Sunday, 12 October 2008

A Squirrel in the Hand.......

What a day yesterday, l barely had time to dump my junk, bag, dog bed and accompanying dog when l was tapped on the shoulder by a receptionist and asked to go help the lady with the squirrel loose in the car. I tried to think of something clever to say but it was to thin air, the receptionist had gone.

I fetched a towel and tried to look like catching squirrels loose in cars was an everyday occurrence. It turned out that the couple had seen the car in front hit the squirrel, it was knocked unconscious. They stopped and put the squirrel in a box, but it escaped when it recovered.

The car was a small Peugeot type 2 door. I struggle to tell the difference between a lorry and a mini so that’s the best l can id it. The important thing was lack of internal move area. I politely booted the husband out the car so l had room to move and tried to grab the squirrel without getting bitten.

I played move the seats several times while contorting into amazing shapes trying to reach the creature. Somersaults are possible in a tiny space.
The car owner l pushed out the car decided to help at one point. He opened the door, knelt and leant in. I did not realise and happened to whizz the seat forward for a different angle of grab as the squirrel had again moved, and walloped the car owner in the head. He backed out rubbing his head with a sheepish look when l muttered about escapes and slammed the door.

Then the squirrel played dirty and headed for the air conditioning duct and dashboard. I froze, what no one needed happening was it becoming an integral piece of the car, an injured cat had done that to me before.
The squirrel wriggled to go upwards and l grabbed. Got the body slid to the tail and held about 2 inches of de-gloved tail in my fingers, a matching length of naked spine pointed out of the end of the squirrels tail.
Thankfully back under the seats went the squirrel, l again grabbed clear air. Then l got lucky, he did a U turn and headed into my towel, and was trapped.

We had been one of those catch 22 situations. It had obviously recovered and I could have told them to go back to where they found it open the doors and chase it out before l tried to catch it. It is illegal to release a grey squirrel when caught but it was not caught, it was still loose. But if it had headed under the drivers feet mid drive and they had crashed, then it could have turned a bit sticky.
Now l had it we could put it to sleep or treat it but it could not be released, ever. If we chose this course we needed to find a rescue group willing to re-home it.

The decision was If someone was found that would re-home it, the vet would remove the half of the tail. A home was found and the young couple were willing to transport it over. Assuming there was no lasting damage from the car crash, chase and anaesthetic.

The fun l had trying to grab it in the kennel in the morning, confirmed it had recovered, and l waved it a thankful goodbye.

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