My mom lives a few miles away, her small subdivision tucked between cattle farms and patches of woods. Last Thursday she told me that her & her neighbor noticed two tiny black and white balls of fluff wandering around their property. At one point they were camped out on the driveway, just hanging out with no mom in sight (the animals, not my mom & her neighbor). On Friday she texted me that they were still there, and still sans mommy. Saturday I go over there and there is now only one of the two, huddled under a bush by the garage. So of course I do what anyone (anyone - right??) would do.
I carefully picked up the apparently abandoned baby and plunk it in a box with a towel…..and brought it home. Paul was on the porch and I laid the box on the picnic table. He was not amused. Not one bit. I couldn’t even get him to look at the tiny ball of black & white floofness. The little jet black, sparkly eyes. The scuffed up little nose. The tail puffed up like it’s about to……
No. No one was sprayed. Well, as of 10:30 am on 6/2.
Because if Paul were to have been, I would be living with the fart squirrel in that same box and pleading for handouts on the corner of the Walmart parking lot.
Over the years I’ve taken in orphaned squirrels, feral kittens, a fawn, birds of all kinds, and I’m sure other fauna that I can’t recall at this moment. But a polecat is a new one to me. I’m not an “official” Wildlife Rehabilitation facility, but I may as well be.
There was quite the show of floofy tail and butt pointing, stomping of cute little feet, although that was about it. I’m not sure if she is too young to actually spray, but I’m pretty sure they can at a pretty young age. Maybe she used all her ammo the past few days out on her own? I don’t know. All I know is that I haven’t been stink bombed….yet.
After some research, I’m figuring that she was about 4 ½ weeks old given her activity level and the emergence of her teeny-tiny teeth. We have goat milk & store cow milk available, but I ran to the local farm store and got some kitten milk replacer. She didn’t eat any solid food (apples, bananas, worms) I offered her, but once she figured out the syringe was full of milk she took to it pretty well. Her once concave abdomen is now a convex ball of no-longer-hungry.
Against all common sense, I gave her a name: Penelope. And you know what that means. Once bestowed with an official name, you’re either a “pet” or an entrée. In case you were wondering why it wasn’t named something more befitting to Krazo Acres (like Stupid Cat, Outside Cat, Peckerhead, Curry or Dickhead), Penelope is was the name of the cat who constantly shuns the romantic advances of Pepe le Pew. I learned that two days ago (thanks, Christine).
Anyways. Back to my new wildlife orphan adventure. Which, as I write this, am only three days into. Therefore I am three days lacking any real sleep. Because real wildlife rescuers (i.e. naive dipshits like myself that have a soft spot for furry & cute animals) sleep outside with their charges…..waking up every two hours to let the ball of fluff relieve herself and gorge on milk replacer. At least with Rhiannon I got to sleep IN-side. Paul made it perfectly clear that the newcomer would not be coming inside. So outside it is. At least I have a hammock or a blowup mattress to sleep on.
And Paul is still upset with me.
I’ll get over it.
If anyone is wondering why I have avoided using the actual work S****, it is because it is not lawful to capture / save / help / buy / sell / trade / transport or apparently even fucking look at them in our home state. I could, however, destroy the animal and they would be just fine with that. Or I would have to take it to an approved State Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility where they may (or may not) find it worth saving, but most likely euthanize it. I spoke to my "Go To" vet and he even said that he isn't even allowed to touch any wildlife, under risk of losing his license. Because you know, vets are only allowed to help "special" animals.
And since I've already started an anti-government rant (only three posts into resuming my blog; imagine that), I will say that I have looked into what it takes to become an official Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility and it is beyond bullshit. Red tape upon red tape upon red tape. Put in a red folder, wrapped in red cello and put in a red mylar bag with a red sticker that says, "Bullshit" on it.
My vet guy said he also looked into it (as he actually wants to take care of injured animals, regardless if they are "good" or "bad" as defined by our state) and it was just not worth it to him in fear of doing something "illegal" by mistake. So if you do happen to know a State licensed Wildlife Rehabilitation person, be nice to them....they get paid absolutely nothing to do this service. In fact, they shell out $$ to the state to be given the official permit, they do it out of the kindness of their hearts, they do it out of the love they have for all animals. For which the state obviously has little of.
Yes, I know that there are rules to keep people safe. But I also know that anytime the government gets involved it's going to 100% screw something up and make it virtually impossible for good people to do good things.
Now go back up and look at that cutie so you end on a good note :)