“Gotta admit, that’s one ugly cat,” says a comment on a r/aww thread about an unusual lodger who has taken up residence in someone’s aunt’s garage: an opossum. Hank, as he’s affectionately called, may not have the charm of the puppies and kitties that make up most of the posts on the subreddit for all things cute, but the story’s wholesomeness has Redditors talking about why we should be thankful for opossums, which are often casually called possums in North America.
A Reddit user from Louisiana says that the old, grumpy-looking animal has been a frequent visitor at their aunt’s house for a couple of years. With winter approaching, he began sleeping in the garage, so she showed him some good old Southern hospitality and put out a blanket and snacks for him. Though Hank certainly isn’t a pet, he seems to have come to an understanding that her garage is a safe haven for him.
Hank is a big hit on r/aww
Opossums only live for 2-3 years, so Hank may not be around for long, but the Louisiana resident is happy to let him spend his old age somewhere where he’ll be safe from predators. And, as commenters point out, leaving opossums to do their thing is a great way to keep ticks and other dangerous pests under control. If you’re wondering how they catch so many ticks, it turns out that they just groom themselves constantly, so any tick that lands on them becomes a snack. Wildlife experts say that opossums clean up bugs, garden pests such as slugs, and rotting fruit, and even hunt venomous snakes. After doing such good service for his community, Hank deserves a comfortable retirement, don’t you think?
Scroll down for some cute opossum pics and facts about why these misunderstood animals make great neighbors and you shouldn’t bother them if you see them in your neighborhood!
Image credits: INKgear
Image credits: Land Between the Lakes
Image credits: InnerFish
Image credits: Overlordzelli