Monday, May 5, 2008

Update on Animals

Tiki the Mouse's eyes came unsealed Sunday! They are bright and beady, although I doubt they see much yet. Or maybe they do, as it has become noticeably easier to feed her, now that she can see the nipple which before was a blind target. She also, as I note from her gently nibbling me here and there in search of another nipple, has at least bottom teeth. I'll wait a couple of days more to put seeds in with her, and a wheel for her to run on, and a little cardboard tube that was once in the center of a roll of toilet paper, which I will line with soft cloth, for her to crawl into and sleep in.

She used to need feeding every 2.5 hours; now the time in between has stretched to 4 hours, which makes things easier on me, if not as much fun. I've started adding baby rice cereal to her formula.

Rebel the Raccoon's eyes are also opening; I expect the process will be complete by tonight and we shall be able to "meet" one another, eyeball to eyeball. Rebel and Reba as of Sunday went from four feedings a day to three. To their formula, made in a blender, I'm now adding soaked, kibbled puppy chow, which will become their staple eventually, supplemented by fruits and veggies and other treats.

I've wormed them once already, which is important both for raccoons and their care-givers, as they can have a certain roundworm which, in humans, goes straight to the brain and kills.

Yes, I do wear latex gloves when handling the raccoons, not only on account of that, but also as a precaution against rabies, which, in Virginia, raccoons carry more frequently than any other species. The incubation period for the rabies virus is unknown in raccoons. Oh, and rest easy; I've also had my own rabies vaccinations. (Pre-exposure shots are three in the arm, not the stomach.)

Squirrels Archie, Mozart, and Beethoven have all learned to prefer sleeping elsewhere than in the artificial nests I had constructed for them inside their outdoor cages. I suppose they sleep in trees. At any rate, they still come around my front door, looking for food, which I put out every day for them and shall, for as long as they want it.

My daily schedule up to now, which however relaxes as of today, has been:

7:00 a.m.: feed mouse and give her fresh bedding. Feed and burp raccoons and change their bedding. Go back to bed.

9:30: feed mouse and put out bowls of formula for squirrels

12:00 noon: feed mouse; feed and burp raccoons; change their bedding

12:30 p.m.: make fresh formulae for next 24 hours; retrieve bowls from squirrel cage; wash all dishes and implements in bleach and detergent.

2:30 p.m.: feed mouse

5:00 p.m.: feed mouse; feed and burp raccoons; change their bedding

7:30 p.m.: feed mouse; give squirrels fresh bowls of formula plus extra nibbles

10:00 p.m.: feed mouse. Retrieve squirrel bowls and wash them.

11:30 p.m.: feed and burp raccoons; change their bedding. Put fresh newspapers under squirrel cage, as they are now asleep in their hanging nest. Check their water bottle and bring them fresh nibbles for when they wake up in the morning.

12:30 a.m.: feed mouse and go to bed

3:30 a.m.: feed mouse and go back to bed

This schedule doesn't count things like shopping for some of their food (for ARK doesn't supply all of it) or doing all their laundry, separately of course, or just playing with them!



Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Sounds like they are doing brilliantly :-)