Home » The Situation With The Kittens Living In My ‘Holy Grail’ Jeep Grand Cherokee Has Gotten Out Of Hand

The Situation With The Kittens Living In My ‘Holy Grail’ Jeep Grand Cherokee Has Gotten Out Of Hand

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Realizing the glory of the rare manual transmission sold in only 1,400(ish) 1993 and 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokees, a cat climbed onto that gearbox earlier this summer and slithered into my Jeep through the shifter hole in the floor. Then it gave birth to four button-cute kittens, which were playing in the back of my Jeep just before I left for Germany two weeks ago. Now I’m back and three cats are gone! One remains in there along with an ugly-tailed monster!

Flying to Germany two weeks ago and leaving LA for a bit resulted in a lot of missed opportunities; I lost out on a chance to buy a great Ultravan RV (the seller bailed on me just before I left, then sold it while I was gone — womp womp), and three of the four kittens in my Jeep flew the coop! It’s okay, as that’s just nature’s way, and the kittens were getting big and energetic; it was only a matter of time. Look at these rascals just prior to my departure!:

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I spent fewer than two weeks in Germany, and the situation turned into a thorough shitshow:

 

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A possum!

The weird thing was that, upon arriving at the scene, I observed the mother cat, whom I’ve named Zee, sitting about a foot away from the possum, just watching it eat. There was no meowing or hissing — everyone seemed to be getting along great.

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As I approached the Jeep, Zee hopped out, but the possum continued chowing down. The thing seemed total indifferent towards me; I knocked on my Jeep window hard, but the marsupial just sat there in the cargo area of my Holy Grail and ate catfood. Not a care in the world!

Screen Shot 2023 08 04 At 10.27.32 Am

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Eventually the possum scurried into the pile of spare parts that I’d shoehorned into the Jeep prior to towing it from my old house in Michigan to my current location near LA. This caused a minor issue: The kitten was also buried in that pile of parts! The photo above shows the kitten in the back of the Jeep the night prior.

 

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Upon seeing the possum, the kitten darted to the window sill on the driver’s side and prepared to take a leap of faith.

Screen Shot 2023 08 04 At 10.18.31 Am

Having never left the Jeep, the kitten hesitated and — just before jumping to the ground — it changed its course and climbed onto the driver’s side mirror, and then onto the hood. Then it saw me, a much larger, two-legged monster:

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Screen Shot 2023 08 04 At 10.16.47 Am

As I approached, the kitten quickly climbed onto the passenger’s side mirror and decided to take its chances with the possum versus having to hang out with a balding car-nut. Can’t say I blame it.

Screen Shot 2023 08 04 At 10.22.59 Am

I saw the possum’s tail on the passenger’s side floorboard, though I then quickly turned away and before I knew it, it was scurrying out of the Jeep and towards the storage areas on the outer edges of the parking lot.

Screen Shot 2023 08 04 At 10.23.34 Am

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The kitten I later saw sitting on the dashboard. I went back the following night and, well…

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There’s more Catopian content to come. I’m still trying to capture the other three to give this little kitty a friend and because I want them all immunized and fixed to keep that colony in check, but that’s for another day. My friend got bitten by this little kitten, whom we’ve named Jaws and who is actually quite pleasant when not cornered in a messy Jeep, so we have to handle that. And we have to get Jaws socialized a bit more, as it’s currently a certified Scaredy-Cat, but again: More on this later.

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Scorp Mcgorp
Scorp Mcgorp
10 months ago

plan: DT moves out to CA to try his hand at having an actual social life.

reality: DT ends up with an animal menagerie and wearing a single winter glove.

yup. that’s about what i expected. we still love you David!

