It must be fate that "Baby Squirrel" came to our door by "air mail" after last week's stormy weather. (We breifly considered "BS" for a name, but she's too cute for that, as you can see here.) This is the baby's picture after falling 20 feet from a maple tree, onto grass and then bounced into our street's gutter.
Her sibling was not so lucky when we found them both and it did not make it through the night. This is the surviving baby at 10 days old, we think, from research.
Since she took to the formula mixed with heavy cream and lived through this weekend, the little one now has a name. A Native American word for squirrel is: SALALI, so now she's "Sala."
To save her and try to rehab and release, we got online and found lots about squirrel orphans, feeding and overall care. Also, they make great pets, much like ferrets, if raised from babyhood. We had an Avian or "flying squirrel" like Rocky in the cartoon years ago. Our cat literally dragged that baby in on a cold night. We had TR (Tree Rat) for nearly a year and he loved to play "toss the squirrel" and would actually fly on to our shoulders, ride in our pockets and loved our ornamental tree that was deemed "squirrel safe" with white holiday lights he hung from nightly. They are nocturnal.
This time, we learned that orphans should be fed formula for PUPPIES, NOT Kitten formula, as one Vet told us. Sala has gone from about 1.5 cc's per feeding to twice that in about a week...a growth spurt! She's getting very talkative and affectionate, even though her eyes are still closed for another week or so.
Any and all things baby squirrel can be found at: www.squirreltale.org, to save them and release, preferably, or just email me. We resident experts now. It's because of the great information there that we got her on the right mix of puppy formula unmixed with heavy whipping cream and a water chaser. See how she's grown...?
It turns out the my husband and biz partner, Forrest, got his free ride to a Masters of Science program -- and wrote his dissertation on -- Fox Squirrel habitat and breeding at Purdue University. That was after his wildlife management degree at Syracuse. So, my guy knows the species and that orphan babies are usually harmless, hairless, toothless, flealess and generally are germ free.
We also have a good friend who can humanely remove these critters HUMANELY and release them far away at "All About Bats," ask for Reid Boone! He removes the mice and we clean up the mess that the critters left behind, deodorize and all that. If you ever have squirrels or mammals in your home, trying to raise THEIR young, just contact a humane catch and release guy, like Reid.
Don't try to adopt an adult or juvenile, they can have rabies and be dangerous around children and other domestic animals. Some carry rabies, lice or fleas and it's not worth it, when grown squirrels are happier outside.
Sala is a clean girl and gets a warm little bath with cotton swabs after her a.m. and p.m. feedings. Also, she's eating twice as much and wants MORE, then just sleeps all day and night. The first few nights I had to do the mom thing and wake up every 2 - 3 hours
Oh, meant to mention that Sala's riding around in squirrel heaven in a cooler with punched holes for air, on a heating pad wrapped in towels. She has to be fed either formula or water every 2 - 3 hours now, at almost 12 weeks old. Between the formula, water in a kitten dropper 2x per day, she's growing so much. She sucks her little thumbs and holds the syringe and droppers with her paws when she's eating now, too. VERY cute!
We'll update you on our menagerie with the two dogs, cat, horse as well as our brother, Kevin's fish at our office, moving forward. My parents live with us, so it's really a full house now, with our two German Sheperds, Orion & Cassiopeia (dogs get star system names) and Byron (Lord), the coolest cat and defender of the universe and meeses!
Cats have always been named for poets and other literary figures in our family, on my side. Byron lets us and the two dogs live with him and pay the mortgage and the grocery bill and we can stay, too. That was true of Henry James, Otis Redding, Sam (Adams) and many others in the tribe over the years.
This time, Forrest wanted to go native and find a Native American name/source for our local squirrel girl.
Last, below is Native American info. on the squirrel and its symbolism, especially as a totem animal:
Symbolic Squirrel Meaning
When the squirrel comes into our lives it is often a
message for us to have more fun, and take life a little
less seriously. We can see this in the squirrel's daily
antics in our yards and surroundings.
(This is what Sala will look like when she grows up...so aware
and intelligent, in order to live in the wild and avoid the
hawks, raccoons, egrets and other carnivores as prey)