We've heard that some people have faces only a mother could love. Apparently, the hissing, terrifying, pointy-teethed maw of the possum is one of those faces, as it's inspired maternal feelings in one Texas wildlife rehabilitator
These busted marsupials that have a tendency to scare the holy bejeezus out of anyone who crosses their paths, but they're also Kathleen Shives' life's work. She was recently featured in the Austin American-Statesman after nursing over 1,000 of the animals in her 30-year career. She has over 65 of the little furballs on her property. They're the only marsupial species native to North America (which means they're related to koalas ... not that we can tell), and Kathleen says they're actually quite useful as "little sanitation experts" that eat cockroaches, poisonous snakes, rats and dead animals.
Trying to convince yourself that a 65-possum ranch
is lovely and humane and not horrifying and skin-crawly? How about this -- Pooh, one of Shives' possums, likes to sit in a recliner and watch "Judge Judy." Possums ... they're just like your grandma.