Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Raining Squirrels!

This is a continuation of the saga of squirrels that began in my last post (here). It was going to be an update on Buttercup, but apparently our squirrel issues are ongoing.


Buttercup spent the night on a heating pad, but it is one of those ones with a "safety" feature where it automatically turns off after awhile and so I kept having to wake up and turn it back on (Claire still isn't sleeping through the night so I was up anyway) and every time I did poor Buttercup had gone back to being stiff and cold. In the morning I warmed her/him/it up again and offered her/him/it (Coryn was insisting at this point that it was a her, but we later found out this was incorrect) first some water (which it took) and then some sugar water (which it pulled away from and squeaked angrily so back in the box it went).

A quick Google search the night before had found the Pensacola Wildlife Sanctuary which is only a few miles away. It was a Sunday so even though the site said they would have someone there to receive any rescue animals, I called ahead. They asked about the age and condition of the squirrel and then said to bring it on in whenever, so I packed the girls up in the car and asked Coryn to hold Buttercup's box while I drove, and off we went.

Coryn really wanted to keep Buttercup and I couldn't really blame her. I know it isn't practical, but baby squirrels are really cute and far less creepy  than other members of the rodent family. Plus, according to the web, they are very unlikely to carry rabies, which is always a nice feature for a family pet. I told her that this would be a nice place for Buttercup with other squirrels to play with and Buttercup would be happy, but I'm still not sure she was completely convinced that Buttercup would prefer this "sanctuary" over a life wearing her Barbie clothes and sleeping on her pillow.

So I took Buttercup out for one last good-bye (he was starting to stiffen up a little bit since there was no heating pad in the car) and took a picture to remember him by and then back in the box and into the Sanctuary.

There were squirrels everywhere in the parking lot, running around a couple of picnic tables. There was a pair of pelicans sitting on the roof (they flew away when we got too close, so no picture) and some owls in an enclosure out front.




Once inside a lady in scrubs (I am guessing a vet or vet-assistant) took Buttercup off our hands while another lady gave me some paperwork to fill out (where we had found the squirrel, contact information) and showed Coryn their eagle-cam (a television where you could spy on their nesting bald eagle couple). The vet came back and said that she thought Buttercup would be fine but that I should watch out for more because it would be very rare for a mother squirrel to only have one baby. Uh-oh.

We found out about an open house "Baby Shower" they would be having next month and that they are open for self-guided tours some afternoons and so I was pretty sure we would be back to check on Buttercup in the near future.

All was well until that afternoon when I went out to the garage to get something out of our overflow fridge and ran smack into Buttercup's sibling sitting on the doorstep. Caen saw it and cornered it against the fridge where the little guy kept pushing trying to squeeze into the tiny crack between the fridge and the wall.

Now Buttercup had been very passive and easy to handle. This one was awake and fighting. It actually bit me though it wasn't strong enough to break skin and it only pinched a little. It would've been an easy catch had Caen not been so excited to "help." As it was I had to keep pushing him away while I pushed the squirrel up onto my lap (where it tried to bite a few more times but couldn't make it through my jeans) and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. I hauled it upstairs and popped it into a shoebox. It scuffled about in the box squeaking loudly so I had to tape the box shut for fear it was going to pop the lid off and start running laps around the house. Then it was back to the sanctuary.

They  took it into the back for me and brought back the original paper work from the first squirrel drop off to add squirrel number two. It was then that I found out that squirrel one was a boy and squirrel two, who Coryn really hadn't gotten to get much of a look at because I was too afraid to take the lid of the box, was a girl. Coryn wanted to name squirrel two Desiree or Bella after some girls she knows but she never quite made up her mind.

"This one is angry," the scrub wearing lady informed me. She told me to watch out for more of them. I'm beginning to worry that we are always going to have squirrels literally coming out of the walls here, but it's been almost 24 hours without a sighting, so maybe it is over. I'm sure we'll be making some trips down to the sanctuary, especially because as we were leaving the owls in the enclosure started talking to each other and that was very cool to hear (the first would say, "Whoooo whoooo" like a classic owl the second would reply with this warbling "who-woo-who-woo-who-woo.").

So, that is our squirrel updates. Sorry that I didn't get any pictures of demon-squirrel Desiree-Bella, but I really didn't want to have that critter roaming about the house. 


1 comment:

  1. ahhh! Squirrel! I like them... but they are a little too intelligent for me. Plus they are very sneaky. Great that you have a reason to go visit the sanctuary... good job mom! :)

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