Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pinkie Squirrels Report

The three pinkie squirrels I took in on Wednesday night are all thriving. They are now, at about 9 days old, more gray than pink. "Graylings," we call them. If you look very carefully, with your glasses on, in strong light, you can see tiny whiskers beginning to grow, but so far they are very short.

The once perfectly smooth skin over their eyeballs has now developed a faint horizontal line, which is gradually becoming an indentation. Later, it will become the eye slit, dividing the upper from the lower eyelids.

The babies' ears are also shut for now. That's to say, just as there are no openings over the eyes, so there are no holes in the ears. They have ear flaps, of course, but no openings to the inside, no ear holes. Those will develop later.

They are eating well and can be fed less often now. They are down to 6 feedings a day; that's every four hours, and yes, that's around the clock. The smallest baby takes about six-tenths of a cc; the largest, a full cc; the middle-sized one, something in between.

Their box contains a very soft cloth sold in auto parts stores for cleaning a car. (But their cloth has never been used for anything but baby creatures like themselves.) The box sits half on and half off a heating pad, allowing the babies to move to the warmer or cooler side as they please. They always prefer the warmer side, though.

Right now, they're snoozing as usual, and I'm off to the grocery store so I can be back before their next feeding and not even have to rush. Ahhh!