Meet NIU’s peculiar possum: Pajamas


Namira James

Pajamas the possum relaxing in the shade at MLK Commons. (Namira James | Northern Star)

The gentle possum, Pajamas, is taking NIU by storm and is a faithful companion to Sara Plettau, a senior nursing major at NIU. 

Pajamas was adopted from a farm in Tennessee called Frazier Farms, which sells exotic animals.

Pajamas was gifted to Plettau on Christmas by her partner Leah Zielinski, an NIU graduate. Plettau has always loved possums and thought they were cute and unique. Her Instagram and TikTok feeds would also frequently feature them, which added to her love.

“Then I thought, ‘I want one, they’re so cute,’ but didn’t think it was possible, and then my girlfriend was looking into getting one, which I also didn’t think was possible until we moved to (a) place with a yard or bigger space,” Plettau said. “And so she surprised me with a possum, and (the) rest was history.”

Plettau got the idea for the name Pajamas from watching a TikTok video about pajamas for possums. Originally she was looking for a name that starts with the letter P and the name “pajamas” pairs well with “possum.” 

“He is four and a half months old,” Plettau said. “His birthday is on May 10, but we only got him two months ago.” 

Pajamas spends about 18 hours each day sleeping, except when Plettau is taking him out for a walk. She makes sure to walk him three times per day after his meals. His favorite snack is cheese.

“We would buy big blocks of mozzarella and cut them into little cubes, which is how we train him,” Plettau said. “We would give him cheese every time he did something good. But he also likes mangos and Froot Loops. Possums have a sweet tooth, so he loves everything sugary.”

Pajamas also eats a special milk formula called Exotic Nutrition in the morning and at night he eats fruits, vegetables, cereal, meat, mealworms and other bugs. 

“He’ll also dig outside for bugs and, it’s really nice, if there is a bug in the apartment he’ll snatch it up and eat it,” Plettau said. 

During Pajamas’ afternoon walks, Plettau would take him for a stroll around campus for meet and greets. Pajamas also enjoys meeting new people on campus during his walks and will fall asleep almost anywhere, such as under a tree, in someone’s arms or curled up in a shoe. 

Night is the most active time for Pajamas, he climbs curtains, ventures through closets and hides in the dark spaces of his home. Since he likes to hide, Plettau placed a bell on him so that it would be easier for her to find him around the house.

Because Pajamas loves to be active, Plettau bought him an exercise wheel to run on and his favorite toy is a cat’s feather wand. Pajamas is also potty trained to use a litter box. He also enjoys cuddling and playing with people’s hair.

The most unique aspect of Pajamas is his kind and gentle spirit; he loves to be around people. Plettau also enjoys dressing him up in outfits and crocheting him sweaters to wear. 

“We’re planning on making a possum calendar for next year with pictures of PJ dressed up, so my partner and I can have a cute personalized calendar of him,” Plettau said.

If you would like to see what Pajamas gets up to daily, follow their Instagram and TikTok pages.