Friday, January 06, 2006

My bushy tailed buddy

Since some of you asked yesterday in your comments and I like to talk about him, today you will hear of Charlie the Squirrel.

Charlie was orphaned during Huricane Jeanne in September of '04. I was walking our dogs during a lull in the storm and found a little ball of fur on the sidewalk. Several trees had been damaged and branches were down everywhere so I can only assume his nest had been knocked down. I distracted the dogs and managed to pick him up and store him inside my jacket to get him home. Once there I hit the internet to figure out how to care for him. Liquids were the first order so his first drink was some red gatorade out of an eyedropper.
Once things were back to normal we found puppy formula and syringes and that was his food for the next 3 - 4 weeks; had to feed him like 6 times a day.
He lived in a box for a little while.
Once he got old enough for solid foods he ate like a king; brocolli, grapes, blueberries, kiwi, carrots, okra, walnuts, pecans, cantaloupe, corn on the cob, and many other delicacies. I would chop all this shit up and bring it to him 3 times a day. He ate better and more regularly than the rest of us. I also built him his own condo, a multilevel paradise where he could climb and play and annoy the hell out of the dogs and cats with no fear of reprisal.

He enjoyed his little cage which was located in my home office, gave me someone to talk to during the day and kept me occupied. I even put sod in the old aquarium and placed it in the bottom of the condo and he would bury nuts in it. I had longer hair at the time and it wasn't uncommon for him to try and bury nuts in my hair. He liked being out and running around. To answer MG, yes squirrels do bite but his nails were the worst. I still bear faint scars from him running up and down legs and arms. He would dig in and take off and left marks on me everywhere.
He grew into a big, fat squirrel; it's funny to look at the squirrels roaming the neighborhood and see how skinny they are compared to fat old Charlie. They look downright malnourished compared to my litle buddy.

He grew only too accustomed to the pirate way of life after a while.

Just kidding that's not him.

I am sorry to say that I lost my little friend in what can only be described as a tragic accident. he was frolicking on the top of his condo among some things stored on it and several items along with Charlie fell. While he appeared to be OK at first he began to show signs of injury. Apparently when everything fell he landed wrong or something landed on him and he had internal injuries. It took me 5 vets to find someone who would treat him and all they could do was put him down. I was devastated, you should have seen the grown man cry over a little furry creature. That little guy had become my best friend in the time he was here and I miss him terribly. He was laid to rest under the oak tree in the front yard.

I do so wish that this story had a happier ending but it is what it is. I guess if nothing else I gave him a while longer to frolick because he surely would have perished on the sidewalk during that hurricane. Squirrels are cool little creatures and everytime I see them scamper around in the neighborhood I think of my little buddy.

Here's to you Charlie, I miss ya pal!


Anonymous bellacara said...

Wow, at least you gave him the best life a squirrel ever had!!

11:30 AM  
Blogger MG said...

Wow, I am so impressed right now, you have no idea...

Excellent post!

I didn't see the end coming (good thing I guess) :( But you have given me a new side to you that I find myself adoring, thanks for giving us the full story :) and pics,

Best thing I've read all day!

11:35 AM  
Blogger NJ said...

Great post! Afriend of mine had a squirrel as a pet when he was a kid, same kind of thing, found him orphaned.

11:49 AM  
Blogger nosouthernbelle said...

One spoiled little squirrel! Poor fella...too cute though. Thanks for the story, loved the pictures!

12:08 PM  
Blogger Still Searching... said...

So very sweet! What a wonderful story, I thank you for sharing.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's very sweet, though I must admit my first thought was 'rabies.' Am I morbid? --VM--

6:54 PM  
Blogger BTExpress said...

I'm sorry the loss of your best friend. YI;m sure you felt the same way I did when I had to put down my dogs. ;-(

When I was very young, my friend's family did something similar but eventually let the squirrel go in the front of the house. It was so cool being able to get it to eat out of our hands.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Great story. I'm a squirrel watcher, they are just so cute.

Sorry about your buddy.

11:13 PM  
Blogger DH said...

Damn Billy...I'm sorry to hear for your loss, but I have to tell you how cool it is that you had a squirrel in the first place.

I've always loved squirrels...they are one of my favorite animals. When I was a kid, I could watch the red squirrels that ran through the branches and telephone wires in our backyard for hours. They are simply fascinating.

I can't imagine ever trying to care for one, but it sounds like you did a damned fine job.

Never in a million years would I dream that a squirrel would get seriously injured by a fall like that, but you never know.

Hang in there man.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

bc - i like to think so.

mg - now i must wonder about what you thought of me before

vm - apparently rabies is not transmitted at birth, at least according to the info I had, but that could explain why I foam at the mouth sometimes...

thanks to all for your comments.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

GREAT story! I can't believe the squirrel got fat.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Desireous said...

God Billy you're really such a very sweet guy! Sorry you lost the little guy but it does seem that you brought each other much happiness while he was here. What a delightful story! Thanks for sharing it.


1:15 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

OMG! that was so sweet and sad and funny and I'm so sorry that he died. further proof that you're one of the good guys. and i'll have to tell ya, i'd really like to see your face because just from the little bit that i COULD see, you looked quite handsome. you know, just sayin'...

2:01 PM  
Blogger April said...

I used to have a pet squirrel when I was a child...

7:34 PM  
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8:50 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

That is one of the coolest things I've ever read on a blog. What a lucky squirrel! I wish there had been a happier ending, too, but he sure lived like a king! :-)

8:31 AM  
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7:35 AM  

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