A university research fellow assumed the worst when she walked into work on a Monday morning.
Bree Blakeman found her office at the Australian National University in Canberra had been trashed, with paintings and maps left strewn across the floor, along with books which had been pulled from the shelves.
A hole had been made in the ceiling as tiles were left scattered on the floor below, hinting at how the perpetrator had gained entry.
Quickly scanning the wreckage, Bree realised the offender was still in room with her.
It's a situation we all dread – coming face-to-face with an intruder who has now been cornered with nothing to lose.
But it turned out the hardened criminal was a heart-melting Australian brushtail possum who couldn't possibly look more guilty or sorry if it tried.
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"It seemed resigned and of course a bit shy and scared," Bree told BuzzFeed . "Going by the number of books that had fallen from the shelves I think it must have tried to climb up the shelves to get up through the ceiling again a number of times. So I think it was a bit exhausted too.
"I gave it some water, a piece of carrot, and a few kind words before closing the door and calling the relocation people. It wasn’t uncomfortable for me at all. It was very sweet."
Bree snapped a picture of the mega-remorseful marsupial and shared it to Twitter, more than 300,000 people liked the post as they related to the regret-ridden animal.
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The popular possum quickly became a meme as others shared images of it slouched behind the computer with a sad looking facing, adding captions including 'when you've missed the last bus and you're waiting for your mum to collect you'.
As thousands demanded updates on the situation, Bree informed fans that a box had been placed in the office with some fresh fruit in the hope it ventured into the cage to be safely removed.
After showing no sign of budging, Bree was resigned to renting out her working space for a little longer, but when she returned for the third day of possum watch she delivered the news everyone was waiting for.
She wrote: "Finally (happy) update: possum catcher checked my office again this morning & the possum wasn’t in the cage but it seems to have found it’s own way out of the room.
"After a bit of rest, some water and carrot it must have climbed back through the hole in the ceiling."
Others loved the happy ending, a one wrote: "Possumbly the cutest unexpected visitor ever!"
Another replied: "This is just… the best"
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