Today was one of those days I got to be reminded of who I am, or rather who I was many many years ago. Before I ever got into farming I had a joyful hobby breeding fancy rats and occasionally other little pocket pets. Since I also had a thing for furless animals I ended up hand-rearing a number of baby rats (whose furless mothers could not lactate.) It’s another one of those skills I now have that lays dormant and useless in an old dusty box in the back of my mind…. until someone insists on opening it again.
Someone posted to a group on FaceBook about three baby mice she found in a barn still suckling off their dead mother who had succumbed to wounds from a cat. Pretty much everyone posted back something to the effect of they’re mice let them die until one person who knew me saw it and messaged me. So I’m a sucker. I’m also the only one in the area who will deal with rodents (even the rehabbers here won’t touch them.) I contacted her and said I could come pick them up and give it my best. Their odds are not great. I’m not going to lie. It all depends on whether or not they will get used to the milk and nipple (a make-up sponge cut and wedged into a 1cc syringe) and eat or if they would rather starve. At this age, somewhere in week two of life, they’re especially hard to convince. This is made all the worse by the fact they’re probably within days of opening their eyes and eating semi-solid food on their own. So far I have tried KMR (kitten milk replacement) and light cream. I got two to take one sip so far. I will keep trying.
In the meantime I have gotten a lot of sweet responses… people who I had no idea were still following me on FaceBook who reminded me how I helped them raise a baby vole probably fifteen years ago. I had no recollection of this until it was brought up and all of a sudden I realized I have always been there helping, spreading joy, teaching, and making the world a brighter place. It’s nice to remember this because I think I lost sight of this very important ideal for far too long. These past few days have brought me such peace, joy, and hope. I will continue forward stepping softly and trying my best. Here’s hoping you are doing the same.