Orphan baby squirrel – foto Smith
I held a baby squirrel. It purred. It was soft and its little ungrown ears were precious.
Waved to my neighbor, asked how she was and she exclaimed, “We have a baby squirrel!” They’d found it in shock hunched in the middle of the busy road, looked everywhere but could not find a mother. Of course how does one find a squirrel mother or nest? They tried leaving it in a safe place on the lawn but every time they set it down, it ran up the man’s leg and clung to him, so they brought it inside, borrowed her brother’s cage (he works with distressed animals), and are feeding it liquid with an eye dropper because it’s too young for solid food.
She took me in to show me. When she picked him up, he scurried to her breast and hugged her. I pet him and then she put him in my hand. He decided he liked me and snuggled down and started soundlessly purring . . . I felt this little internal rhythmic rumble start up and exclaimed, “Wait a minute, is he purring!!!?” She said she didn’t know but that’s what happens every time you do something he likes.
So squirrels purr within. And the baby ones at least love to be softly stroked. What a delight.
I mentioned how strange it was going to be having a full grown squirrel in her house with her 10 cats and she explained her brother who has done this before said at some point the squirrel will become feral and try to escape or bite her and that’s when it’s time to let him go.
Difficult to fotograf because my new camera is lousy under low light (I hate to use flash) and he moved so much, plus every time I got close with the camera he’d reach to check it out. Fearless critter, and totally loving.
~ ~ ~
Pablo Picasso, Died
It pays to heed occasional squirrel whiles
Poor castle cast off
My heart does not knead for you
Your warped eye whispering
Spawns demon shadows only
Within your hairy benobbed frame
Need not be
Need not be
Red naped realities abound
Need not abide
— Smith, 1973
rescued baby squirrel – foto Smith