Friday, April 4, 2008

Chuti.... my first pet... and only

I guess many of you know about the life and death of this cute little critter. I still can't help feeling guilty that he died... even though numerous people have told me that baby squirrels are notoriously difficult to raise. Darling points out that if I hadn't adopted him, no one would have even known it existed until Brother started wondering why his room was more odiferous than usual.

I always used gloves to handle him... forgive me, oh, ye animal lovers. I am merely an animal liker and anyway, my precautions were justified when the little blighter pee-ed on my hand. He was the most adorable creature and always running around after me, squeaking his opinion on the little obstacle courses I'd place for him on the floor so that he could learn to climb. Field visits to the garden meant scaling mango trees and he had just about learnt to jump from one branch to another the weekend before he fell ill.

He'd keep me company when I'd have trouble staying awake, waiting for Darling to come home. When his box was open, he'd stand on hind legs and poke his head out to inspect all four sides before deciding to come out. When he'd spot me, he'd be on his hind legs again, fore-paws held out, begging to be taken into my hands. Maybe this is a common thing to people who have had pets... but it seemed wonderfully loving to me.

Funnily enough, he never accepted anything but milk. I tried banana mush, but it was disdainfully rejected. Ditto for bread and cream crackers. When the bread was soaked in milk, he just sucked up the milk and squeaked hungrily for more. Whenever I'd murmur "Chuti-Chuti" he'd always wake up and scramble around his box, eagerly anticipating the feed...never drinking more than 3/4 tblsp... maybe that was all his little belly could hold.

Even when he was sick, he managed to hold up his head and look interested when the milk came. Sigh... and he choked on it... died with milk flooding his lungs. I guess I just pushed the plunger of the feeding tube too fast. :(

I really have to thank Aunty Chandrani who looked after him when I was at work, setting the alarm so that she could feed him on time... even during the busy hours in the lab. Also Dr. Tharanga and Dr. Mangala who looked at him and recommended treatment, Pets V Care for advising me over the phone (one the day I found him) on how to feed baby squirrels, and for treating him when he fell ill and Dr. Kodikara (2-853087) for trying so hard to save him that last day. (Yup, Chuti was shown to 4 vets... I was so worried). Im really grateful to Al Juhara for having the numbers of the vet surgeons on her blog... that helped me when I was desparate.

I guess this is a final farewell to Chuti. He's buried under a tree near our front gate. I wanted to do something like give away some packets of rice 7 days later... but things didn't workout. I know people will call me silly, but I do transfer merit to him when possible. Afterall, it's because of the lack of it that he was born an animal and died young and in pain.

Thnaks all, for your comforting comments and apologies for the long and tragedy queen type posts of late.


Meese said...

I've been around about 10 or more of these small fellows. I dont know why or how but they tend to find themselves in my garden.

Its been unfortunate that even though you try they do not live for a more than a few days or weeks in our care.

I've heard of only one that my mother managed to keep alive until it was old enough to live on its own. This was about 20 years ago i believe. Since then we've not been able to keep any alive.
I'm only telling you how difficult it is to bring them up.. still it is sad when they leave.

Hope you feel better soon..

Anonymous said...

We managed feed a few stray dogs near our temple to pass on the merit to my loving "muffy" when he passed a way. Don't worry it's not silly and the only thing we can do, apart from cherish the good memories we have of them.

Put out a feed if there are more squirrels in the garden or around.. and once again "Hang In There". You know all of us have our own time to leave this place, thanks to you he had someone who cared and loved him throughout his short life span.

Charmed said...

Even though the lack of merit brought him in to this life as an animal and took him young,he was very blessed to have you and be looked after by you!
As hard as it is to comprehend there is a time and reason for everything,hence this was chutti's time.
Hang in there!

Dili said...

Awww that was so heart breakingly sweet. I hope you're ok now. Stuff like this makes your heart feel like its been twisted into a pretzel.

We dont have a pet per se, but about 5 generations of squirrels have treated our kitchen window as a diner and they expect prompt service too! Not to mention the fact that they've annexed a part of our roof on the INSIDE of the house. We open the windows early morning, the fellow vanishes only to return promptly at 4PM just before we close the windows. I never could find out where his office was...

pissu perera said...

awww.. he's so tiny. but yeah, it is really difficult to raise. we tried a few times, with fellows that fells out of their homes. all we did was prolong their parting by a few days i guess, because they never lived longer than that. my mother had managed to keep one for a few years, many many years ago, but that's the only success story i've heard so far. so i'm sure it wasn't your fault.

if you like animals, try getting a doggy. you'd be amazed at how attached you get to them :)

Sasani said...

I'm sorry for your loss. It's really hard to lose a pet, and specially when you know that they are in pain, and can't talk to you but can only look up to you with those eyes as if to say 'help me' breaks your heart. Yes it leaves with you a guilty feeling but it's just not your fault. It was his time to go...and yes squirreles are very difficult!

I agree with Chaarmax, put up a feed plate in your garden, then other chuti's can enjoy a good meal.

Anonymous said...

r u madri senanayake?

Angel said...

Thanks everyone!

Meese : kudos to your Mum for managing to raise on of these critters

Chaarmax, Sasani : it's the feed-tray that attracts them in the first place... our garden must have some of the tubbiest squirrels in the district!

Charmed : thanks

Dili : lol... must be fun watching the fellow run around

PP : wow, another success story... maybe it's a motherly thing. A dog sounds nice, but I'm not really a doggy person...

Anon : you do realise that it's against blog etiquette to publicly ask/announce an annonymity craving blog owners (potential) name?

However, have to admit your comment had me rolling on the floor, laughing!

Anonymous said...

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