KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
November 14, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Last week the Katy community came out to help a family find their missing pet squirrel, PiPi. Thanks to some good neighbors, the squirrel is now back at home enjoying his posh life complete with a little purple vest.
Alfredo Soto, Jimena Vilchis with PiPi.
Pet Squirrel Missing for 6 1/2 Days
For six and a half days Piruela "Pipi" Milagro, a squirrel rescued and raised as an abandoned baby in Katy, was missing from his home.
While outside with his family on November 4, something caught PiPi’s eye and he ran off. Over night he wiggled out of his purple vest and leash in a neighbor’s garage as his family continued to look for him.
Jimena Vilchis and Alfredo Soto have had PiPi since August 11, 2019 when he was found lying as a newborn under a vehicle at a local retirement village. They took to social media to share PiPi’s story and to ask the community to look out for the squirrel who loves people.
“It was from this moment that Pipi got neighborhood celebrity status as kids came up to us during our many searches asking, ‘Are you the one's looking for that nice squirrel?’” says Alfredo Soto. “Hearing that so many other people have already seen him is what kept us going amid fears that a predator may have gotten to him or something.”
No Stranger to Miracles
Pipi is no stranger to miracles. As a baby he was fortunate to be found by Jimena and Alfredo. “I immediately knew when I saw him the night we found him under a vehicle, that a new chapter was beginning in our lives,” says Alfredo.
“Thus, began my wife's trial by fire in terms of caring for this newfound newborn,” explains Alfredo. His wife, Jimena researched online how newborn squirrels needed a special formula and had to be fed every two hours. They researched and cared for PiPi and despite the odds, he made it.
“The moment he beheld us, we belonged to him as much as he belonged with us,” says Alfredo.
As a result, PiPi was no ordinary squirrel. He loves people and his family and they kept looking for him.
Then on November 11, they got the call. “Are you the owner of the squirrel?” a caller asked Alfredo.
Pipi was about four blocks away. As a 100% inside pet squirrel, he sees people as his personal “trees.” He had jumped on a homeowner’s daughter’s head!
“We saw him and he recognized Jimena calling his name,” recalls Alfredo. “It took no time for him to jump into her arms from the bushes, essentially giving her the biggest hug he can give.”
“After being missing for almost a full week, he managed to pull off another miracle for us,” says Alfredo.
Both Alfredo and Jimena are grateful for all the community attention that PiPi stirred up as people looked for him. He’s now happy to be back at home (with his little purple vest.) The napped away the day he returned in his hammock and enjoyed a welcome home avocado.
What to Do if You Find a Baby Squirrel (or Other Baby Animal)
If you find an abandoned baby wild animal, it is always best to keep them in the wild with their natural family. However, there are ways to help if you suspect the baby is in true need. The Humane Society outlines some basic guidelines of how to help and when to intervene.