It’s the basic plot of a badly written sitcom: a family takes in a friend or relative in need and before long the guest has taken over the place and shows no signs of leaving.
But for Sheri Kassalias and her family, life isn’t a sitcom...and their freeloading guest is an orphaned opossum. Kassalias makes a living as an animal rescuer, so her family is all too familiar with the fact that she regularly turns their home into a temporary rehab center for animals that are down on their luck.
When she took in three baby opossums that had lost their mothers to dog attacks and car accidents, Kassalias’ family expected that it'd be a short-term arrangement. And for two of the opossums, that was the plan. But for Opie the opossum, life was just too sweet at home to ever leave!
In order to release an opossum back into the wild, the family knew they had to shower to critters with as little affection as possible.
That's cute and all, but Opie had other plans.
Opie thrived off human contact. He practically demanded to be held.
The nugget would ensure that he received attention from his humans by climbing on them like his furry siblings and delivering some sweet smooches.
Unwilling to release a “one in a million” opossum back into the wild, Kassalias made the decision to keep Opie under her care.
Nearly two years later, they can't imagine life without their little opossum buddy!
He also loves his four-legged brothers and sisters!
Like any other house pet, Opie gets his fair share of treats and goes for daily walks.
According to Santa, Opie can be found on the nice list.
But Opie is more than just a house pet and companion. He’s also a working man.
He is registered with the USDA, meaning he can travel (in style) from school to school with Kassalias to help educate others about opossums.
He’s even been known to draw in large crowds as the guest of honor at dog adoption events.
Is it any surprise that Opie isn’t one to shy away from the camera? He even has his very own charity calendar.
(via Bored Panda)