I finally got something I’d always wanted.
On my birthday this year, James caught a baby chipmunk for me.
He didn’t go out looking for one; Shao Hou, my wild cat I refer to as “the king of the forest,” caught it first. He was playing a horrendous game of cat and mouse (or cat and chipmunk) with the poor thing, and in the process, he mangled the chipmunk’s tail. It was a bloody mess. The chipmunk was breathing heavily, covered in cat slobber, and quite wounded when James caught him and rescued him from The King of the Forest.
To prevent infection, he clipped the chipmunk’s tail. He knew I’d always wanted a pet chipmunk so he filled an empty aquarium with a log, grass, and dirt. He fashioned a lid for it from wood scraps and window screen. He spent quite a bit of time on this little fellow, who he affectionately named Theodore.
Theodore was seriously adorable. When I got home, James showed him to me. I’d been giddy about meeting him all afternoon at work and couldn’t wait. But when I looked into the aquarium and saw him scampering across the log and shaking uncontrollably, I realized that even though I’d gotten what I’d always wanted, perhaps I no longer wanted it. I certainly didn’t need it. Theodore was created to live in the woods, climb trees, eat wild things that grow in the woods, and be happy. He wasn’t made for me.
So we let him go (after taking a few really cute pictures of him).
He scampered off into the woods behind the house. We haven’t seen him again, and hopefully Shao Hou won’t either.