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I have time off! A few days this week, and almost all of next week, although I'm working Sundays and some Sat/Fri programs (Perseid Meteor Shower this Saturday, forecast was looking pretty rainy/cloudy but it keeps getting better every time I checked, so fingers crossed).

This is the point in the year where I am Very Done With People - other than grocery and shopping errands and texting mom, haven't talked to a single soul since Tuesday, ah, bliss! XD The plan is to catch up on as much of the backlog of life maintenance as possible and complete my raccoon enclosure/catio. The catio is something I've been researching and saving up for for several years, finally found what I wanted and got a small windfall in the form of an escrow refund check due to overpayment, w00t! With small raccoon becoming more raccoonlike every day, the need is suddenly more urgent, lol, although she's really doing very well. Being a tiny girl and slightly mobility limited keeps her out of some, but not all, trouble (the similarities between a 4-month raccoon and an almost!three-year-old niecelet are really quite striking!) This lull is pretty much my only chance in the year to have time to assemble and get it all set up before things rev up again for fall. So, the plan:

Herein lies The Plan. Will I accomplish even half? Tune in next week to find out! )
playswithworms: (Default)
When you have a non-releasable raccoon baby that you're trying to socialize and get her used to humans and handling, and she *loves* to stick her nose up your sleeve and try to chew on your armpit hair.
playswithworms: (Default)
Hello and still alive! Got the batch of 13 teeniest baby opossums drinking from a dish yesterday (instead of having to be tube-fed one-by-one three times a day), and the 12 medium baby opossums have been dishing it since last week, which means I have more than 30 minutes of non-wildlife time again. I have showered! I have eaten vegetables! I may even (le gasp) vacuum!

And check out this harmonious snuggling with three raccoon babies!

Biggest raccoonlet I've had since she was only a day or two old, and the other two arrived a few weeks later, very small for their age and with mycoplasma infections (swollen joints and hands, pus-filled lesions, fun times) - generally fixable with antibiotics, but also a 4 to 8 week quarantine period. I broke quarantine a week or so early because the little kids at least looked pretty healed up from everything, and because the big girl went into complete terrified baby raccoon snarl-attack mode when I did a test introduction and I was pretty sure I'd waited too long and now had an emotionally stunted raccoon baby who would never be able to co-exist with her own species. I resorted to taking everyone on the front porch where it was Outside and Very Scary, so they were more scared of that than each other (because little kids were understandably unhappy about being growled and snapped at).

Finally got to the point where no one was growling, but big girl wanted nothing to do with the other two and hid out on the far side of their crate. Until last night, when they were all out rambling around, and went at each other ears flattened and I was all ready to separate them when...Puppy Tussle Play-Mode, activated! :D And since then big girl has started actively seeking out the little kids and tonight they were all sleeping together in the same crate! Big girl is now on antibiotics too, for a few weeks, as a precaution, but I figured learning to be a raccoon was worth the trade off :)
playswithworms: (First Aid)
First wildlife baby of the year arrived today - teeny day-old raccoonlet, not in the best shape.  A hiker found her along a trail in the park, muddy and cold. She's a bit dehydrated, but fairly squirmy and squawky once she got warmed up again - didn't like the rehydration solution at all, but I finally got her to take some diluted puppy formula, so far so good.  As per tradition, wildlife babies that need hourly monitoring and care always arrive on super busy days with field trips and a thousand other things going on *flops* but I have all day tomorrow off so that should help.  Also my grass needs mowing already - yikes!
playswithworms: (First Aid)
Just when you think it's safe to pack up the baby bottles for the year...

Two tiny, very skinny late-season babies, obviously had been without mom for several days. Raccoon babies are slower to mature than puppies or kittens - these two are still nursing and have no idea what to do with solid food.

A couple more pics )
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Yesterday on my way home I was passed by a dark blue Honda FIT with a Decepticon logo! My little turquoise-blue Autobot-Glyph Honda FIT car was most intrigued! I was hoping we'd catch up again at the usual rush hour traffic jam, but didn't see it again, maybe it'll show up another day though :D

The biting pancakes are back from the vet and doing great - they've got a week and half of antibiotic injections before they can be released. Did their first shots today - turtles are much easier than raccoons! Gave them their distemper/parvo shots last week, which actually went pretty smoothly. I've ended up with five of them, orphaned raccoon babies, long term. Everyone else that could possibly take them is full, so I've commandeered the cat pen for raccoons, alas for poor Toast, my outdoors loving kitty. They are expensive and time consuming (I could raise thirty baby opossums with what it takes for one raccoon! Actually, I am raising thirty baby opossums, but that's a whole other post :P ), but on the other hand they're so so hilarious and adorable. I keep filling up my phone memory with videos and pictures, so today I downloaded a whole bunch to YouTube to clear some space. I've been trying to put something new in their cage for them to explore every day - here they are investigating some plastic toys-in-a-pan (complete with fireworks from the neighbors going off occasionally in the background - my neighborhood sounds like a battleground for the entire months of June and July):

If you need a longer dose of raccoon cute and frolics, here's the whole playlist, about 20 videos:
Baby raccoon YouTube playlist
playswithworms: (Default)
Ended up with two more raccoon babies - these were in the backyard of a friend of my sis-in-law, dogs had killed a third baby, and when I checked them out the other two were clearly in bad shape hadn't been with mom for awhile. Tough customers though! Very growly and bitey - have to use gloves when I handle them, although they've learned very quickly good stuff comes out of the bottle. Not that I have time/energy/money for two more raccoons, but in one way it was a good thing: tried putting little runt boy with the two bigger babies last week, and he was getting pretty overwhelmed and freaked out so I pulled him back out, but the two new kids are right around his size and they buddied right up!

Raccoons learning to do raccoon things )

Crazy busy couple of weeks coming up, as usual, with summer daycamps starting and year round schools still going and calling for field trips, and wildlife and visitors and gardening and lawn mowing, but heading into this year only doing two jobs instead of four (we have a daycamp director and all our counselors present and accounted for, yay!), so it's a stressful time of year, but not to the crushing stress levels of last year thank goodness.

I kinda want to see Mad Max now, having seen all the bits about it on tumblr, but then...a two hour action car chase explosion movie @_@ Apparently the reviews of this silver food spray on Amazon are all inspired by Mad Max - I don't have a frame of reference, but they still cracked me up anyway. I love it when Amazon reviews get hijacked in the cause of Geeky Silliness and/or Great Purpose.

Wilton Silver Color Mist
playswithworms: (Default)
Added one more raccoon to the collection - this little doober and his brother arrived nearly dead last week, cold and emaciated, covered with fleas - brother didn't survive the first night, and I had given this one up for lost as well. Didn't take him to work with me because I decided it would be better to let him expire in peace rather than subject him to the stress of car rides and hauling in and out of a noisy nature center, but...when I got home, he was still alive. So kept giving him bits of fluids and then formula, and he kept getting stronger. Now he's doing great! He's a little dinky fellow - my other two that are about the same age are nearly two pounds, and he was half a pound when he arrived, closing in on a pound now. Waiting until he's a little bit stronger and will try putting all three boys together, see how they do :)


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