|His dad's name:||Quasimodo|
|His mom's name:||Fred|
|Birthdate:||Nov. 15, 1996|
|Species:||Southern Flying squirrel|
|Scientific name:||Glaucomys volans|
|Length:||about 7 inches (incl. tail)|
|Weight:||about 3 ounces|
For many years, I've always wanted a pet squirrel. I think it starte when I got my first pet mice when I turned 12 (March 1991). I was then interested in rodents in general so that I could know more about these mice. I have had mice for four years, but my keeping of them ended when I grew out of mice because my interest in rodents in general took over. That is when I found a more interesting rodent to study about.
I have been fascinated with squirrels since age 17, even though I wanted a pet for even longer. It didn't take me a while to discover on the Internet an organization called The Squirrel Lover's Club, which I joined immediately. Shortly after that, I decided to check out more squirrel-related sites, and I finally found one owned by Steve Walters of Texas, who sells flying squirrels.
I sent a letter requesting information about the flying squirrels that Mr. Walters was selling. The information I received showed that flying squirrels do indeed make very good pets, and they cost sixty dollars. Immediately, I started saving my money, and that took about three months.
When I got my money, I sent a check away to pursue my precious order. I decided then that I also needed a cage to put the flying squirrel in, and that was no problem. I constructed a ledge to put the food on and bought a hanging nest box for the ceiling of the cage. I contacted Mr. Walters to tell him which airport my new pet should arrive in, for the squirrel was being shipped via Delta freight.
The next few days, I arrived at the Daytona Beach airport to pick up my new pet. Even though the freight office was hard to find, it was worth the search. I removed the box that the squirrel was in, which was labeled "Live Animals." He was still in a small take-home cage which he did not seem to like. It was impossible to take him out of it, because I didn't have the proper tools in the car.
When my ride home was over, I took a pair of pliers and ripped open the metal bars of the disposable cage. Scalisti, the new squirrel, seemed to be too nervous to leave the cage, because of his very long trip. However, I gave him a few minutes, and he jumped into his new cage. I was so glad that a squirrel was finally my pet.
During the first day, the flying squirrel didn't seem to move much. He found a place on the wall of the cage to hang on and stay still. I would imagine that any creature would be this very nervous after a thousand-mile journey in a small box. When I touched him for the first time, he bit me, but that didn't hurt. I forgave him even though he bit me two more times that day. I also noticed that he hesitated to go into the nest box I provided for him in the cage.
Now that he knows me and trusts me, Scalisti has changed since the first day. He never hangs on the side of the cage anymore. Instead, he always enjoys a peaceful nap inside his nest box. This nap is frequently interrupted whe I decide to take him out. When he leaves the nest box on his own to get the food I leave out for him, he cutely peers out the hole in his wooden box, crawls out, and jumps from the perch onto a ledge that contains his bowl of fruit and nuts. Scalisti always eats the fruit last, probably to wait until it dries. He should eat the fruit because it's very good for flying squirrels, especially when it's sprinkled with calcium powder, which is necessary to help his bone structure. His favorite treats are sunflower seeds and acorns, which he eats by gently holding them in his hands, cracking the shell open with his teeth, and getting the nutritious morsel inside. Often the discarded shells make a mess of the cage.
My pet flying squirrel may be described in many ways. Most people who look at him would see a small, adorable rodent with large bright eyes and a soft, feather-like tail. His soft, brown fur has an appealing texture. His nose and mouth are pink, and his whiskers are black and resemble a cat's. His ears are large, and one of them has a minor notch in the center. Scalisti's forepaws have an interesting structure. The ulna bone is able to disconnect from the elbow to form an apparatus for gliding. Also, his finger joints are very pronounced.
Although Scalisti's physical attributes are a decent way of describing him, he also has interesting animate characteristics as well. Flying squirrels are among the most agile wonders of nature. Motion is an excellent way of describing special pets like Scalisti.
Because of his agility, Scalisti is a very interesting creature. He climbs
curtains with ease, and also jumps to me when he wants to go into his cage,
which he promptly does. His glide resembles that of a parachute. Again, I do
believe that motion is a necessary quality of describing this unique and
special pet that I'm very proud to call my own.
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