Scott Wangler
Scott Wangler
10 months ago

I can only imagine what the inside of that Jeep must smell like.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
10 months ago

You think the possum don’t care? Just wait until the Honey Badger moves in.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago

The denim jacket is a wise choice, assuming you aren’t wearing it and the single snow glove for fashion (it’s been a while since I’ve been in LA, wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a thing now).
I’ve got an old chore coat (duck cloth with wool blanket insulation) I keep in my trunk for emergencies.
I’ve needed to use it three times in the last five years. Once for a weather related emergency while camping, twice to rescue grandpa cat from the neighbors roof.
Denim will work for now. Word of advice though.. Start trimming those claws early, get em used to it. Or invest in a better jacket for when they are no longer kittens.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago

You need to get the possum out of the picture completely. They can be very viscious when cornered or challenged. It’s just a matter of time before the kitten comes up short and get’t injured or worse.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

Back in my twenties when I worked for Home Depot, opossum used to make their way into the store through the garden department doors somewhat frequently.
It somehow became part of my job to relocate them to the field out back.

Aisle 12: Leather gloves.
Aisle 37: Nifty Nabbers.
Aisle 42: Brute garbage cans. Make sure you grab a lid as well.

Not once did they play dead, which was what I was hoping for. They squirm hiss and bite. The strength of their tails is surprising.
I’m not sure if I caught and released several of them or the same one over and over.

(Side note: Don’t buy any candy containing nuts from hardware store checkout counters. The garden department rats love getting into the Reese’s, Snickers and peanut M&Ms)

Eric L
Eric L
10 months ago

Man, I can only imagine what’s been done to that upholstery and the smell. Even after you power washed it. At this point I’d recommend tossing all that, get a pair of corbeaus, and build it up as a trail support rig. Fill it with secured storage for tools and parts. You’re not going to want to sleep in it at this point, idk maybe you would?

Ophidia
Ophidia
10 months ago

O’possum’s are good people, man. They don’t carry rabies, eat ticks, and generate thousands of entertaining memes. He’s your friend!

Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
10 months ago
Reply to  Ophidia

Yup. This!

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
10 months ago
Reply to  Ophidia

If that’s all true, I will have to modify my opinion of the little pricks, because I apply the same gentle logic to spiders.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago

I have experience with both opossums and cats. I’ve had generations of opossums coming by most nights for years to feast on the buffets I’ve put out for them. I have a motion activated security camera on the food and water bowl so I’ve collected videos of much what I’m about to say:

Cats and opossums get along quite well. My cat has hung out with the opossums most nights and I’ve never seen any animosity. OTOH my cat HAS bitch slapped a skunk that was eating the opossum’s food. The skunk was so startled it just jumped back and ran off. My cat also defends the opossum’s food bowl from visiting cats. Personally I don’t care who eats the food but HE seems to! Depending on the meat content of the mix my cat will eat the opossum food himself but again he does not mind the opossums eating it. He seems to enjoy their company.

Opossums LOVE bugs! They hunt and eat cockroaches even when there’s a big plate of food available. Other bugs too. I’ve seen then comb my lawn after a meal looking for “dessert”. This is the main reason I like having opossums around. Plus I find them adorable, yes even the adults.

Opossums will steal your laundry hanging on a drying rack if they feel the need Their tails are prehensile and they can carry a surprising amount of stuff, including your favorite shirt, back to their hidy hole. Your shirt makes a very comfy pillow. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine after a wash.

Opossum are omnivores. I feed them a pureed mix of kitchen scraps that would normally go into compost or garbage. Apple cores, chicken carcasses (see below), lettuce ribs, spinach stems, chicken skin, bones, eggshells, a bit of bacon fat, gristle, whatever. They are carrion eaters so whatever I give them isn’t any worse than what they eat in the wild. Never give them dairy though.

Because opossums have high calcium needs (they suffer horrible bone degradation if they don’t get it) I add a bit of powdered eggshell to the puree if it does not already contain pulverized bone meal. Eggshells grind up easily with a mortar and pestle.

Note: Bone needs to be either raw or if cooked must be pulverized into bone meal otherwise it can cause harm. Bones can be microwaved to make them brittle, broken up with a hammer if necessary (only beef, pork or sheep need this), then pulverized with a hand mixer or blender. Its easier than it sounds.

I also add a pinch of food grade diatomaceous earth to help them eliminate any intestinal parasites. I bought a giant bag years ago for roaches and fleas. Its a versatile product.

Despite my feedings I’ve not seen any opossum population explosion. I have one or two regulars, that’s it. My regulars have come by with a full pouch and later with a back full of babies but most of the babies do not return without mom.

