December 4-10, 2023

Meet the overwintering opossums! All of them were too small to release when the weather was pleasant and the food plentiful, so they are staying until spring. They won't be doing very much over the next few months but I'll try to keep their brains and bodies active through enriching toys and objects, and changes of scenery.

Little Brother

Initially named one of the “Two Fatties”, Little Brother came in on July 30.  He has been here a really long time!  By the time he was big enough to be released, the weather had turned cold.

Big Brother and Little Brother started out very pudgy, quite roly-poly.  They elongated and grew into handsome young men.  While Big Brother started getting huge, Little Brother’s growth rate was normal.  

He is pictured inside the large sized Clawsable heated cat house I purchased with donations.

Blue Moon Electric added weather safe outlets at 2 of the enclosures so I feel confident plugging it in during rainy weather.

Despite being here since July, Little Brother is not tame.

Big Brother

The other member of the “Two Fatties”, Big Brother lives up to his name.  He is so much bigger than Little Brother that I decided to go ahead and soft release him on a property where he would have shelter and food,  That didn’t work out so he is back here for the winter.

He has a nice, thick coat so he prefers to sleep in one of the hay filled nest boxes.

As soon as spring comes and food sources reappear, he will be released.

He is not a picky eater and enjoys his vegetables, like bok choy, along with his diet of kibble and a protein treat.  Last night’s treat was shell-on shrimp.  While they won’t find shrimp in the wild, they will find other “fishy smelling” foods and will know they are good to eat.

He also likes oyster mushrooms, which I grow myself, and pigeon eggs from my friend Guy.


Quite the diminutive gal, Pixie came from another rehabber who had her since July 3.  While the other opossums her same age kept on growing, Pixie stayed very small.  It was determined that she is a dwarf.  She will never reach full size.  She is spending the winter here while she learns to be a wild opossum.

Right now she is inside, but she will transition to an outside enclosure, once I receive a small heated cat house from Clawsable.  Thank you for the donations that allow me to purchase these extra items!

These heated houses are insulated with foam and a reflective coating.  They have a weatherproof cover, and an entrance designed to keep wind out.  I can fill them with straw and turn the weather safe heated pad on when it dips below 32.


Isn’t she beautiful?  Blossom is a very light-colored silver morph, unlike Victoria who is a black morph.

She arrived on August 8 and so has been here a long time.

Blossom presented with metabolic bone disorder, which arises from an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in a growing opossum’s diet.  By the time she was large enough and healthy enough to be released, it was late October.  She would be at a disadvantage if released, so she will stay here until spring.

She will be nearly full grown!


On August 26, Victoria arrived after being found dragging herself through the finder’s garage.  

She’s been here 4 months and has made great strides in rehabilitation.  She is the reason why I believe I can help Lt. Dan walk again.  Although she is a little wobbly, she can run and climb very well.  She is inside right now, healing from injuries to the tip of her tail.

Because her hind legs aren’t as strong as normal, when she climbs up and down the enclosure’s hardware cloth walls, she uses her tail to grip the wire.  Her tail isn’t made to bear so much weight, and she developed several small cuts.  Those cuts became infected. 

I have made changes to the layout of two of the enclosures so there is no point of contact between the hardware cloth and the opossums, but is still climable.

She is inside healing and getting antibiotics.  I don’t think she minds being inside out of the cold and rain!


Yes, Winky is drooling a little bit here.  The stages of opossum defense faces are: drooling, lip curling, mouth opening, teeth showing, growling, hissing, and then running away.  If cornered they will lunge before they bite.  If you push the interaction too far though, they will either attack or play dead.  In my 10 years of rehabbing I’ve never had a patient play dead!

Winky had surgery last week to put his eyelid back in place.  He had been hit on the head by some fearful humans.  The injuries were too severe to share.  But his healing eye doesn’t look too bad!

Although he is a little shy and fearful, he is very good about taking his medicine and loves syringe-fed baby food.

He is bunking with Lt. Dan, who is the same size as him.

Winky has been here since November 17.

Lt. Dan

On November 7, a homeowner found Lt. Dan dragging himself through their yard.  He had injuries consistent with a cat attack, but we don’t know for sure what happened.  He is a bit surly, like his namesake from the film Forrest Gump, and cannot use his hind legs. 

Rich Bergins, engineer and volunteer extraordinaire, is building him a wheelchair!  Since he arrived, I have been using anti-inflammatories and cold laser therapy on his spine and pelvis.  He can now move his legs at the hip, grip with both feet, and use his tail.

It’s going to take a long time for him to be able to walk again, but I feel certain he will be able to.  

He is very good about his physical therapy sessions although he is still a little scared of me.  You can see the edges of his lips drooping a little.  We can pretend that he is smiling for the camera.

Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, where two of my former rehabilitation opossums work, is holding a seasonal event.  I’ve been there the last two weekend’ selling crocheted opossums and books by Gina Gallois.  I met several Facebook friends and followers of the page and blog!  It was great to put faces to names.  I’ve sold 30 opossums so far, each of whicb take me about 45 minutes to make.

The blog will be come as an every other week update for the next few months as we take the time to rest and enjoy a little hibernation. Thanks for reading!

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December 4-10, 2023

Meet the overwintering opossums! All of them were too small to release when the weather was pleasant and the food plentiful, so they are staying until spring. They won’t be doing very much over the next few months but I’ll try to keep their brains and bodies active through enriching toys and objects, and changes

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