Little Gopher That Couldn’t: Botticelli my weekend friend

While checking my mail yesterday, I discovered a tiny little creature struggling in the gutter.  She (no idea if she really was a “she” but she is in my story) was walking crookedly, collapsing every few steps, couldn’t open her eyes, and seemed completely out of sorts on the cold rainy road very far from the dirt.  Instincts kicking in, I decided she needed rescuing.  I picked up the fuzzy little thing, which was no bigger than a ping pong ball, and carried her into my garage.  She seemed to respond well to my warm hands and a little petting, so I placed her in a box and into the house she went.  (I couldn’t very well keep her in the garage with my rat-eating hunter of a cat lurking around with interest). 

Big N and I searched the internet to figure out what she was, and decided she must have been a baby Botta’s Pocket Gopher, because like the pictures, she had brownish gray fur, a short tail, and tiny ears.  We named her Botticelli.  In her new home we placed a warm blanket to burrow under, a few nuts and bamboo leaves, and some water, and watched with interest to see if we could nurse her back to health.  After a few minutes, Botticelli sprang back to life.  Her eyes were open, she picked up the bamboo leaves, darted with them tucked in her paw back to her little burrow, and began eating.  She even started chirping in approval.  We monitored her all evening, pet her a bit(she was a sweet thing and seemed to enjoy the attention) and then let her be for a while.  Our hope was that she’d start to thrive so we could release her back to our flower beds.  botticelli-1-of-2

Before we went to bed, little Botti took a turn for the worse.  She was sleeping but fitfully, opening and closing her mouth, shaking, and making squeaking noises as if she was in pain.  Big N told me to prepare myself that she might not make it through the night.  Alas, by morning I ran downstairs and found little Botti curled up under her blanket, still.  Her little body quit on her during the night. 

Though we had just a few short hours to get to know her, Botti was a fighter and I’m thankful she had a warm home and a full belly for at least a little while before she died.

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