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Possum, Linda’s Cat

John W. Pinkerton


We've had cats for years.  Most have survived into cat old age, and the oldest one, Possum, is still with us.

Possum, like all of our cats, walked up on our property from parts unknown and decided to stay.  Now deciding and staying aren't necessarily the same things.  Being that we've always had at least one cat and at times several, it ain't easy to establish oneself as a regular.  This typically means they must fight their way in.  Many of the cats who stumble upon our property are very young and vulnerable, but it's fight or…well, die.

Possum is one of those cats who fought her way into the clan to become a regular.

Possum really found her Nirvana when she discovered she could be a house cat.  The house is the source of the food.   The house provides protection from the elements.  The house keeps rude cats away.   Most important of all to Possum is that the house is where Linda is.

Other than once a year for her annual shots, Possum has spent very little time with the vet.  On her last visit, the vet commented that she had never seen such a healthy cat at her age.  I'm not sure of her health, but she looks almost identical to herself when she was a year old.  Now she moves a little more slowly and spends a little additional time napping, but she still does whatever pleases her.

Linda named the cat “Possum” because we had a number  of these terribly ugly but harmless beasts around the property when Possum found us.

Possum is Linda's cat.  She loves Linda and Linda reciprocates.  She spends a lot of time in Linda's lap or on the back of her chair or just trying to get her undivided attention.  She objects to Linda working a crossword puzzle or reading the newspaper or crocheting.   What a waste when she could be petting her.

There needs to be a double period at the end of the sentence, “Possum loves Linda..”  That's the limit of her affection.


I've lived in the same house with this cat for 17 years.  The cat will have nothing…nothing to do with me.   Usually when I enter the room in which the cat is resting, it moves farther away from me perhaps placing a piece of furniture between herself and me.  Now, you may be asking yourself what the heck I did to the darned cat to have it act as though I'm the Devil.  Heck, it's not just me: she won't have anything to do with another living human on earth.

Other cats have shared the house with her through the years.  She tolerates them and even occasionally joins in a game of chase.  Presently we have a young female who also chose the indoors.  Being young, she likes to play, and she manages to keep Possum active.

Look, I've never done anything to the cat except treat it with respect, but does she accept my hand to pet her fur?  Hell, no.

If I sneak up on her while she's sleeping and place my hand on her back, she wakes and glares at me with a mixture of disbelief and anger.  I quickly withdraw of course.  I wouldn't want to traumatize the old devil.

In spite of her attitude, I always speak kindly to her as I pass by her.

I don't resent Possum's attitude toward me.  To me it's humorous.  I'm just not the sort of person who finds it unbelievable when someone doesn't like me.  I treat Possum the same way I treat others who don't like me.  I treat them as though I'm unaware of the fact that they don't cotton to me.


Some times people don't like other people, and if confronted, not even they can explain the reasons.  I accept that and never give it a second thought.

Heck, occasionally I'll tell my wife that I don't like someone, but add, “I'm not sure why.”  However, in my case, time usually proves my instincts correct, so maybe Possum's instincts about me will prove correct in the end.

Anyway, Possum provides a good life lesson.  Sometimes, like Possum, people don't like someone else without good cause.  Don't fret over it.   It does not necessarily speak poorly of either party.  It's just the way folks are built.