We have celebrated possums a lot recently here. Mainly because they are such interesting creatures and extremely important to the environment. Kentucky even has a town named after them called Possum Trot and a Festival to highlight how cool they are.  Probably one of the coolest critters in the Bluegrass, and I personally think they should be made Kentucky's official state animal.

Trash Cats Are Scaredy Cats

Lovingly nicknamed "Trash Cats" for their love of scavenging even the nastiest of places, possums really are little ole scaredy cats. One of the most well-known facts about them is that when they are frightened even in the slightest, they will pretend to be dead. You could literally just look at a possum the wrong way and...R.I.P. When they "die" they can stay in that state for up to 6 hours. Sometimes they will hiss and snarl too.

For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue in Chattanooga, Tennessee

For Fox Sake (can we first take a moment to recognize the hilariously clever name?) is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation and education facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They rescue all kinds of animals like turtles, racoons, deer, skunks, minx, and possums. Some of them require medical care and some of them are mamas with babies or orphaned babies that need protection and care before being released back into the wild.

Carson the Drama Possum

One of those babies is Carson, a Virginia Possum who came in as an orphan covered in soot. According to the rescue, he was in "extremely critical condition" because as he tried to clean the soot off of himself, the soot poisoned him. As he has recovered at For Fox Sake, he has been monitored closely with exams and given medication and vaccines as needed.

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He is checked on daily to be fed or have his cage cleaned and rescue folks also have been concerned with any visible weight loss to make sure he is growing properly. Every single time they come in contact with Carson, even if they never touch him, he "dies."

"Dead" Possums Are Perfectly Fine

For Fox Sake representatives explained, "Tonic immobility or feigning death is not harmful to opossums. It is a natural defense. But we do understand that it is a sign of fear, which is exactly why we never put him through it for no reason." It is honestly good for him to have a healthy distrust of humans for when he is released.  Because it doesn't hurt him and Carson is not being unnecessarily bothered or stressed, we can laugh at how ridiculous the possum drama is. So, he receives a daily "funeral" for followers of the page to get a kick out of.

The comments certainly DO NOT disappoint. I was cackling reading some of them.

One Carson fan says, "I live for these updates. As opposed to Carson, who dies for them."

Another points out how handsome he is, "The mortician did such a great job. He looks like he could just get up and walk away..."

Carson's a possum truly committed to his craft, "He is the William Shatner of playing dead."

He even has a stage name, "That’s Carson’s alter ego, Carcass."

For real though, that's a lot of funeral casseroles! However, I am inspired. The next time someone approaches me and I don't want to deal with them, I'm gonna try to "die" and see how that works out. If Carson is an inspiration to you as well, consider making a donation to For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue. They do amazing work and share their adorable animals to bring us joy.

I'm gonna run out of black clothes eventually, but I will continue to follow and pay my respects to Carson today and tomorrow, and the next day...

Why do giraffes have long necks? Answers to 25 animal evolution questions:

Stacker curated a list of 25 animal evolution questions and answers to explain some scientific mysteries, from why giraffes have such long necks to how ants can carry 50 times their body weight. 

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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