Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simon and Garfunkel

So, here is the evolution of my formula recipe:
Almond milk.
That was the first. I then wrote to a vet on Ask an Expert in desperation, although small animals are not her expertise. I apologized, asking if she knew of any references or websites that might be helpful, that I could research myself. I received a very brief and a rude response: no 'sorry I can't help, good luck,' nothing like that. I'm sure it must have been far too demanding in her busy little online schedule to actually be polite and show a little compassion, even if she couldn't help. Needless to say, I will never use that service again.
However, after some research I was able to find this:

Mouse Milk:

12.1% fat
9.0% Protein
3.2% Lactose

An 8 oz. glass of almond milk is only 4% fat, and 4% protein. So I adapted my formula, so, after looking at some other recipes and suggestions:

1 tbsp. almond milk

.625 ml of egg yolk

A few drops of coconut oil (or a few slivers, if it's solid).

They ate this for two days. The first two days I got up at 3:30 every night to feed them, the third I stayed up till 1:30 to feed them and slept until eight in the morning. I haven't woken up during the night since then, I think all the sleep loss has built up.

Simon has gotten the hang of the syringe, he'll even get a powerful suck on it and stick his tongue down it. Garfunkel wants only to suck on something fleshy, I get a drop on the end of the syringe and then put it up to his mouth. It's hard to tell how much they eat, but Simon eats more.

However, they were both acting very hungry so I adjusted my formula again:

1 tbsp. almond milk

1.25 ml egg yolk

.625 coconut oil (perhaps a little more).

I didn't want to make it too rich, but I certainly don't want to slowly starve them to death. Seeing as I discovered that a mouse had made short work of 1/4 my carefully hoarded caramel chocolate Easter egg, I'm less worried about richness than I was before.

I've had them five nights, this is our sixth day. I never, ever expected them to live when I first adopted them. Then I hoped they would die before the night, because I didn't think there was any feasible way they would live through it. But they did.

Thankfully we're not too busy. I went to a program at the museum the day after we found them, but my wonderful mommy and sister took care of them then.

They stayed warm on their own the first two days, but it's cooled off a little, so I keep a rice sock warm for them and put their box on top of it in a basket. I've used the rice sock every night, as well.

I think it was on the third day that I noticed one of Simon's ears was perkier than the other. Now their ears are popped out and they respond to sounds; they can hear. One of Simon's eyes has opened, although the other shows no intention of doing so, and at their last feeding it looked as if Garfunkel's might open too.

However, at the last feeding I discovered something else about Garfunkel: he is dying. He's sluggish and would barely eat. He just wanted to rest. I shouldn't be upset, considering that I never thought they would live even one day when I first got them. But I am. Also, I feel that if Garfunkel dies his brother's chance of survival are cut almost in half. They snuggle together, stimulate each other. They need each other for warmth and companionship - they give each other somethings I could never offer. I'm convinced the only reason they've survived this long is because there are two of them.

It's almost time for their feeding again. It's been stressful and exhausting, it seems as soon as I finish feeding them it's almost time to do it again. I had plans of releasing them in the woods together. Now I'm not exactly sure what will happen.

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