Our earthquake emergency kit is stored just inside the back door to our garage. It resides in a pair of large, lidded, plastic buckets with our hard hats stacked on top. We have a couple of cats that prefer to stay outside so there is a kitty door in the back garage door and there is a feeding station in the garage. When I went out to check the cat food, Wednesday night, I found my wife's hard hat had been knocked off the stack and there was a small opossum bedded down in the hat. It was very cute so I took a picture with my cell phone and went in the house to show it to my wife. Her reaction was that it was very cute and as those hard hats were 20 years old we needed to replace them anyway.
Opossums have, occasionally, lived in our garage for the past 40 years. I have no problem with them since they are timid, benign creatures that eat bugs in the yard and provide a certain amount of amusement...until this morning. I haven't been using the work bench in the garage except for a few hours in the morning because of the extended heat wave Southern California has been experiencing. When I went out with the morning cat food today I smelled opossum piss. A little investigation revealed that the cute little opossum had been using the top of my workbench for her toilet!
Opossum crap is generally dry and hard so picking that up is not much of a problem but, you don't what to know what opossum piss can do to balsa wood! My all balsa P-30, up on the bench for wing repairs, went into the trash as did several new sheets of contest grade balsa. She had, apparently, also urinated from the top of the backsplash behind the bench (My workbench is topped with a section of preformed Formica kitchen counter.) and managed to get it down between all the short balsa and plywood sheets that I stack for quick use against the backsplash behind my organizer trays. More balsa, 1/32" and 1/64" plywood as well as the organizer trays went in the trash. I suppose that I could have washed off the sheets of styrene that were there but I didn't want to deal with that. I thought that the discovery that she had not only peed on my cutting board, but that the piss had run down under the cutting board was the last straw. Washing and disinfecting the bench was not that bad a chore...the cutting board was something else, but doable. No, the last straw was the Ott-Lite that I have on one end of my bench. The weighted base of it has a stylish bowl shaped design. The pantograph that supports the light head has a shaft that plugs into a hole in the center of the base. Of course she peed in that too and, of course, it all ran down the hole. The only saving grace being that the electrics are all up in the head since I had to disassemble the base, drain, clean and disinfect it.
The thought of shooting her crossed my mind, but in California she is protected wildlife and I don't want to be tagged for discharging a firearm inside the city limits. I have it all cleaned up so, for the foreseeable future I will just have to put a tarp over my bench when I quit work in the evening. Now if I can just convenience my patio dining cat to come inside...
Talk about anything but try to keep it aircraft related.
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