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Somerville nuns save storm-tossed squirrels

Posted by Bob Scherer-Hoock  August 31, 2011 05:38 PM

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Little Sisters of the Poor



Sister Mary Vincent cradles the two baby squirrels.

Tropical Storm Irene toppled the tree where a pair of baby squirrels lived in Somerville. Fortunately for them, they came down in a good place. The nuns at Little Sisters of the Poor, a shelter for the elderly living in poverty, took care of them.

The squirrels were discovered by Sisters Mary Vincent and Kateri on Monday morning during storm cleanup at the Little Sisters of the Poor on Highland Street.

“They were pretty cold and scared,” said Emily Gilmore, director of development for the shelter.

Following instructions they found on the Internet, staff members left the baby squirrels in a small, warm box near where they were found in hopes their mother would show up. She never did.

The squirrels were about three weeks old, and their eyes were still closed, Gilmore said. The sisters began feeding the squirrels a mixture of puppy formula and light cream every two hours to keep them alive.

While time-consuming, the incident united the 124 residents, who named the squirrels Chester and Cashew.

“They were very interested in how the squirrels were doing,” Gilmore said.

This afternoon, a rehabilitation center in Rhode Island, which wishes to remain anonymous, came to take the squirrels. Employees there expect the squirrels to make a full recovery, Gilmore said.

The Little Sisters of the Poor takes in adults age 60 or older living below the poverty line. The center operates entirely on donations. If interested in making a contribution, please call 617-776-4402.

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