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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Breakin' The Law, Breakin' The Law

I don't know what the lesson from this experience will be, but, like everything, I'm sure there is a reason. I know living out in the middle of nowhere leaves me open to little creatures finding their way into my home. I also know my children are much too quick to bring animals in distress home. I truly do love animals and mostly none of this stuff bothers me. I am tired, however.

Three of the opossum babies died by late afternoon yesterday. Thankfully the kids were prepared and didn't get overly upset. I explained that I'd never taken care of a opossum or had even seen one as small as these. I told them I had no idea what their chance for survival was and said, "Don't name them and don't get attached. If I can find someone else to care for them, who knows what they are doing, they will have to go." I told them I would do my best in the meantime.

I called our county animal control, who gave me a number of someone else, and so on and so on. After a couple of dead-end phone calls, I went to my vet and bought some opossum formula. I bought bottles and syringes. The vet couldn't take the babies and offered me no advice. I asked him for feeding tubes as a last resort and he denied me, saying it's illegal for me to even have them in my house. Yeah so let 'em starve asshole. I've had a couple of kittens here in the past that needed to be tube fed and although these are way smaller, I figured it would still work if need be.

A phone call into the DNR gave me the same results. "We can't offer you any advice because it's against the law."

"But you won't pick them up or let me drop them off. The least you could do is offer me some assistance over the phone."

"Sorry ma'am, that's against the law too."

I took the kids to our nearest Farm and Fleet store and bought the tubing. When I returned home, I got back on the phone, spending eight hours trying to find someone to take them or at least teach me how to take care of them. I really didn't want to tube them.

After trying the bottles (too big) then the syringes (too big) then a cloth soaked in formula (only a couple got it) I ran into town and got some coffee stirrers. I placed my finger over the top to hold the formula in the stirrer, held it to their mouths, one at a time, but only a couple of them got it, the others got a formula bath. I had to cut all of my fingernails way down just so I could maneuver them without ripping their frail skin.

The stirrers had two openings so I thought about cutting them in half long-ways and right before I almost chopped my finger off, I remembered the new can of WD-40 in the garage. It had one of those straw things so you can spray it into tiny places attached to the side of the can. I pulled the straw off and used it, but again, only some of them got it.

I tube fed the ones that needed it and WD-40'd the others.

They needed to be fed every two hours and also needed their little private parts massaged after eating. I would love to get that treatment. A-hem, where was I? Um, I am not a pervert, that's how they expel their pee and poop. Their mother usually licks the area to help them go potty, but that was just way too far over the line. I opted for a damp paper towel massage instead.

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See how tiny these things are? Imagine stuffing a tube down their throats. Not fun! I didn't take any pictures of the genital massage, so if you are here looking for some opossum porn, you came to the wrong place. You sick freak.

Somewhere around 11 last night, one of the certified wildlife rehabilitators I left a message for called me back. She wanted to check up on the babies and was surprised any of them were still alive. She said, "If they are still alive tomorrow evening when I get off of work, I'll meet you somewhere to pick them up."

There is relief in sight. Thank you all for your advice yesterday.

I received an e-mail about a webring. They invited me into their little group of women bloggers. Although I have not reviewed the sites yet, the new additions are to your right in my links. Let me know what you think of these new additions. Also, if you would like your link added, leave a comment or send me an e-mail, I'd be happy to add you.

For my nephew Richie Rich 1990, does your mother know you read this smut? I love you bud!