Opossums can’t jump. Cats can. If you want to keep opossums (and racoons) away from your cat’s food put it on a table or other elevated surface.

Opossums groom themselves often. They tend to be clean animals

Opossum conflicts are few. I’ve only ever seen one, a fence top right of way dispute. The opossum took turns hissing at each other for a few minutes till one got bored and turned around.

Fun fact: Male opossum genetalia is backwards! The penis is forked too!

Bob
Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Seriously, thank you for this.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Always happy to help.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Thank you 🙂

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

More fun facts:

Opossums can move fast when properly motivated. Not as fast as other animals but quicker than you’d think.

Opossums are immune to most snake venom. As such venomous snakes are also on the menu. They are also immune to honeybee and scorpion venom.

Opossum also love to munch on slugs and snails. A neighbor commented they hadn’t seen any of those since the opossums moved in. Earthworms, grubs and the aforementioned roaches, bugs, whatever. Rodents too including roof rats but I haven’t observed that firsthand. They will go after chickens but I think a healthy bird can escape or fight off an opossum easily enough. Its the eggs, chicks and sick birds that need worry.

Opossums consume ticks. Not as many as some would believe but overall a healthy opossum is a tick sink rather than source. This is the reason they are also considered an effective ally in the fight against Lyme disease.

Opossum body temp is too low to be an effective vector for the rabies virus. Opossum CAN carry rabies but they are very unlikely to harbor the virus compared to other mammals.

Opossum do not live long lives; typical is 2 years in the wild, 4 in captivity. Unlike a Jeep they just aren’t built to last 🙁 Even in nature there is planned obsolescence.

An overweight opossum will go crosseyed. Fat deposits on the corner of the eyes are responsible. Unfortunately once an opossum is overweight its very hard for it to slim down. I think this is mostly a problem for captive opossums who have no choice in their diet.

Female opossums have large litters but can only support 13 as they *only* have that many nipples. They form a ring of 12 with the thirteenth in the center.

Opossum have fantastic memories when it comes to finding food. Now that they know they can find it in your Jeep they will return as long as they can.

IMO opossums earn their keep via pest control and family friendly entertainment. Watching a bug hunt is a popular pastime in my home. Opossums are well worth the effort of feeding (or at least putting out a bowl of fresh water). A cheap outdoor security camera (my preference is Blink) is a good low cost, low effort way to see who’s been coming for dinner. I recommend one for the Jeep if there is a way to make that work.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

It’s those helpless worried eggs that concern me.

Last edited 10 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago

It’s their own fault for being so delicious.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

They are incredibly edible.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago

Is it a Possum or an O’possum?

Only one way to get to the bottom of this. Pour some Guinness in a bowl and see if it drinks it.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago

Opossum. Possums are native to the upside down.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Cheap joke. I couldn’t hold it in.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
10 months ago

If this happens again before you locate some steel wool, playing a recording of snarling, barking dogs will encourage the opossum to leave the area. (Make sure it’s on a loop; opossums don’t move very fast.)

But youve seen it run
But youve seen it run
10 months ago

SMH

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
10 months ago

Just wait for the  ICE AGE THE MELTDOWN (David probably won’t get it)

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
10 months ago

Do you call the big one bitey?

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
10 months ago

OMG KEEETON!!!

When will Jaws start contributing to the site?

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
10 months ago

Oh that interior is gonna smell just peachy……

Loudog
Loudog
10 months ago

Dave and a rust colored kitten? I’m shocked. Well, not that shocked.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
10 months ago

I would dump a couple boxes of moth balls in jeep. Maybe that would discourage the animals from making a home in there.

Chewcudda
Chewcudda
10 months ago

David, google “humane opossum trap”. By the time you catch it, other people will have advised you what to do with the animal.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 months ago

O-O-O-Opossimmmmssssss,
In auto parts!

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
10 months ago

May I politely suggest that, now that the Jeep has been emptied of occupants again, you stuff towels in to any open holes in the chassis to prevent round 2?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

Steel wool works better. Rodents will chew right through towels.

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