Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bon Voyage Captain Muffinheart

Capt.Muffinheart seeding Mother Earth with Squirrelove

There are simply no words to describe the  exquisite and  overwhelming love that comes through a little squirrel. And if you happen to be blessed with the sweet friendship of one, then you have been truly graced.

My little Muffin loved me like no other.
He was and is my sweet angel of love.
So much so that at one point I had to change his name from "Muffin" to "Muffinheart".

But now I will start at the beginning.
Muffin was one of three beautiful boys found under the hood of a student's car at St.Ed's University in South Austin.  Luckily, their mama chewed the wires so the girl couldn't start her car. Then her dad looked under the hood and discovered the litter of baby squirrels nestled behind the left headlight.  The campus police called me to come get them.  God Bless Mama Squirrels!

So Muffin, Buddins, and Nugget grew up together until Muffin decided he'd rather be in his own space. 
And I honored that.  
Muffin was a little different than his brothers.  
He was an especially sensitive little guy... 
 The summer that Buddins and Nugget were released, Muffin had been sleeping with his mouth against his cage and ended up with crooked and overgrown teeth. So his teeth got trimmed by our vet, and his release got delayed.
  (Now looking back, I know he planned it that way.)
By the time I knew his teeth were fine, it was winter.
The main problem with squirrels is that the longer they live with you, the more you fall in love with them.  At this point I was head over heels in love with the Muffin man and I dreaded the day I would be putting him in the outdoor cage to get used to the neighborhood sounds and weather.  

Nevertheless, Spring did arrive and it was Muffin's turn!
On the first two tries, he got in fights with other little boys and both times came home with gashes on his little body.  The first one was on his back and the second one was across his sweet face.  Poor Muffin.  I'm not sure if it was harder on him or me!

But they say three times is the charm.  So I was going to try just once more. Remember, it was also the springtime so mating season was going on.  On this third try he had a little fling with Miss Rosie Posie who was also being released.  But after several days outside, Muffin came  back to the front door and wanted in. And that's the day he officially became an "indoor squirrel".
And it wasn't until a couple days before Rosie gave birth in my kitchen that I even knew she had gotten pregnant!
But Rosie came inside to have her babies,
and so Muffin got to see his pups grow up. 
Such a sweet adventure for us all! 
These were such happy times... what could be more fun than a houseful of squirrels? And although the following spring, Rosie Posie and her angels Pookie, Chupie and Rosebud would move outside, the Muffin man remained behind.  He loved hanging out in the big cage and giving advice to his young boys when they came home for meals.
But the best part for me was sharing my morning coffee time with my Muffinheart.  
You can feel all the love in this video:

Muffinheart is best know for his affectionate nature. So many videos of him being a loving little buddy and so many photos of his indescribable cuteness! It seemed that every day he would just get cuter and more lovable!  
Truly astonishing!

So it's especially difficult to say goodbye to such a sweet friend.  I still don't know the exact cause, but one day I noticed he was not drinking water from his water bottle on the side of his cage.   So I brought the water bowl from his outdoor play-cage and offered him some.  He guzzled it down.  So I thought the problem was solved.  However, he was also not eating much and had stopped pooping.  I would offer him his usual food, but he refused. So I tried a piece of rice cake which he loved... but later vomited it up.  Not long after, he wasn't keeping the water down either.  
Finally, I took him to the vet so he could get some SubQ fluids.  Dr.Brad gave him 20ml. with a medicine added to calm his tummy so he could keep down food and water.
He had lost so much weight, poor fella.

Photo of Muffinheart taken two days before he died.
Then on the drive home from the vet clinic, Muffinheart 
was looking off in the distance with a smile on his face.  
I kept touching him, saying, "Muffin, hey buddy... we're almost home!"

We went inside and I laid him on my lap. I loved on him and told him how much I love him. He was so weak and seemed to be only partly in his body.  Then he started to move in a circle on my lap... trying to get more comfortable. 
Then he got still and took two shallow breaths with his mouth open...  and I knew he was leaving.
I held him up on my right shoulder 
and kissed him; his body so so limp.
And then he took his last breath.
Tears and more tears... oh sweet one.
Oh my dear coffee buddy...

Beautiful Muffinheart resting in Peace

Back when I still thought he would be going to live outside in the trees, I wrote him a love song.  And upon listening to it again, I find that it is a most appropriate song for his passing.  I call it "Muffin's Song".

Muffin was indeed a "bodhisattva" squirrel. A being who is so kind and selfless that they come back time and again to teach lovingkindness.   

And so, his beautiful box of ashes attests to this. 
My heart is full of gratitude 
to all those who helped make this tribute possible.