Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stalking Spunky

Stalking a squirrel is a tricky operation. One wants to have as many favorable indicators as possible. We had decided to take Spunky to the vet to get antibiotics. The vet has a new 6-day time-released shot which would be perfect for her. Even though Bernie got all that gunk out of her which brought the swelling down (and probably saved her life) there could be some residue left. She looked much better but seemed somewhat listless. So we hatched a plan to catch Spunky again.

Day 1
Day 1 turned out to be a bust. We'd planned to meet at 1pm but were both a little late, and thus lost our small window of opportunity. By the time I arrived I found a woman feeding a bunch of squirrels and there was Spunky, right
in the middle!  By the time Bernie arrived, three monster lawnmowers were
making their rounds and making a helluva racket.

Have Traps will Travel

By then Spunky was up in the tree.

No amount of cajoling would bring Spunky down.

Between the noise and the full stomach, that squirrel wasn't interested in coming down. Perhaps
she knew she was being stalked. Squirrels are hypersensitive to being stalked.

Day 2   
The next day we worked smarter. We got there by noon this time, in an attempt to beat the crowds. It worked. I even got there a bit early, so that by the time Bernie arrived, I was already feeding a relaxed Spunky on the bench, and she seemed like her usual unafraid self.  But it still didn't look good for a catch. She ate a little and then
deposited herself up in a tree where it looked like she wouldn't be coming back down. Usually she is a voracious eater and can go on and on, but not today it seemed.

We were seriously considering leaving and coming back the next day, when lo and behold,  Spunky came down! A passer-by threw a bunch of peanuts down and the challenge had been thrown.
 Spunky is not one to resist a challenge, so down she came. And there was Bernie, waiting for her with the net!

Now  Spunky is a very relaxed squirrel, who acts more like a pet than a wild squirrel most of the time, so her guard
was not up and Bernie fairly easily netted her. I wish I had pictures to show of Spunky squirming around in the big black net, but once again, my camera had malfunctioned. This time, in all the excitement I had dropped it on the concrete, which dislodged the memory card. I discovered later that this was easily fixed, but there was no time to look into it in the excitement of the moment.

Bernie quickly transferred Spunky from the net into the carrier and they were soon off to the vet's!
The visit to the vet took a bit longer than planned. We had hoped to do it in an hour, so as not to keep Spunky away
from her babies for long. But she got bumped by another squirrel, and then by a pigeon
emergency (the bird needed oxygen). While they were waiting Bernie drained her again.
The wound where she had been slit open initially was still open and there was some pus coming out, so the infection was still there (although nothing like before).

When the vet was finally ready for her, Spunky was put under with a mask and  got her Big Bad Shot.

She was a well-behaved squirrel the entire time, and did poke her head out of the box inside the cage, on the cab ride home. I guess she knew she had survived.

Back in Peter Cooper Village, Spunky's cage was placed close to her tree, and she was left alone to come out.

When nothing happened, it was decided that she needed a little help.

OUT of the BOX!
And INTO the TREE!


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