Saturday, September 11, 2010

Squeakers and Whiskers

Squeaky (who is actually Squeakers) and Whiskers are still doing fine. 

I read that baby squirrels actually stay with their mamas for 12 weeks so that explains their natural need to snuggle.  Using a chart I found on the internet, based on their size and the fact that their tails are actually beginning to get fluffy, I think Squeakers and Whiskers are 8-10 weeks old.  According to the vet, they have a pretty good chance for survival if we can get them to eat. 

I also read that mama squirrels will actually take their babies back if you can find her, so we spent some time yesterday afternoon looking in the woods behind our house for any sign of Mom.  It saddens me to think about a mama squirrel who might possibly be out there somewhere wondering where her babies dad said that right now is foraging time for the squirrels...nuts are beginning to ripen and they are gathering.  I'm assuming that while Mama was out, these babies either fell out of the nest and/or Mama was injured or killed while foraging and the babies fell out because they eventually got hungry. 

How in the world they somehow found their way into our garage and under our lawnmower is and probably always will be a mystery.

My girls are taking their jobs as foster parents very seriously.
They are happy to snuggle with Squeakers and firstborn has actually moved them into her bedroom in a pet traveling carrier of course.  She even changed their towel last night so that their burrowing material was clean and woke me this morning to get me to help her feed them. 

Who is this person and what has she done with my self-absorbed (and I mean that in the nicest way) firstborn??

My middle child also has taken to Squeakers and Whiskers and offers a steady hand when snuggling or making decisions about their welfare.  She keeps an eye on the cats when they are in the house and/or when its feeding time.  As much as we love Uh-Oh and Beneigt, the girls know it would be their natural instinct to hunt Squeakers and Whiskers.  Uh-Oh and Beneigt may even have had something to do with Mama's disappearance.  But, I don't want to think about that.

I tell my girls several times a day that squirrels are not made to be pets.  We will do everything in our power to help them until they can help themselves...but our goal is to reintroduce them to the woods.
One of my students actually informed me yesterday of a Wildlife Rehab Center in the town 30 miles south of I will be making that phone call Monday.

Until then, we'll do everything in our power to provide what these little guys need.

You know you want to say go ahead...I give you permission.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Critter Week

Ok, you are not going to believe this.

I was sitting in my chair on the soccer field watching my baby and her little 6 year old friends run drills.

My phone rang.

It was my firstborn.

Now, my firstborn calls me me, she feels the need to tell people things when they are on her she won't forget.  Actually, that's me...I forget.  She, on the other hand, never forgets.

So, I answered my phone.

"Yes," I simply said as I juggled my youngest's Hannah Montana chair, her gatorade, my Blackberry, some papers I was going to grade, my keys and my camera.

"Mommy," she said in the sweetest voice ever.

"Yes," I repeated, this time a little more curious.

"We have baby squirrels," she announced in the sweetest, softest voice.

"Excuse me?"

"I'm holding two baby squirrels"

"Your HOLDING them????"

At this point I'm imagining some big mama squirrel sneaking up behind my firstborn.

"Yes, Mama...they were under the lawnmower.  The cats found them."

After the bunny rabbit fiasco from yesterday, I won't even go into what I was imagining here.

"Oh my heavens...are they ok????"

"Yes, Mama.  They are fine....and they're soooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuutteeeeeee"
"And Mama they make the cuuuuuuuuuuuuuutest little noises"

Oh boy.

After soccer my youngest and I went to pick up pizza, and we actually ran into my firstborn who had been to a tennis lesson nearby.
20 minutes for a pizza was quickly turning into 40 minutes, and my youngest was growing impatient about meeting the squirrels, so she rode home with her big sister while I continued to wait on the pizza.

When I arrived home, my youngest introduced me to the two baby squirrels...ahem, excuse known as Squeaky and Whiskers.

Go ahead and say Awwwwwwww!
Because you know you want to!!!

Just in case you were having trouble telling whose tail was whose, maybe this  picture will help out.
Go ahead and say Awwwwwwwww again....
I'll wait :)

These little fellas are cuter than I thought they would be.

Please don't ask me which one is Whiskers and which one is Squeaky.
I don't know them well enough yet.
My children could tell you though.

What is astounding is that these little fellas act like they are sincerely glad to be in my daughters' arms.
They are not afraid...they actually act like they feel comfortable and safe.
I guess that's what a near death experience with two black cats will do for you.

They actually constantly try to snuggle even deeper into my girls' hands...

This is Squeaky (my firstborn told me) in my youngest's hands.
Remember, she is 6.
He's not even trying to get out of her hands.

On the contrary, he'd rather crawl up her arm and snuggle into her shirt, next to her warm little body.

He misses his mommy :(

Go ahead and say Awwwwwwwwwwwww again.
You NEED to.  

Whiskers is also trying to cuddle into my firstborn's shirt.

Squeaky said "Somebody please turn out the light...but leave a nightlight on so I won't have nightmares about those big black panther monsters."

