Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pennies From Heaven

On or about February 18, something completely unexpected happened around my house.  We had a penny from Heaven.

Let me explain.  It had been crazy windy.  Still cold, still dry and very windy.  My son and I had stepped outside to let the dog out for the last time before bed.   It was not long before we heard the cry of something out in the dark part of the yard.

Within a minute we saw Liz, our outside cat, coming towards us with something in her mouth.  At first I thought, lizard but then I realized as she entered the lighted part of the yard, we had something unexpected.  My son ran over to her and she set down the creature she had gently carried in her mouth.  I went to take a look and it was definitely a baby something but what?  My son ran to get a paper towel so I could pick it up.  It was so very small, no hair, big head.  For a moment I thought "baby chupacabra".  It was not attractive at all.  But it was small and helpless, alone and cold.

Quickly I worked to build an incubator for the little creature.  A soft old tshirt, a flip top shoe box, a towel and a heating pad became the incubator.  I got online and tried to find exactly what we had on our hands.  It was not long before I found it.  We had a baby squirrel that had most likely been tossed from the nest by the wind.

Not even remotely prepared to care for such a small baby squirrel, I had to find an eye dropper, get some water and most of all get my barrings.  This little guy was strong and healthy and also, from pictures, about five days old.  I read and read and read about rescuing baby squirrels, what they needed and how to keep them stable.  I was able to do all these things and for the 24  hours I had Baby Hugo, as he was affectionately called, he remained strong and thriving.

Day two had me searching for a wildlife rescue person specializing in infant squirrels.  Baby squirrels have to be fed every couple of hours and I was a working mom and unable to be with him to care for him during the day and be up all night.

Baby Hugo was handed over to a lovely lady who had driven 45 minutes to secure viable squirrel milk before picking him up.  He was in good, dedicated hands.

After he left, I reflected on the 24 hours with Baby Hugo.  I have no clue as to why or how such an event would have occurred.  I know had I mowed the area where he fell, he might not have had a soft landing.  Had we not been out, perhaps Liz would have eventually been the predator she was always meant to be.
Had we not found him we would have been denied the opportunity to hold and nurture an infant squirrel.

It was indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity and perhaps that's exactly why it happened.

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