CYA, VOJ! BY KATE MARANI
One Monday afternoon in September I was walking home from class and heard a strange noise coming out of a large, green, trashcan on the sidewalk. I jumped, thinking a raccoon was in it and had heard me approaching. I start to walk away but I heard it again, and again. I looked around and saw a cute, little squirrel tucked into the wheel of the trashcan. It looked right at me with blood on its nose and so many flies on its face, but didn’t move.
I heard was my VOJ screaming in my head, “Stay away, squirrels have rabies,” as everyone says. The poor squirrel had looked so miserable so I called up some friends and said “Hey, come over. There is a petrified tiny squirrel a block away and it looks miserable. I think it fell out of it’s nest!”
Four of us gathered around the terrified squirrel. It wouldn’t move, so we thought its tail was stuck under the wheel. We lifted up the trashcan but it hung on to the wheel for dear life. I could see it just needed shelter and a little TLC. We made a game time decision to pick it up and bring it to our yard in an an open bin with blankets, twigs, water, and acorns.
Our house sat on the porch that night googling what to do. We flushed out its bloody nose with Pedialite so that it could get some nourishment and we left it in the open bin on our porch for the night. We figured it would pass away during the night.
The next morning, I found the squirrel sleeping in the bin, nestled in the blankets. It had fixed the blankets into a nest and used twigs to prop up the fabric like a little cave. It had made an amazing recovery from the night before.
Time after time I would return to my house after every class to feed her formula with a dropper. It would hold the dropper like a baby holds on to a bottle. After it would fervently drink, it would curl back up into a ball and fall asleep.
After some light squirrel reading, we determined it was a girl between five and six weeks old. We named her Sandy Cheeks. Sandy and I gained a lot of trust for each other in only a day. She began to climb up on my hands or just chill on my shoulders. When I was reading for class, she would sleep on my chest or in my pocket.
This squirrel had become a new source of happiness for me and my house. We were like proud parents because she seemed to get a little better everyday. Friends were coming over everyday asking to see Sandy. They thought it was amazing we had a pet squirrel out of nowhere, and so did we!
Not many people would care about saving a rodent, but I did it mindlessly, and it made me happy! My point is… silence your VOJ and live your life according to your own values. People are raised with rules, but think about how many are just opinions. People say don’t touch rodents, but if I hadn’t saved Sandy, she would have died miserably covered in flied and blood under a trashcan. College is the time to develop your own reality, and in my reality, I did something good.