I had heard that some people find them annoying
because they eat the fruit on fruit trees, vegetables in gardens,
that they take up residence in roofs/ceilings, and that it can be
difficult to get rid of them.
At first, Ginger was considered something of a pest because she
was eating a seedbell that had been put up to attract parrots.
However, as time went on and we had more contact with Ginger, we
found her entertaining and began to look forward to her visits.
In the beginning, she sometimes announced her presence by
overturning empty flower pots. It was difficult to predict at what
time she would visit, or if she would approach from a tree, the roof
or balcony, but we eventually learned to recognize the (loud) patter
of possum footsteps on the roof, the thud on the balcony, or a
rustling in the trees. She surprised us by hanging upside down from
the roof, and by trying to climb us as if we were trees. She stalked
into the house when the door was open. At times when I hadn't noticed
that she was ready for more food, to attract my attention she pulled
my hair or pulled off a hat.
She allowed us to pet her, and to place food directly into her
mouth. It felt affectionate when she wrapped her tail around a
finger and applied a bit of pressure.
Ginger disappeared while she was carrying Kulfi in her pouch.
Kulfi returned, but she did not. I like to think that she left this
territory to her babies and was strong enough to seek a new territory
for herself. However, a possum's life is an uncertain thing. Ginger
is very much missed, and won't be forgotten. She was the first possum
to make contact, and to introduce us to a whole other world that we'd
blocked from consciousness.
Ginger main page
stages of motherhood