Okay, I am awake at 3 a.m. this morning because there is no water coming from the faucet. After looking around the park and finding no source of the water line break, I assume that it is work or a break in the water line down the road.
But last weekend I was up almost all night because my little pet flying squirrel was having fits or seizures. It turns out he may be a lot older than I had thought. My Dad talked with Bill Goss, who is a former Navy fighter pilot and flying squirrel expert.
Here is Bill in Readers Digest (from Bill's webpage.)
Bill Goss was diagnosed with cancer. His world was suddenly turned around by this bad news. But a very tiny animal gave him the encouragement and motivation to beat the cancer, which he did. This little angel was a flying squirrel named Rocky. Bill wrote a book, "There's a Flying Squirrel in My Coffee: Overcoming Cancer with the Help of My Pet."
Last year Rocky passed away at over 100 years old in squirrel age. Bill still has Rocky's girlfriend Bitsy, who has since found another boyfriend. Bill had Rocky for about 14 years.
My Dad and I have cared and raised for flying squirrels for over 20 years. My dad built an aviary to raise orphan squirrels. In 2004 three hurricanes destroyed almost all the large trees in the yard. No more homes for the flyers except my Dad's aviary, a large cage in the back yard. Because of my parent's age and health, they were no longer able to do the daily chores required of the aviary, and gave the remaining flying squirrels who lived there to a wildlife rehabilitation preserve, out near Christmas, Florida.
But there was one squirrel who could not be released, and that is my three-legged flyer I have nicknamed "Stubby."
Sorry, I don't have any good photos of him because he won't stand still.
Last Saturday night poor little Stubby had hourly painful fits or seizures. Things were looking very grim. My Dad talked to Bill Goss, and Bill gave some good advice. Stubby is probably much older than we thought. There is really not anything we can do.
So Sunday morning I said some prayers, played my flute, and expected that when I returned from work that night, poor little Stubby would be cold and stiff. But fortunately not. Anytime I lose any of my animals, I take it hard and cry like a girl.
The last two nights Stubby is looking and behaving much better, and has once again stored up a big stash of food in the back of his box. So he plans on living as long as he can. I don't know how long it will be, but I will miss him when he goes. We can learn a lot from animals, and little Stubby has taught me several things.
Oh, and from a Native American perspective: Stubby has taught me that flying squirrels have their own medicine songs. I should have realized that!