Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bunnies, Squirrels, and Kittens - Oh My!

A year or so ago, my in-laws' dog brought into our yard in her mouth the tiniest baby bunny I have ever seen.  (At one time I had pictures, but for the life of me I couldn't find them for this post.)  Our girls were immediately enthralled with this tiny bunny.  Of course, they wanted to keep it as a pet, but we knew that is was far too young to leave its mother and that, in order for it to survive, it would need some specialized care that we were not ready to give it.  It was late in the afternoon on a Saturday, so there was really nobody to call for help.  Finally, after many futile phone calls and some internet searches, we found a wildlife rehab organization and a phone number for a kind woman who was trained to care for tiny wild animals, such as our bunny.  At 8:00 at night, through pouring rain, and with three girls in pajamas in the minivan, we drove across town to meet her in a Home Depot parking lot.  We handed over the bunny.  The girls cried.  David and I "laughed" as we considered what our lives had become.

Since then, we have had a handful of "squirrel" incidents.  Our dog, Sophie, is a two year old border collie and she is super fast.  Not only does she chase squirrels, but sometimes she actually catches them.  I have personally removed 2 squirrels from our yard that were either dead or perilously close to dead.  My hubby has removed another couple of them as well.  (Not to mentions her encounter with Mr. Skunk.)   

Then, yesterday, after I brought the girls home from school, Megan went outside to ride her bike.  Within seconds, she came running back into the house.  "Mommy, Mommy!  There's another bunny or something in the yard.  It's crying!  Come look!!"  Immediately, Rachel, my animal loving future zoologist, sprang to her feet and ran out the door.  I dutifully followed cautiously anticipating what I might find.  What I found was this:

Not a great pic, but that's my hand to give you an idea of the kitten's size.

It was a tiny, fairly newborn kitten.  It's eyes weren't even open yet.  Again, the girls were immediately in awe.  "We have to save it Mommy!" So, we wrapped the kitten in a blanket and brought into the house.  Once again, I got on the phone hopeful that, being a weekday this time, I could find a vet's office or Humane Society volunteer to take the kitten.  After an hour on the phone, and calls to about 6 different veterinary offices, I was beginning to lose hope.  So, I asked, "If I have to keep it until tomorrow, what would I need to do?"  A nurse gave me instructions that included buying special kitten formula and giving it to the kitten with a medicine dropper, feeding it every 2-3 hours just like a newborn child, and massaging it's genital area to stimulate excrement after each feeding (Not kidding!) Honestly, that was just more than I was willing to do.  But, obviously, I couldn't just throw it back outside.  So, I got on the computer and continued making calls.  I finally contacted a woman - again a wildlife rescue volunteer - who was willing to take the kitten and nurse it until it was old enough to  be adopted.  We drove to meet her - only halfway across town this time and no rain.  From the moment we arrived at the meeting spot, Rachel sobbed.  As we handed off the little kitty, Rachel sobbed.  For another 20 minutes as we headed back toward home, Rachel sobbed.  For the rest of the evening, Rachel gave me the silent treatment (post forthcoming on that one) and, still today, she is obviously peeved and doing anything possible to avoid me (the kids are out of school for a Teacher Workday).  I've tried to help her understand that, since I/we are not trained to care for the kitten properly, giving it to someone who is trained is the most responsible thing we could have done.  This has not appeased her, however.

By the way, did I mention that during this whole fiasco, my hubby was out of town, my little one had a dance class to get to, and my oldest had gymnastics, too.  My kids didn't get dinner until almost 8:00.  Oh yeah - right in the middle of it all a friend texted me to see if I was interested in taking two stray dogs she had found!!!  (Love you TS!!)

Oh well!  Hopefully, the kitten will be fine, Rachel will get over it, and our dog WILL NOT bring us anymore gifts from nature!!!!!!

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Martha said...

Oh My Goodness! I don't know WHAT I would have done in this situation. Cry? But there's no way I'd be able to feed that kitten every 2-3 hours, that's for sure. And I'm just ignoring that massage!

Shoes said...

Oh, you are wonderful people! I am glad there are kindhearted animal lovers such as yourselves to care for these critters. It is our animal loving ways that have gotten us two cats and two fish lately (grrrr.) I hope Rachel will forgive you soon and understand that you can not single handedly bring back to health and raise up all the little creatures that come your way.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Yeah - I pretty much ignored the massage thing, too - except to know that I wasn't going to do it!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks! I "like" animals, but Rachel LOVES animals. She want to be a zoologist. Sometimes her emotions cloud her reasonable judgement, though. I try to foster her compassion, but help her be realistic, too. It is a fine line!

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