If I ever get a surprise visit in my bedroom, let it be a squirrel! These fluffy little fellows are simply adorable!
Can you imagine returning home from work, and finding the cutest little squirrel baby on your bed? Well, this actually happened to one man in March 2016.
When he entered his apartment in Bronx, New York, he discovered two newborn baby squirrels lying on his bed, among dried pine needles and branches.
The nest of the Eastern Grey Squirrel mother had been destroyed due to nearby construction, so to save her family, she crawled into a 10th story window and gave birth to her two babies on the bed of the stranger.
The man called wildlife rehabilitators Christina and Michael for help, and they attempted to reunite the babies with their mother. The mom tried hard to find materials to make a nest for her babies, but she refused to take them back out into the wild with her, and eventually stopped returning.
One of the babies, unfortunately, did not make it. The local wildlife vet explained that the other one would die as well, if left on her own. At this point, Christina and Michael decided to adopt the cute squirrel baby and named her Thumbelina.
“When she was just three days old, my husband cracked open a walnut and said: “I bet we can fit her inside the shell”. She fitted into it perfectly and reminded us of the Thumbelina fairy tale where the tiny girl slept in a walnut shell cradle.”
Almost all squirrels the couple rescues are released into the wild, but this was not the case with this one. After the loss of her sister, Thumb had to grow up by herself, without the company from other brown squirrels.
As a result, Thumbelina turned out to be much different from them.
According to her website:
“Thumbelina has always been a ‘different’ squirrel. 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 always 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.
Even when introduced to babies, when she finally opened her eyes, she wanted nothing to do with them. She would not interact with the new babies. She’d go sleep by herself, she refused to play with the other babies, and became very stressed in their presence.”
One of her foster parents admitted:
“I don’t know what she thinks she is, but it’s definitely not a squirrel.”
Nowadays, she enjoys her life with her Mom and Dad, away from outdoors, the cold weather, and other squirrels. Oh, and far away the vacuum cleaner!
She spends her evenings cuddling her parents on the sofa, watching TV, or doing face masks!
She often wears squirrel-sized hats and glasses, and Christina, a fitness instructor from Mahopac, New York, says Thumb is her ‘baby’ and ‘best friend’:
“I love Thumbelina so much. My husband and I knew that we never wanted children. Thumbelina is our baby.‘She’s my little best friend, every day I look forward to spending time with her. ‘When I’m feeling low, she comes over and snuggles with me.”
Christina adds that Thumbelina is ‘a little troublemaker” who “ loves to bite a charger, the buttons on a remote, and headphone wires” and keeps trying to “ get into the refrigerator”.
What Thumbelina really loves are sugar snap peas, avocado, and arugula!
And we love her too!
When he got back home from work, one man found two baby squirrels in a nest of twigs, dried pines, and branches on his bed
Wildlife rehabilitators Christina and Michael were called and they tried to reunite the babies with their mother
Mother squirrel kept fetching materials to surround her babies but did not take them with her
She eventually stopped coming back
One squirrel died, and the other’s future was grim too
Christina and Michael decided to adopt her and named her Thumbelina
Thumb grew up without any interaction with other squirrels
Everything with her was slow, and she kept refusing other food than milk
She wasn’t interested in jumping and climbing
Thumbelina didn’t want to do anything with other squirrels
“I don’t know what she thinks she is, but it’s definitely not a squirrel”- one of her parents said
She is a troublemaker, and she now enjoys her time spent with her Mom and Dad
She loves sugar snap peas, avocado, and arugula, but hates to go outdoors, in the cold weather, and to play with other squirrels. She also detests the vacuum cleaner