Local business goes squirrelly

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
July 15th, 2009

Photo courtesy Trish Chernoff

Two creatures barely the size of a bottle of nail polish managed to foil massive industrial equipment and interfere with one of the city’s most successful businesses Tuesday.

Kevin Chernoff, owner of Trowelex, said his 25-ton front-loader, which can normally pull a freight train, wasn’t working property Tuesday morning, much to the distress of its owners.

“It had no power, no get-up-and-go,” he said. “So our mechanic starting looking at it; first at simple things like the air cleaner. When he checked that, he just about fell off the loader.”

Not a fan of rodents in general, the mechanic was more than a little startled to find a brand-new squirrel’s nest, complete with two tiny baby squirrels, inside the machine’s air filter.

“He’s a little squeamish about these things,” Chernoff explained.

Staff removed the nest and placed it near where the front-loader had been parked, in hopes the mother would return, but subsequent Internet research led staff to believe such a return was highly unlikey.

So they took the babies inside, built a larger, warmer nest for them, and sent a friend out in search of whatever infant squirrels might like to find on their daily menu.

After rehydrating the duo, dubbed “Coke and Pepsi” by the press, Trowelex staff went on to nourish the pair with a mlk formula designed for kittens, fed through the smallest syringes available at the time.

“They’re doing really, really well,” said Chernoff in an interview Wednesday morning, relinquishing his tough-guy biker image long enough to admit he set his alarm clock and woke up every couple of hours to feed the twins through the night – tucking them into bed when they finished their meal, of course.

“I stopped by the vet on the way home last night, and they were very helpful. They gave us more syringes, and said there’s a lady who rehabilitates baby chipmunks and squirrels and stuff, which is great. 

“I’ll have to interview her before I let her take the kids, though. I’ve never had baby squirrels before – and twins, to boot.”

The duo, now fed and rested after the ordeal, is spritely and content, with a possible adoption scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.



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