Petri’s Place Had A Jail Break: Crazy Things In The Name Of Love

Petri’s Place Had A Jail Break: Crazy Things In The Name Of Love

 A Journal Entry

To spend your days and nights (and all your money) rehabilitating animals you grow to love only to release them into the wild, already indicates a level of "crazy" you come to accept. 

However, there are situations testing you everyday that really make you question whether or not you yourself are "okay". 

Send help. 

I'm not great at math, this is no shocker to anyone that knows me. I do though have basic counting skills even without using my fingers. When I have my glasses on and my targets are not moving, I can pretty much guarantee the number will be accurate. 

Yesterday was not the case. Two plus one definitely added up to four and panic ensued. 

Petri's place math ain't mathin opossum

Feeding Time

It's a breezy Sunday early evening and the sun is shining. So far, all of the animals are behaving and snoozing peacefully in their enclosures. There are light chirps from the raccoons as they stretch and yawn, but no rambunctious behavior. 

Dog (that's his government name) is wondering around making sure no squirrels get into the sanctuary to steal food and I'm headed to the cages to put out dinner bowls. 

So far, so good.

The first enclosure has four male opossums that are lifers, Buddy, Mike Tyson, Friend of Mike and The Other Friend Of Mike. All four are nestled in their respective huts. Each one pops their head out to grab a bite out from their individually portioned dishes placed right in front of them just after I walk out and lock the door. One, two, three, four. 

Enclosure two is next. This one houses three non-releasable opossum females. Sweet Pea, Woodchip and Van-essa. Three opossums. Three very mature, female opossums. 

Sweet Pea and Woodchip are inseparable and are cuddled in their little hut watching me patiently. They know dinner has just arrived but Woodchip is antisocial and cannot exit her bed until humans are out of sight or she lets you know her displeasure. She's a bit sassy and overly dramatic so we just go with it. 

Van-essa, named after Van Gogh due to an incident with Mike Tyson when she was a baby, has a hut all to herself. Typically I hand her a chicken neck so she doesn't have to worry about being barked at by miss sassy pants. 

I know, this is taking forever, but hang on. 

Van-essa's hut is half of a plastic dog house, so to get to her you lift up the house and she'll be cuddled in her blankies. I've got the house lifted with one hand and I hand her the chicken neck with the other and freeze in place. 

Girl I know you've only got one ear but you did NOT grow an extra tail! 

Pointing them out to count - one, two - look to my right into the other hut...three, FOUR!

I'm going crazy. No. Start again.

One, two - three - FOUR?? 

You ARE crazy!!!

WAIT - Is it a snake? (I grab at it because that's the most logical thing to do - shaking my own damn head)

Nope!! It's definitely a tail! 

A fourth tail with its attached body is now startled and has moved further under Sweet Pea's blankets. 

One, two, three .......... fouuurrrr. 


Ummm....panic just hit me! 

This is a female only enclosure so I grab the mystery tail again and lift up to check for danger nuggets - I see nothing. Whew... 

Now the newbie has scurried over and climbed in with the other two. 

Woodchip is allowing this? How long have you been here???

My heart has stopped racing a bit and rest on my heels trying to processes this new information. 

Now What? 

Reality is not registering yet so I jump up, run out of the cage and start counting the animals in their enclosures. 

Single pens: Four males, check! Three females, check! Down the line I went. 

Enclosure pens: Three, one...check, check.

Everyone in rehab is accounted for.

We've never had opossums in the outdoor pens break out before. Raccoons and squirrels, just don't ask. I also once lost an opossum inside the sanctuary in walls for about month but that's another story. 

If you know the origin of Petri's Place then you know I manifested the first opossums. I don't think the universe was trying to send me a message today though, so inspecting the cage wire seemed to be the next appropriate step. 

Inch by inch I checked each of the holes in the chicken wire, which has again - never had an escapee opossum. 

There it was on the east wall. A hole pushed in from the outside. 

A jail break IN? 

I know these animals have got it MADE here at the sanctuary but a break IN?

Was this gypsy 'possum just cruising around only to come across the enclosure and ask "how's it going?"

Did one of the girls say "hey it's great in here, room and board, free meals and snacks all day" and the traveler reply with "Sounds great, move over"?

Patching the hole is the priority now, but solving this mystery is definitely just as critical. 

the birds and the bees petri's place

Rated PG-13

When things get overwhelming, sometimes you need to have a good burger and a few moments to relax before putting out the never ending fires of life. Maybe that's just me. I was hungry and I can't think when I'm hungry. 

So that's exactly what I did, and no it was not a Happy Meal. 

I took a little break to eat and sort through the events. Nagging at me while enjoying my salty fries was the idea that maybe, just maybe my jail bird was actually of the male persuasion. I never get THIS lucky. 

Females don't work that hard if they don't need to, they are more efficient than that. Tearing up the wire to get into a pen seems a bit overkill for food considering I leave out goodies for everything and it's brother. 

Raging hormones however, that'll drive you nuts. Speaking of, doubt has crept in and I needed to double check.

I needed to get home, ASAP. 

Once I'm home from the burger joint, it's like I'm part of a pit crew. Shedding my crossbody purse, tumbler and vest I rush to the enclosure with my phone light on scrambling to find the intruder.

Ah-ha! I see the self imprisoned convict has moved under the pallets while the three girls are enjoying themselves as if nothing is happening. 

Two are on the wheel, one is climbing the cat tower and here I am crawling around on my knees as I reach in-between the slats without hesitation (or preparation) and get a hand full of trouble puffs. WTF?!

Hand out the cigars, it's a boy!

This is not good, this is not good. 

Folks, if you're not picking up what I'm putting down by now you're going to need to subscribe to something other than Disney Plus and call your parents. This is not a conversation I'm going to have with you. 

Either way, inmate number four has got to go. 

Eligible For Parole

Every animal deserves a good meal, a warm bed and to feel safe. I know you're probably thinking, "Why can't you just keep him?" and that my friends is simple. 

He's mature, healthy and perfectly wild. He was already on his own and just got carried away in a "swipe right" moment ending up in what he must believe is some sort of marsupial brothel. He needs to be in nature where he can sow his seed. 

The girl's have not been out in the wild yet and although they couldn't care less about another warm body in their beds, baby season is reserved for the professionals. These ladies are not allowed to date.  


 petri's place jail bird

Our little parolee will be scooped up and carefully transported by cat carrier to a safe spot to be released.

He'll have a second chance to find love down by the creek where many other eligible bachelorettes can be found.

He doesn't need an orange jumpsuit and as handsome as he is, he'll do just fine.

Our whole mission is to rehabilitate these animals and return them to their rightful place in the world. I personally take great pride in making sure these creatures have all the comforts, enrichment and luxuries we can provide while in our care.

The word is apparently out among the trash cat chat rooms, Petri's Place is the place to be. 

Maybe our future holds a little Air B&B action. Until then, we'll be getting stronger wire. 

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