On a familiar clear sunny day something strange fell out the sky. One and then the other. No one knows why or how they fell out the sky but that they were in need of help. Two very tiny, eyes-closed, cold and afraid baby squirrels, scrambling for sympathy. A 20 minute car ride in a cardboard box. The squirrel mother inside of me came to life sitting in the tub as I warmed the newest members of our family. A great rush of fear struck over me the more I realized how little my capability of being a squirrel was. How can I ever provide for them as their birth mother had, nuts and all. The smell of my fear lingered in front of the bright screen searching for answers, the right answers. How fragile and thin this line was, one wrong innocent mistake was all it would take. Their cold, bundle them in a towel! Wrong. Their dehydrated, give them water! Wrong. They need to pee…I have to do what? Though, the more I read the more capable I felt. Thank you to all the wildlife rehabilitators who have spent countless details in describing the very nature of care for these small creatures. From them I will be sharing what I have learned. Once all the facts are clear, caring for them can be simple and flows into a routine. The very first order of business is to warm them up. A towel seems like a cozy place, but with all the looped threads, it can easily get tangled in their claws and hurt them when they are stressed moving to find comfort (luckily we saw this one coming and used some old clothing). In all his innocent and devoting nature, my husband had placed a small cup of water in the bin with them “so that they can sip out the cup if their thirsty” he explained, it was the thought that counts. As the professionals suggest, unflavored Pedialyte (for infants) will re-hydrate them, be sure to use a 1cc syringe or any small one that you can find, because it is very important that they do not consume too much fluid at once. I was unable to find a 1cc, I had one that measured up to 10ML. So as not to rush them I would fill up the amount and let them suck it through, occasionally, and very lightly pushing down on the syringe. The next stage of order right after eating is helping them to pee. If you can imagine, reading these detailed instructions left me feeling a bit odd at tickling their private parts, even more so imaging the mother squirrel consuming the feces so as not to soil the nest. A devoted mother. The consequences of not peeing are severe, ruptured bladder, internal bleeding, no need to explain further. Here I am tickling and tickling not knowing what to expect, trying to embody the same fluidity a mother squirrel might have bathing her young. I felt the same amount of relief my little squirrel felt as I watched droplet after droplet squeeze out. Now we are smooth sailing, enjoying every feeding and moments of bonding. Soon they should be opening their eyes to find, hopefully not in fear, that we are not covered in fur with giant tails! Stay tuned to see the adventures of Pecan and Peanut as they open their eyes to this big bright world.
Below is the wonderfully detailed and understanding wildlife rescue link: