It started with a simple tree trimming. After a knock at my door, I realized that that what started out to be a little yard maintenance was turning into so much more. The search for a cardboard box and a call to Lakeside Nature Center quickly ensued. The wildlife rehaber suggested I put the baby squirrels in the cardboard box until all of the sawing was done. She was clear to say not to bring them in the house because baby squirrels are generally covered in fleas. We were concerned because it was so late in the day and apparently Mama Squirrel’s only work during the day. The woman said give Mama Squirrel a chance in the afternoon to gather her babies and take them to another nest (Who knew squirrels had multiple hiding spots for their babies?!). We’d bring the babies that weren’t collected to the center in the morning. I placed the nest outside and hoped for the best.
So, at midnight and IN my house, there I was, sitting over a box of baby squirrels thinking of my child’s first few days. They were tiny and slow moving and squirmy, not unlike human newborns. I thought about their poor mother and how concerned and sad she must be feeling. I prayed (to God or Mother Earth or whomever would listen) that Mama Squirrel would be successful the next day. That night I fell asleep dreaming about baby squirrels (and fleas) in my bed.
The next morning, Sean (i.e., “Amazing Dad”) was up before dawn planning the rescue mission. We wanted to give Mama Squirrel just one last chance. He laid out the extension cord with the heating pad below. (Yes, a heating pad. It was just SO cold outside.) This was it. She only had one more chance. There we were, all hiding in the kitchen with the lights out to see if Mama Squirrel would come get her babies. Our 16-month-old son even seemed to understand what was happening. It was like a secret mission. And then suddenly, out she came! She search the area high and low, surprisingly not going straight towards the nest. And finally, she was at the nest. She searched and searched through the nest and finally found one. She scooped up her baby and was headed to another nest. We were all thrilled and it was all we could do to keep quiet. Then she was back for the others…or so we hoped. Once again she dug through the nest, but this time nothing! She searched other places and left. We were devastated. Then Amazing Dad did something against my wishes. He went back out and placed one of the babies directly on top of the nest. I was sure this would scare her off for good, but sure enough within a few minutes she retrieved the second. Amazing Dad helped her out for the third and final baby.
Our simple tree trimming had finally ended in success. The Amazing Moms and Dads of the world (or of our little world) had united to make the mission a success. Kudos to you Mama Squirrel for putting in the hard work!