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Strange Cat Dropped Off at Shelter was Actually a Tiny Possum [Video]



  • When a man found a hairless, tiny animal in a used car lot in the middle of winter, he decided to drop it off at the shelter.
  • The shelter director initially thought it was a hairless cat, but it was actually a possum.
  • The tiny possum was eventually nursed back to health thanks to the shelter staff.

Winters can be brutal, especially for tiny animals left outdoors. So when a man saw a tiny pink animal in a used car lot, he knew he couldn’t leave it there or it will freeze to death. He covered up the animal, got in his car, and headed to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (SPWRC). He called ahead to say he was bringing a possum.

Executive director of SPWRC Gail Barnes observed the man as he dropped the box supposedly containing the possum. But as she picked up the box, a hairless arm came out. She thought, “Oh my gosh, this is not the possum. This must be a hairless cat.”

But when she opened the box, it was indeed a possum with sparse hair on her face and feet.

Photo Credit: SPWRC

Barnes recalled, “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s so cold. She was hypothermic so we had to warm her up. We put her in the incubator and got socks, heated them up, and got her temperature back up to where it was supposed to be.”

She and the volunteers set out to feed the tiny possum, who eagerly lapped up the food. 

Barnes said, “If the mother knows that something is wrong with the baby they’re going to drop them off or discard them. So she probably was scared to death.”

Photo Credit: SPWRC

It turns out that the possum was suffering from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. This makes the possum very vulnerable to the elements — she cannot be released to the wild.

Thanks to the shelter’s care, the possum has now doubled its weight and will soon be roommates with another rescued possum called Remy. They will be part of a drive to educate people on the importance of marsupials in the environment.

All dressed up for Halloween. She is still shy of people and traumatized from being separated or abandoned by her family. #alacepiaopossum

Posted by South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on Friday, October 30, 2020

Barnes said, “Possums are one of the most misunderstood animals. People trap them, they don’t want them in their yard, they think they look prehistoric because they have more teeth than any other mammal. But they’re really very beneficial. They’re scavengers — they eat all your insects, your bugs and your snakes.”

After shoutouts for tiny sweaters to keep her warm were posted, the community sent in knit pouches and hand-me-down clothes from owners of hairless cats.

Photo Credit: SPWRC

In the meantime, keep sending those sweaters to keep the possums warm to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, 3308 95th Street, Lubbock, Texas, 79423.

Source: The Dodo