Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bella: The Convalescing Raccoon

We are well into our third week of Bella's convalescence after the injuries she sustained a couple of weeks into her the release part of her rehab.  The first week her injuries were bad enough that she was hardly able to get around and was content to spend most of her "exercise time" outside of her recovery cage laying on a pillow in the chair next to me as I worked at my computer. 

The second week of her recovery she hobbled about the house, played with a couple of toys we provided, largely ignored the cats and learned that when the refrigerator opened she could con food off someone.  She was typically okay with being put back into her recovery cage and usually just curled up with with her stuffed lamb to sleep.

By the end of the second week, she was less thrilled to go into her recovery cage (kept in the living room area so she didn't feel alone) so I purchased a big stuffed otter (the closest thing I could find to her size), so she had "someone" bigger to cuddle up with when it was time to rest.  That satisfied her for a number days...  Going into the third week, she is getting around much better, but still not putting all the weight on her back leg and when taken outside for exercise she still is unable to climb a tree (a dangerous situation for a raccoon who uses trees to escape whatever may cause them harm - and she obviously wasn't too good at that to begin with even with a good leg since she was injured in the first place).  Never the less, we are anxious for her to maintain her relationships with the rest of her litter and reunited her with her big brother Diego on two different occasions earlier this week when he came in to eat. (Although all of them are able to come and go from the release cage as they please, everyone continues to return once or twice a day for food)  We left Bella outside unsupervised to play with Diego in the woods most of each of those days, but I called (begged actually) her in from the woods before nightfall and returned her to the recovery cage for the night to protect her from threats, most of which occur in the night.

As our third week of recovery comes to a close, Bella is now getting around much better, at least when she is exercising in the house.  Still unable to climb a tree, she is able to climb on the end tables, coffee table and is attempting to figure out how lamps work (grrr). She loves to play in the computer cords and thus I spend much of her exercise time pulling her out from behind my computer.  I finally came up with the idea to give her some old computer cords that we no longer use, but for whatever reason I can't seem to throw away (and now I am glad I didn't). I tied them up on the blind next to my desk and entice her to play with them, rather than the ones I need. (If you can't beat 'em join 'em right?) they work.. most of the time.  She is no longer as thrilled to be returned to the recovery cage, even if it is in the livingroom and despite the lamb and the otter, a toy car, a ball, a bowl full of food, a bottle full of water, a nice big litter box and a fan blowing on the cage to cool her. (What more could a girl want I ask her?)... she just chatters and yells to get out until she finally gives up and takes a nap.

When she is out of the cage, she now runs to the refrigerator when someone even stands near it and well, if they happen to open it, you can be sure she'll pile in grabbing for anything that looks yummy to her (which is just about everything, except cucumbers in vinegar).  She also knows how to open all of the cupboards and we've had to resort to Bella-proofing before she is allowed out for exercise inside the house, or provide her with constant supervision and I mean CONSTANT.  

In other words Bella's recovery is moving along well, and she is now officially well enough to be into mischief as often as she can fit it in, but to my chagrin, she is not well enough to be outside on her own day and night yet.

I hardly waited for one or more of her brothers to show up at the enclosure today so I could "hand her over" for a couple of hours, but they must have sensed I wanted them to babysit as none of them turned up to eat... of course it was so hot today that the lazy bums were probably treed up somewhere snoozing the humid day away. So today Bella has been INSIDE with me ALL DAY and other than a few hours nap, she's been out of the cage as well... driving me just a tad bit batty!  If her brother's don't show up tomorrow, she just might have to play outside by herself for awhile!  At any rate... right now I have her occupied (for the moment anyhow) with one of her favorite treats, raw hamburger with Froot Loops.... yum. I just hope no one lets on to her that she won't be finding that snack out in the wild, or she just might consider staying inside forever! Oh the Horror!

3 Scrappy Comments:

Graphicat said...

SO awesome Beth!! I feel as if I know Bella as well now, she's a lucky racoon to have you caring for her! Bless you for that. :o) Give her an extra fruit loop for me. And a hug for you!!

Kristina H said...

I miss her...oh and you too ;)

Give everybody a hug and kiss from me!!

Starla said...

This little gal could provide lots of stories for a book!!

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