Yes, we are already worried about what to feed them, whether or not to take them to the vet, whether or not we should try to set them free, how in the world to keep them comfortable, etc. etc. etc.
and most importantly, how we're going to explain this to Uh-Oh and Beneigt.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Giving Gifts...just because...

You might recognize this regal fella

He's the header of my blog :)
He loves his mommy (me).
He's his mama's (me) baby boy.
He knows his mommy will take care of him...and let him sleep on her squishy pillow.

I love a matter of fact, I've blogged about him before.
Here, here and here.

Uh-Oh and his brother Beneigt keep us on our toes...
and sometimes up in the air.

Last night as I walked through the house for a last check through, I opened the door from my kitchen to the patio.
As I stepped out off the house threshold into the covered patio, something caught my eye.

Something large.
Something right under my feet.
Something dead.
Something that still had blood on it.
Something that was as long as my feet (I wear a size 9 shoe).

If there had been water under me, I would've walked on it.

If it hadn't been 10:30 and I wasn't already 30 minutes late for my absolute latest time to go to bed and an hour and a half after my wannabe bedtime and if all three of my children hadn't already gone to bed (miracle of miracles), I would've screamed my head off.

That's my pretty normal reaction to 9 foot, dead, bloody nasty stuff right under my feet at 10:30 p.m.

In through the patio door sauntered Uh-Oh and Beneigt, sniffing around as if nothing was amiss.

The only thing I could think of that would be worse than the 9 foot, bloody, dead mess under my feet was two cats coming in to investigate, sniffing and waiting on me to congratulate them.

You see, I knew that they were probably the culprits.
As a lifelong cat lover, I long ago chose to take a blind eye, ear and mouth to the fact that cats have a few unsavory habits.

I hopped into the patio, grabbed up both cats and hopped back in the house.
I do not have the slightest idea why I chose to hop.
I think I felt as if the less time my feet actually spent on the floor of the patio, the less chance my feet would be contaminated by the as of yet unidentified 9 foot, dead, bloody mess.
Why I thought it would get up and touch me, I have no idea.

I do know that this 9 foot, dead, bloody mess was much bigger than what these guys usually bring home.
Little birds, moles, or even small mice are much easier to deal with than this thing...whatever it was.

My girls wouldn't even open the patio door this morning when I told them about last night's trauma.
The attempted to identify the dead animal through the blinds of our windows.
They are very much like their mother :)

And, no, you'll be forever grateful that I did not take a picture of the corpse for you to identify on your own.

The Head of My Household pronounced the 9 foot, bloody, dead mess a rabbit.
He knows this because one of the tasks that falls under his job description is the removal of any dead (or alive) unwanted animals/rodents that may find their way into our lives (or our pool).

Have I mentioned that the Head of My Household is not a cat person?

I began to wonder how in the world Uh-Oh and Beneigt could have possibly stopped this rabbit in its tracks.
The rabbits we see around here are fast and hidden expertly in the leaves and woods around our house.
This rabbit wasn't a baby.
He would have had to put up a fight.
Neither Uh-Oh nor Beneigt is that much bigger than this rabbit, ears and all, would have been alive.
Could they have possibly conspired together to take out this rabbit?

I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with not knowing for sure that my guys, in fact, were the murderers.

Because they ain't talkin'

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sick Day

At soccer practice last Tuesday night my youngest went from happy go lucky giggling girl to sad, sluggish exhausted girl in about 5 seconds. 

On the way home she sat very quietly in the car, which is absolutely abnormal for her.  She usually talks 90 miles an hour all the way home...asking questions about soccer practice, what's for dinner, what she's wearing the next day, what's for lunch the next day, what's for dinner tonight, what's 2+2=...etc.

But not last Tuesday.

I was a little worried...but not so much.
We are incredibly busy folks.
From the day this one especially was born, she hit the ground running to keep up with her big sisters' she's added her own activities.

By the time we arrived at home, she was crying.
She showered, and I cuddled with her in our bed.  
She was asleep in 3 seconds flat.
She felt a little warm, but I still wasn't concerned.

In the morning when she was running 103.1 temp, I became concerned.
When she cried because her stomach hurt, I became more concerned; tummy aches have become a normal part of her life for the last couple of months.
When she didn't even want to play, I really became concerned.

After a frantic pediatrician visit, it turns out she may have a bacteria in her little tummy. 
Her white count was very high.
We are waiting on further test results to pinpoint the specific type of bacteria.
In the meantime, the ped. started her on a whopper of an antibiotic and some tummy medicine.

I'm happy to report that she finally was able to return to school today.

Our little dog Hermione was especially glad.
Hermione is just about the most agreeable little dog that has ever existed...
but even she has her limits:

Hermione: See Mom, she's smiling!

Uh, ok...are we done yet?

Oh nevermind; I'll just take a little rest...I kinda like the boa anyway.

You're not putting these pictures on your blog, are you??