Protect the possums if you can. They are very beneficial, if for no other reason than the fact that they eat ticks. Frankly, that's all I need to know.

POSSUMS -- WAY MORE THAN JUST SCAVENGERS

Despite a run-in with a possum several years ago while trying to feed my sister's cats while she was on vacation (long story, so I'll keep going), I'm actually a fan after reading up on the positives of these native North American marsupials. Having done that, it's quite a shame that they seem to be the most common form of roadkill.

Because they are scavengers, they have a reputation they don't deserve--kind of like rats. But rats ARE gross and do deserve their reputations, for the most part. (Yes, I'm aware they can be pets, too.)

WHAT TO DO ABOUT A DISABLED POSSUM

The Wilderness Trail Wildlife Center in London, Kentucky doesn't care what reputations certain animals have. The center's slogan is "Rescue-Rehabilitate-Release-Educate." Sounds like a winner to me. But let me throw an asterisk on that third word with regards to Kewpie, a possum the Wildlife Center discovered cannot survive on its own in the wild because it was born with a disability.

As the Wildlife Center says,

"1.5-year-old opossum, Kewpie, was born with genetic defects known as a dwarf, snub-nosed opossum. With one back leg shorter than the other and scoliosis in his spine, Kewpie cannot survive in the wild and has called the Wilderness Trail Wildlife Center home since he was a baby."

DO POSSUMS MAKE GOOD PETS?

By the way, Kewpie and I must be kindred spirits; I, too, have a leg that's shorter than the other which helped to create slight scoliosis in my spine. Too bad I can't have one as a pet; they seem to make good ones.

All of this really sets possums in a whole new light for me. And Kewpie, in particular, has a lot to do with it. It's no wonder he's become such a big star at the Wildlife Center.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE WILDERNESS TRAIL WILDLIFE CENTER

If you clicked that link that sent you to the Wilderness Trail Wildlife Center's website, don't forget to scroll down to the section titled Wildlife Educational Events. The Center offers presentations for schools, although I'm not sure if they have a "jurisdiction"; London, Kentucky is pretty far away from the tri-state. But it's worth a try.

Learn all you can about wildlife in Kentucky. There are plenty of creatures who have developed unfortunate reputations, but possums should be removed from that list.

One more thing. In North America, they're opossums. In Australasia, they're possums. But nobody around here says "OH-possum." So I spelled it like we say it.

It was BUGGING ME, so I had to clear it up.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

Pets You Can't Own in Owensboro

Cats, dogs, certain birds, and aquarium fish are examples of pets you CAN own in Owensboro. Here are 14 you CANNOT own.