Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is there a law against molesting spermophiles?

As I was heading to work the other day I happened to notice a dog turd squirming around under a tree at the edge of my yard. It seemed odd to me that a dog turd would be moving around under it's own power so I went in for a closer look, because I'm a freak.
It was a baby squirrel, all small and blind and helpless, wriggling around like so much cat-bait. I had to get to work so I called Adam out and told him to put it back up in the tree. Then I headed off, filled with the warm glow of a good deed well done, despite the fact that I kind of figured it was as good as dead anyway.

When I passed the tree the next day it was back down again, and this time it was actually on the road. Gotta be dead now, right? No. I leaned closer, because apparently I like to examine roadkill as well as dog shit, and saw that it was still moving. Fuck.

"Adam, come save the baby squirrel....again!"

So Adam came out, but Skylar got there first and immediately picked up the adorable little bundle of rabies. Again, I had to get to work, so I left. Once again secure in the knowledge that I had helped a cute little furry creature...well, you know, not me personally, but still. I assumed Adam would stick it back in the tree. Maybe he would even call the vet or the humane society and find out if some sort of animal rescue person would come and collect the sweet little rodent. Perhaps he would enquire as to the likelyhood of our daughter dying of Squirrel Flu or distemper. Hopefully he would prevent her from dressing it up in Barbie clothes and kissing it.

I did NOT expect to come home to find him googling recipes for "squirrel formula" and feeding our squirrels (yes, squirrels, plural) with a baby medicine dropper.

"Squirrels are surprisingly delicate, you can't feed them cow's milk or they'll die."


"Yeah, and you can't feed them if they're cold, or they'll die."


"Skylar says the black one is named Owen and the brownish one is Cole."

"After the boys across the road?"

"Uh huh. You have to feed them every two to four hours."

"I do?"

"And after you feed them you have to rub their genitals with a warm, wet cotton ball to stimulate them."

"Excuse me? Would you mind clarifying that last part?"

"According to this (gesturing towards the all knowing google search) baby squirrels can't just go on their own. They can't relieve themselves unless their mother stimulates them to do so, and if you don't they'll die of constipation and kidney failure"

"Well, that's just...the dumbest survival trait ever, isn't it? Seriously, this is a flawed species."

"Do you want me to just drown them now?"
"No! I just..."

"It's a little tricky to get them to hold still at first, but after a minute they relax."

"I'll bet."

"Have a nice day, I've gotta go to work."

So then he left. I decided to do my own research, just in case he was just trying to fuck with me and was laughing all the way to work, imagining me spending the day rubbing off infant tree rats.

Turns out it's true. So I fed them, which was freaking adorable, and I rubbed them, which was not. They're boys! Baby squirrels have bigger dingdongs than you'd expect. There, now you've learned something today. You're welcome, you sick freak.

I also made many phone calls. To the vet, who told me to call the OSPCA. To the OSPCA, who are not taking wildlife due to renovations. To the Humane Society, who wouldn't take them because we're out of the region. To the Shady Acres Squirrel Sanctuary, where I tried to leave a message, but was hindered by the fact that I was trying not to laugh hysterically at the mental image conjured up by that title ( A huge estate, run by the Squirrel Lady from Rat Race (wouldja like ta buy a squir'l?) with a sign reading "We're nuts about squirrels!" etc.) And finally, to another Humane society who agreed to take them so long as we dropped them off, since we were once again, out of their region.

Then we drove for over an hour to deliver our spermophiles (Look it up, it's not technically accurate, but isn't it an awesome word? Filthy little nut lovers.) To some experts who told me off for feeding wild animals and suggested I should have just have left them to freeze or be eaten by our cats. Not in so many words, but still.

So ya, that was my day. But doesn't this cuteness pretty much make up for it?

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Oh my goshhhhh!
That is the sweetest thing ever!!!
There are hundreds of squirrels on my campus, but none so darling as that one.