A tree was cut down; momma squirrel fled in terror leaving two surviving offspring. They were bought to Sabrina. She checked them over. They were fat, healthy, and without disease. Sabrina then said softly to wherever the mom might be: You done good; real good. They continued to gain weight, and become active.
But, sadly, we heard from the rescuer that a full-grown female squirrel comes out everyday to the stump of the tree searching for her lost ones. We ran through all the scenarios for re-uniting the family, but ultimately, the ever-presence of cats in the neighborhood turned our possibilities from heart-warming to potentially fatal for her babies.
Not long thereafter, Sabrina was bought an orphan squirrel who had not fared so well, under-weight, poorly nourished, and flea-ridden [this causes anemia over time.] Despite his desperate plight, My Lady patiently worked her magic.
Soon the fleas were gone, his weight was up, his energy improved, and he was put into the cage with the two older baby squirrels who adopted him on sight. But the two olders did something else: remember I told you about mimicry? One day as I watched, I saw one of the biggies eating a peanut, and, although I don’t speak ‘squirrel’, I can imagine the conversation:
Little: What’s that you’re eating?
Big: Peanut. It’s good for us. Also, check out those sweet taters.”
Little: I like milk.
Big: Milk is for babies; get over it. Here, try this. It’s good eatin’s.
Little: [Chomping tentatively] CRICKEY! This ain’t bad!
At night, they roll up together and sleep the sleep of the warm, well-fed, and unafraid, and who knows, maybe Sabrina will figure a way to get all three back to the faithful momma. [Mom might say: Hmmm, I thought I only lost two, now there’s three? But they all have the same smell, so maybe I was wrong. [Note: squirrels don’t count all that well, but their sense of smell rocks!]
Even if we cannot find and release them to mom, they will be kept in out-cages here as they strengthen; then be released, and begin their life anew. A fate far, far better than the alternative.
One more second chance, courtesy of my Sabrina.