Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ANOTHER FUCKING RODENT IN MY HOUSE

The shit that no one tells you when you move to the country is a lot like the shit that no one tells you when you're pregnant. People talk about the joys of motherhood and the cute clothes. There's a lot said about how you "fall in love with your baby." They conveniently avoid any mention of hemorrhoids, constipation, episiotomies, and very little talk of being so tired that you want to punch everyone in the face, including the baby.

Likewise, when you move to the country, there's lots of blather about a big yard for the kids to play in, the great public schools that you won't have to pay for, and all the space you'll have in your new house. Not so much chat about the sky-fucking-high property taxes, having to drive everywhere, and nothing at all about wild animals.

Since we've relocated, I have had a live raccoon in the playroom, a dead mouse in the living room, and a live-then-dead deer on the corner of my property (a story for another time).

But this past Saturday took the cake. It was raining as hard as I've ever seen it rain. It seriously looked like a scene from the Wizard of Oz outside, and then just started pouring. My kids were glued to the window, staring outside, when one of them saw a "mouse" at the foot of one of the two trees in front of our house. 

After watching the "mouse" flop around for about half an hour, they ventured outside with my sister to check it out more closely. Clearly, if I had been paying more any attention, I would have put a swift end to all of this. But I was in my own world, looking at fabric and building castles in the air. So when my sister reappeared with both kids in tow and something in her hand, I was completely unprepared.

Me: "What the fuck is that?"

Sissy: "A baby squirrel. And it's wet, and cold, and shivering, and all alone"

Me: "Get. It. Out. Of. My. House."

But the three of them just looked at me, and I knew I was stuck. So I sighed and got a box and a towel and a heating pad and we made the infant vermin cozy while I looked online to find out what the fuck you do with an orphaned baby squirrel:


Well, Dear Readers, it turns out that raising a baby squirrel is no fucking joke. You have to feed them with a tiny syringe:


Yes, that is me feeding the stupid thing. And I have to admit, it was sort of cute:


Not only do you have to feed it, but the dumb mammals can't even go to the bathroom by themselves at this age. You have to "stimulate" them so they pee. (I swear to God I am not making this up). It was at about this point that I realized that I was beyond ill-equipped to raise a baby squirrel and started making desperate phone calls to every wildlife society in the area trying to find someone to take this thing off my hands.

While I was working the phones like a political fundraiser, it was decided that the towel wasn't soft enough for the squirrel, and it was prompty replaced with a furry throw from my living room. Thanks, Sissy, for that one:


Eventually I was put in touch with a professional "squirrel rehabilitator." (Again, I swear that I am not making this shit up.) Even better, she was literally 6 miles from my house, and was willing to take on another squirrel. (Another rehabilitator I spoke with currently has 17 baby squirrels in her care and while she was very nice, she was unable to help me.) Unfortunately, by this time the kids had named the rodent Link after some character in a video game, and become quite attached it:



But there was no way Link was staying. Mostly because I was pretty sure that he would kick on my watch, and I couldn't deal with Andrew and William finding him all cold and stiff in his box one morning. I am just not ready to have a conversation about the circle of life and all that. So off to the professional we went:



And after a "donation" towards Link's future and teary good-byes from the children, we went home, mercifully wild-animal-free. For now.

XOXOXO
ABC
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23 comments

Anne
September 11, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Jason woke up this morning and said he wanted to ride a deer in the backyard (where 7 are currently residing) and we found fox scat on our driveway. The burbs are scary! But the kids will remember that squirrel for the rest of their lives.

September 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM

I just didn't want to be the asshole parent that's like "Take that vermin outside!" You know? And yes, living in the wild is no joke!

XOXOXO
ABC

mmc
September 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

I can't believe he survived long enough to be rescued. You are heroes. A great story.

Anonymous
September 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Squirrels can carry bubonic plague. Just so you know.

Desirée
September 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM

I never knew squirrels could be so cute. Such a great story and pictures to go with it.

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