Ding dong. My neighbor Jennifer is standing outside the door holding something disgusting. “Look what the contractor found in the walls upstairs!”

Mummified Opossum
Mummified Grossness

And so begins the guessing game.

“It’s a rat”, she says.
“Yeah, that tail… it could be. Oh, but could that be a kitten??”
“I was afraid of that too.”

This continues for a few minutes until Stephanie approaches. Without hesitation she announces, “It’s a opossum!”, then adds emphatically “It’s a baby opossum, definitely”

Soon we’re Googling skeletons and skulls. Opossum is definitely a strong contender. A coworker introduces the possibility of it being a Raccoon. Google confirms: not a rat, mouse, or cat. Oppossum is the unofficial verdict.

Next day, Jennifer’s husband sends an email to the Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. His reply is brief:

“It’s a possum!”

And now you know. Cool, eh? Here they are during better days:

A Mother's Burden