Your Pet Loss Stories
'Our Little Peanut'
by Anji Arquette
(Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Our Little Peanut
First off it was by chance, finding Peanut, and I know if I hadn't come across her she would of suffered the same fate as her brother or sister.
Well it all started just over 7 years ago, and I was 5 months pregnant with my second child, Ariel. My son, Devin and I were taking Scooby our Dog, out for a walk, when they spotted something on the lawn, under the tree at the corner.
It was a baby squirrel she was only a few days old, she had fallen out of the tree along with another baby squirrel which laid there dead next to her, the day before we had seen an adult squirrel dead in the street about 5 feet from the base of the tree.
At first we didn't touch her in case it was not her mom (on the side of the road), and watched her while she cried out calling for her, but no one answered her call.
About a half hour later I went and put her in a box and brought her in the house. I had called Nature's Nursery and they told me not to expect her to survive the night, but told me how to feed her, and keep her warm. So I filled our bathtub with hot water, to warm the bathroom up, and filled a hot water bottle up, and took some baby blankets and put all that, plus I put her, in this guinea pig cage we had. I then left a note for my husband telling him about the squirrel in the bathroom, and that I went out to get some cat formula, and bottles.
When he arrived home he expected to see this wild squirrel running around in the bathroom, but to his surprise it was this tiny thing about the size of a baby hamster, her eyes were still closed, her ears were still pinched shut, she had no teeth, and very tiny claws. We named her Peanut, because her head was both the shape and size of a shelled peanut.
I fed her every four hours, and kept her warm, she loved to lay inside my shirt and sleep, My husband and I were the first things she saw when she opened her eyes for the first time, and she would come when we called her by name. She was so sweet and loved to run around in the house, especially when she would sprawl out on the couch and take a bath while watching TV.
Peanut was as happy as could be, she had all she could ever want, a hammock, her baby blanket (yes, she still slept with her baby blanket and continued to until the day she died.) She only ate gourmet nuts, and granola, with the occasional PB&J sandwich, or blueberry bread, with a little butter on it. She was truly spoiled to the max.
She had a very long life, and was loved very much by me and my family which had grown from 3 two legged members to 6 members. My kids loved to help clean her,(Now ferret sized cage), and feed her, that was Adri, my 3 year olds favorite thing to do, she always shared her food with Peanut even suckers. My 1 year old
son William, would push a chair up to her cage and climb it so he could talk to her, and share his goodies with her too ( she never tried to attack, or bite any of us, even if she was eating.)
As she grew older we still let her run free, but since New Year’s we had been fighting an infected tooth, which kept coming and going, during this time she began losing weight, but no matter how she felt she continued to have the same loving demeanor she always had especially with the kids.
I would regularly give her baby Motrin, and baby vitamins, and if she was going through one of her (not eating stages I would make her baby food (fruits & veggie’s) mixed with oatmeal cereal, or I would spoon feed her flavored applesauce.) In the seven years that we have had her, she probably had this infection maybe 3 or 4 times, but each time, I would treat it and get it to go away and not come back for a very long time, but it was different this time, it was more in her food storage pouch in her mouth, not a tooth.
We thought she was finally getting better, the infection seemed like it was going away, but I think it had just moved into the blood stream. Because she seemed to be getting better, jumping around in her cage, eating all kinds of stuff, Almonds, banana chips, & dried fruit like she was never sick. Like they say “It always gets better before it gets worse,” and believe me it did.
Yesterday, July 6th, 2008 I was cleaning, and Peanut came up to her cage door and was asking to come out, I thought she wanted some Motrin or fresh water, but she didn’t want either, she wanted me to hold her. So I took out her baby blanket to hold her and she climbed out of her cage and up onto my chest where she curled up(just like the millions of times she had in the past) She lifted her head up and looked at me, as though to say “Thank you, or I Love Ya, or Goodbye Mommy“, and then her head started to droop and she stopped breathing. She had passed away in my arms, close to her Mommy where she felt safe. I held her and cried for almost an hour, while Adri kept telling me “It’s ok Mommy, Peanut’s just sleeping.”
I know that she is in a much better place now, no longer in pain, surrounded by her favorites: almonds, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, banana chips, blueberry bread, hammocks and her baby blanket. She never has to feel the pain that, that infection inflicted on her again. I am thankful that she didn’t die alone either, I am thankful it happened while I was holding her so she wasn’t scared to pass over. She will be greatly missed, and will never, ever be replaced, it’s not everyday you find a baby Squirrel, with its eyes still closed, and no teeth, and to never have experienced the wild. We found her May 7th, 2001 and she passed away on July 6th, 2008.
Peanut We Love You very much, and will really miss you, we will see you again.