23 April 2011

Black Tip update

Black Tip the squirrel is still alive. We tried a small mammal trap for several days; after his first exploration, he wouldn’t go into it. Then yesterday he was so slow that I tried chasing him and throwing a box over him, but he put on an amazing turn of speed and escaped into next door’s yard. After that, we decided to give up trying to catch him and euthanize him. He was obviously determined not to go gentle into that good night. I can’t say I blame him.

Tonight he returned. At first rothko thought he had curled up under our back deck and died, but when I went to confirm, he moved. He seems to be sleeping there now, as he can’t climb trees any more. A little later he approached the back door. He was too sick to get his head up high enough to drink from the water bottle, so we put some water in a jar lid. He lapped at it, in between tremors.

I gave him a peanut. He got the shell open, but seemed to have trouble locating the two seeds inside. Eventually he ate one of them, but left the other. There are two other peanuts he hasn’t touched, and bits of uneaten nut in the water–he can’t even eat properly when food is given to him. He has mostly been lying on his side breathing shallowly. He’s practically a skeleton now, a sad bundle of fur compared to his plump heyday.

I wish we could have done something for him, but he’s made his wishes known. So we’ll just keep putting out fresh water, sunflower seeds and peanuts until he finally gives in and goes to sleep one last time. I plan to check under the deck tomorrow morning.

© mathew 2017