I seem to be a magnet for unusual animal sightings in the city.
Last week I added another to my list when I was driving towards my office one morning and spotted this poor opussum.
He was perched atop a high chain link fence that runs along the railroad tracks in Porter Square on the Somerville-Cambridge line. On the street side the sharp tops of the chain link wires stuck up next to the railing. On the other side was a very long drop to the tracks that run well below the street. This was a possum in a pickle. He was stuck.
I stayed with him for quite some time. It was heartbreaking - and very stressful for him. He had trains next to him on one side and traffic and trucks running along the other side. People too - you kind to had to chuckle watching pedestrians walk by - either oblivious or doing a doubletake when they realized the there was an opossum inches away at head level.
I made several calls to the Cambridge Police and Animal Control. He was right on the line between the two cities so there was some question as to which city would be the one to talk to.
Just as we had determined this beast was stuck in Somerville the plucky 'possum finally figured out how to get down. He stuck his very long claws in the fence and down he went.
He'd ended up on the ledge on the tracks side and was still very much interested in getting way down but the rock wall didn't provide a means to make the descent. He was shaken up and started making soundless cries - rapidly opening and closing his mouth.
You can't tell from the photos but he's way above the ground even now that he made it down the fence. I can only hope that he made his way along the granite tightrope and eventually found his way home. I can't help but think of him every time I drive by.