After some reflection, a few things occur to me about Thursday night:
Thing 1: Several people have described what I did as "cooking for" the possum, as if I'd made it a fancy dinner. In the moment, I was just making frozen chicken unfrozen. If I remembered that I had tuna, I'd have just opened a can of it. But, you know, panic.
Thing 2: My cousin rightly pointed out that I was lucky it didn't ransack my house. True. But also, you wouldn't really know it, because my possum-herding methods kind of did ransack the house. There's a broom on the floor, the furniture's all moved around, there are piles of couch cushions blocking the doorways, the recycling's in a heap on the kitchen floor from when I briefly decided to try to trap the possum in the recycling bin.
Thing 3: Several folks have been amused by my great possum-wrangling adventures. A few have said they would not have handled it as well as I did (they are kind, but lying; I know that any of them could have been at least as composed as I was). Only one has openly said that she would have been more composed than I. That, my friends, is what is commonly known as hubris. I will let you know when she has a creature trapped in her house, and how she does with it.
Thing 4 (possibly related): When I lived in the D.C. area, one night, my N.H.-dwelling parents were in the big city for a visit. And in front of an apartment building in Northwest D.C., my father and I saw a creature of some kind in the shadows. It was big, and four-legged, and scary. And I let out a little shriek. My dad was curious, but unbothered. At the time, I observed aloud that to country folk, a thing like that is "nature," where to city folk, it's more like "vermin." And today, as we were discussing it, my dad observed aloud, "I was wondering what it was. You were wondering what it was doing there." (For those of you also wondering what it was, my father's best guess is "large possum." My best guess is "wolverine.")
Thing 5: When I found the possum in my house, I screamed. Several times. Because I live in a free-standing house and don't have to keep it down. Except that as we discovered, the door to my house was wide open. I screamed and screamed with the door wide open, and no one called the police. Good to know.