Generally speaking, there are two types of people – the ones who see a squirrel and immediately want their own, and the kind who find the idea of keeping a rodent in their house repellant.
This story, and these photos, are for both types of people. Try not to feel your heart grow three sizes when you see what one couple did after a baby squirrel was abandoned by its mother.
The story of Thumbelina began on a cold March day back in 2016 in New York City, when her pregnant mother’s nest was destroyed during a construction project. Thumbelina and her sister were born after their mother managed to climb into a 10th-floor apartment window and give birth on someone’s bed while they were away at work.
When the owner arrived home, he found the unlikely scene, and immediately called some wildlife specialists named Christina and Michael. Together, they all tried to get the mother squirrel to take her babies back outside – but she wouldn’t.
For some reason, momma squirrel kept bringing in little pieces of twigs and branches to build a nest indoors. But, perhaps knowing the rent prices in NYC, she eventually gave up and abandoned her babies.
Sadly, Thumbelina’s sister died shortly after. But this sassy little squirrel got a new chance at life.
Thumbelina is a unique squirrel. Because she was born abnormally late in the season, she didn’t have any other squirrels to be around as she developed and was unable to bond with her own kind the next year.
According to the rescuers:
“She always progressed a bit slower. Most babies don’t care for milk once they taste real food, Thumb was a giant baby with a bottle who refused to eat real food. Most babies open their eyes between 4-5 weeks of age, little Thumb waited almost 9 weeks. Most babies can’t wait to jump, and climb, and be ‘a squirrel,’ not Thumb. She alway preferred to walk instead of run, to sit and wait rather than climb or leap, and she only cared to play and interact with her human Mom and Dad.”
Michael and Christina decided that instead of trying to force the impossible, they would just adopt Thumbelina as a pet. Now, more than 130,000 followers watch her adorable adventures everyday on Instagram.
And, oh, the adventures she’s had! This little girl gets lots of attention from her human parents, and seems to love snuggling.
She’s grown quite a bit in the last 2-and-a-half years. Now, she likes everything from dandelions…
…to birthday parties.
In fact, Thumbelina is an incredibly cooperative little squirrel and always game for dress-up.
Her humans are really into Halloween, so she’s gone through quite a few charming costumes.
She also really enjoys avocados, although we’re not sure if that’s just when she’s in shark mode.
Here she is heading back to school!
Both Thumbelina and her owners are big fans of the Christmas season.
And while she does some normal(ish) squirrel things, like bury her nuts in the spinach…
She also does some decided non-squirrely stuff, like wear sunglasses.
At the end of the day, this fiesty girl is well-loved (and well-fed!).
While Thumbelina doesn’t like going outside, her owners make sure she gets every chance possible to be a squirrel, if that’s what she chooses.
Every baby, furry or not, should be so lucky!
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