Earlier this week, when I saw this young opossum feeding on the cat food we put out on our back porch for feral cats, I noticed its ears and the tip of its tail were bloody stumps from having been frozen off. Poor thing, it must have been feeling great pain! (Opossums are relatively recent residents of the frozen north and have not truly evolved to endure our sub-zero winters.) After eating its fill, the opossum took refuge from a bitter wind in an insulated cat shelter we had constructed out of plastic bins and placed on this same porch.
The population of our local feral cat colony has diminished greatly in recent years, and the remaining few cats appear to have taken up residence elsewhere, only occasionally visiting our backyard to drink from our heated birdbath and eat the food we still put out for them. Because of this, I hadn't bothered to replenish the bedding material in the shelter. But when I saw this poor shivering creature trying to get warm, I felt I needed to create a better place for it to do so. So yesterday I lined the shelter with a heat-reflecting mylar sheet and piled in heaps of sweet-scented timothy hay. And today, I see that my efforts have paid off for this opossum. Hope you are cozier now, dear one!