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Monday, October 06, 2008

Some live and some die

Chris had to work at Home Depot from noon to 9 pm last night. I hate those hours. I'm usually asleep by the time he gets home. I did catch up on watching some shows I'd recorded on the DVR: House (excellent!), The Ghost Whisperer (pretty good for a season premiere) and Sanctuary (I'm not too thrilled about it).

At around 730 pm, Chris called. He told me to be awaked when he got home because he was bringing something home for me. Hmmm. I told him if it was dog, don't bring it home (ha ha). He couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me more, so I waited impatiently for 930 to come around and he'd be home.

I couldn't imagine him buying anything at Home Depot I'd want (or need). I finally heard the front door open and he was carrying a cardboard box. He brought it over to me and inside was a plant pot with his work gloves and a chipmunk lying on them. My eyes widened.

He said one of the girls at work had found the chipmunk in the outdoor section of Home Depot, near the bags of bark mulch. They don't know if it fell, got in a fight with something or what. It was just lying there. So Chris volunteered to bring it home to me, the animal lady. At least I'm not the crazy cat lady (ha ha).

I got a clean kitchen towel and scooped the little thing into it while Chris went to find a heating pad. It's eyes were open and it was breathing, but barely. Chris plugged in the heating pad and put it on low and I put that under the towel and cradled the chipmunk to my chest.



I could tell it was a female and promptly named it - Brijit. Don't ask me why that name or spelling, but it just came to me. I cooed to it and gently pet it with my finger. She was so soft!

I could tell she was an adult because she was the same size as Chippy. And her tail was long - she was beautiful.

Chris went to get a glass of water and Q-tip. I dipped the end of the Q-tip in the water, then gently swabbed Brijit's mouth with it.

I called Cass, my friend in San Fran, because I couldn't think of anyone else to call that late at night. While I was telling her about Brijit, the little chipmunk licked its mouth and drank the water. Yay!



Once off the phone, Chris came back with the box and had put one of my t-shirts (clean, of course) in it for cushioning. By this time, Brijit's head had moved and she stared at me. Almost like she knew we were trying to help her.

I gently placed her in the box and we put a small bowl of water on one side, then another with two raspberries and some sunflower seeds. Chris cut a piece of screen to put over the top of the box so she could breathe, but not crawl out and as I carried her the bedroom, we'd decided I'd call the local wildlife place if Brijit made it through the night.

When I placed the box on the table next to my side of the bed, Brijit suddenly squeaked and spun in a circle, then laid down. I checked. She was breathing, but I had a bad feeling about that spin. Looking at her closer, I could see some marks on her rear leg. We began to wonder if she did fall and had internal injuries. The poor thing.



I kept waking up in the night, listening. I didn't hear any sounds from the box and was too tired (and scared) to look.

This morning, I got up at 645 am and quietly carried the box into the living room. I took the screen off and Brijit hadn't moved from the spot she'd been in last night. I looked closer. No breathing. I gently tugged up the edge of the towel to move her and she was stiff as a board. But her eyes were closed and she looked so peaceful.

At least she didn't die cold and alone.

After Chris left, I went out in the backyard to a beautiful Japanese willow in the corner. I dug a small, deep hole underneath its graceful branches and placed Brijit in the hole. I covered her with dirt, then a small flat piece of cement and more dirt to hopefully keep the crows away. Then I covered her up with grass.

I'm sad.

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