Right from the start, it was a ruckus of activity. At 9AM sharp, I walked in the door and already two volunteers and the intern were hard at work. Dodging rabbits and stepping over tortoises, I made my way to the volunteer sign-in sheet to officially start my shift. I began with our neurologically damaged little chipmunk, carefully removing the towel he was spinning in circles on and replacing it with a fresh one. I call him Twirly. He’s pretty used to people now but still doesn’t care for having his personal bubble invaded. Whether or not he’ll ever be eligible for release is dependent entirely on whether or not he stops compulsively spinning in circles. Since there’s no reason to think the damage to his brain isn’t permanent, he’ll probably live out the rest of his life with us.
After Twirly, I dealt with our messy crow. Crows are a bit notorious for being little troublemakers, but of course in the best way possible! Twinkletoes as he’s been called since he arrived as a baby, is always quite the character. As I bent over to pick up the cereal he’d tossed on the floor, he decided to make a game of it. There are two spots for him to perch in his room and in between them is where he likes to dump his food on the floor. He started on one perch, and as soon as I bent over jumped on my back, and then completed the circuit by jumping on the other perch. Rinse, repeat. He did this a few times before I’d managed to collect all his leftovers. “Do you mind?” I asked him when I stood up, knowing full well that he didn’t. I asked for a kiss, which he happily obliged in exchange for a nice head rub, and went on to the next task for the day.
I ended my shift with some pleasant conversations and jokes with my fellow critter nerds, eavesdropping in on the back and forth between Twinkletoes and our first baby fox of the season. Then, I headed out the door for home, to my own little zoo of critters waiting to be let outside, fed lunch, and cuddled.