Saturday, Jay decided to chop down a couple of dead oak trees in our back yard. These were enormous oak trees - just humongous. I was very sad that we lost them, but it is what it is. I could hear the chain saw buzzing from inside the house and just a while later heard the phone ring. It was Jay calling me from outside.
Jay: Kels - I think you need to bring the bird cage or box or something. There was a nest of something in this tree. I am not sure what it is. They are screaming - it is terrible.
Kelsey: Do you think it is a squirrel's nest? I'll find what I can. At which point the kids had been alerted to the "squirrel's nest" and started bolting out the door.
When I got to where Jay was, he explained that there were two "babies" but Bobo (the dog) got to one before he did. There was one left and no momma to be found. It was definitely a squirrel. Ethan bolted back into the house to get on the internet to read about caring for baby squirrels. Jay announced that he thought it would be a great "family project."
We guess he is about 5 weeks old - some fur on most of his body, but eyes still closed. We wrapped him up and waited to see what happened. In the meantime, we got out an old kid's medicine syringe and tried to give it liquids. After a few tries, he took to it like a baby and a bottle. He is thriving and even lets us know when he is hungry by a very high pitched squeal which sounds much like a squeaky wheel.
The really "squirrely" thing about this situation is Jay. Seriously, he has cared for this little mammal just about more than his own kids as newborns. The man has gotten up in the middle of the night to feed him, helps him go to the bathroom and swaddles him up in an old t-shirt of his. The squirrel sleeps in a box by his bed. Here are some quotes from Jay that make me spit my coffee through my nose:
*I don't know, I held him, felt his heartbeat and something changed.
*I think I love him.
*Look at him, have you ever seen anything so cute?
*Do we have to give him away?
*Using the word "teet" which would be fine on a farm or veterinary class, but used in your own bed by your husband feeding a squirrel is just weird.
At first I thought it was all some pent up need for another baby. But now, I sit in limbo on this opinion. Jay was responsible for orphaning this squirrel and it is probably this guilt that is propelling him to Dr. Dolittle status.
I called the Wildlife Rehab emergency line yesterday and sent two emails to licensed rehab specialists, but haven't heard anything, yet. If it were a good idea to have a pet squirrel then everyone would do it, right? It is time to bring in the experts and send him on his way.
The kids will be a little sad at the loss, and Jay...what am I going to do with him? Therapy?
Update: It looks like all rehab places are full. We could drive to the zoo (an hour) or hang on until an opening. Oh, the dilemma.