Hurricane Ida brought a lot of stuff....disaster, heartache, stress, lost lives. One of the good things it brought were 2 baby squirrels that had fallen from a tree near my inlaw's house. Each boy named one and was diligent in taking care of his squirrel by covering it with blankets, warming it under a heat lamp, holding it and feeding it puppy replacement milk several times a day. Both boys knew that the squirrels would be released once they were healthy enough. Although they knew that, they still didn't want to accept it.
After Ulysses and Ruby were at our house for a couple weeks, Rob noticed that there were flies all around the cage that the boys had bought for them. So he decided to move them to the dog crate since Rebel hadn't been using it recently. He put chicken wire all around it, but P's squirrel, Ruby was quick to escape.
She had been the daring one since Day 1. She was the one we didn't worry about surviving because she was active and eating from the moment she was in our care. P decided it was time to release her. He let her go on a tree by our driveway. But, after considering the fact that the tree didn't have food for her, he decided to relocate her. He put her in a bucket and walked her over to an oak tree on some property across the street from us. That night he started regretting it and cried himself to sleep, worried that she wouldn't survive in the rain. The next morning he woke up early to look for her and bring her back to the house. But she had already relocated herself and we haven't seen her since.
On Thursday afternoon E fed Ulysses before we left for a school football game. After we got home, E went to feed her before bed, only to realize she too had escaped. He handled it well, knowing that she was ready to be released. The next morning, however, as we were leaving for school, she showed up next to my car. She ran over to the flower bed, where she watched us pull out. Then she climbed up the tree by our driveway as we left for school. Later that day, Rob texted me a picture of Ulysses back in her hamster cage. He had gone to check the chicken coop for eggs and she was in the nesting coop next to the eggs. Rob said he put a water container in her cage and she drank and drank from it. That night we put her in the converted dog crate again. She snuggled up under the blanket after eating a feast of squirrel treats. Yesterday morning, I checked in on her before going to the gym. Later P went to give her more treats only to find out that she was once again gone.
We haven't seen either squirrel today. We know they are nearby somewhere and that we may or may not see them again at any given time. We were thankful that we got to rehab them and watch them thrive under our care. Now that we're pros at it, maybe we'll rehab more squirrels in the future.