A Little Story

 

To help some friends out while they took a week long trip to Florida, we agreed to care for a 7 week old baby opossum that they had recently discovered when a tree was cut down near their home. I agreed to have this opossum in our home when Kurt agreed that he would be the one to help with this little creature. And of course Tiana was dying to be a part of this adventure as well.

 

Our friends came the day before their Florida departure with the baby opossum, which to our surprise was only about 3 inches long (excluding the tail), and gave us a lesson for her care. She was to be fed every 3-4 hours (at night too!) using an eye dropper full of warm kitten formula. After feeding we were taught how to stimulate her privates with a warm wet cotton ball to help her urinate and poop. Not really wanting to be apart of this, I kept myself busy with other things during the lesson with the hope that Kurt and the girls would take on this responsibility without me.  

 

Her first night with us though we realized that since Kurt would be teaching computer classes early the following morning, the girls and I would need to do the first night shift, so Kurt could get the rest that he would need. So at midnight and then again at 3 AM, we (just Jennaka and I, as I couldn’t get Tiana to wake up) dragged ourselves out of bed and went through the procedure of feeding and stimulating her. And then something happened in those dark quiet hours….we fell in love with her.

 

We loved how her little tongue grabbed each drop of liquid at the end of the dropper and how sometimes she would place one of her hands with its five digits, which look so human, on the dropper looking very much like a baby holding a bottle. Caring for her was very much like caring for my own children when they were babies. How peaceful it was those late hours when everyone slept and she feed. Like with my own children, I was thrilled when she downed 3-4 droppers and worried when she would only take two. Knowing how much she peed and pooped became a part of our language, our concerns. We loved watching her sleep and move about in her cage and our daily schedules were made around her feeding schedule.

 

After trying out many different names for her as her finders had not named her yet, the one Kurt used was the one that stuck, Stuart Little. So when Stuart’s first family finally returned for her after eight days and nine nights, we were all ready to have our restful nights back, but were very sad to have her go. Stuart Little really did touch our hearts.

 

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