To many city dwellers, squirrels are more of a pest than a cute pet. Have you ever been chased by a hungry squirrel? It’s low-key terrifying.
While squirrels are wild animals who generally belong outdoors, they do have the potential to make an adorable pet. And when you meet this special pet squirrel named Thumbelina, you will completely understand why.
Thumbelina’s story begins with a mother squirrel who decided to make a nest for her two newborn babies indoors, on a man’s bed (!!!).
The man called wildlife rehabilitators Christina and Michael, who tried to reunite the babies with Mama Squirrel. But the innovative mama had evidently abandoned her babies at the scene. One of the two babies didn’t survive. That left one remaining newborn squirrel, who would come to be known as Thumbelina.
Without Mama Squirrel to raise her, nor any other squirrel family to speak of, Thumbelina was pretty much on her own. Christina and Michael decided to step in and adopt her.
Thumbelina has now grown up into a unique, happy creature who loves her humans, arugula, and the indoors. She seems to have no idea that she is, in fact, a squirrel.
SEE? Adorable! Give squirrels a chance.
When Thumbelina the squirrel was born in New York City, she was only the size of a nut.
Thumbelina’s mother’s nest was destroyed by construction. So the mother squirrel crawled into a man’s tenth-floor apartment window and built a nest under his pillow.
The man called two wildlife rehabilitators, Christina and Michael, to help.
Despite Christina and Michael’s efforts, Mama Squirrel refused to take the babies back outside with her. She eventually abandoned them altogether.
Soon after, Thumbelina’s only sibling died.
Thumbelina stood no chance as a normal squirrel in the wild.
“Almost all squirrels we take in are rescued and released into the wild,” Christina and Michael explain on their website. “But Thumbelina was a special case.”
To save Thumbelina’s life, Christina and Michael adopted her as their own pet. They bottle-fed her as a baby, and they waited patiently as Thumbelina grew up before their eyes.
The Eastern Grey Squirrel is now two years old, and she is not like other squirrels.
She likes to walk instead of run, and she prefers to sit rather than climb. According to her human parents, she doesn’t care for other squirrels or the outdoors.
In fact, she’s terrified of both.
“I don’t know what she thinks she is, but it’s definitely not a squirrel,” one of her adoptive parents said.
Instead, Thumbelina enjoys avocados…
And other foods, like arugula, sugar snap peas, and tomatoes.
And more avocados!
She also really adores snuggling with her humans.
She likes playing, causing trouble, and inspecting the groceries. Oh, and she watches the Wendy Williams Show.
“Thumbelina simply never developed that ‘squirrel spark’ – the thing that makes a baby wild, and ready to go out into world and be a squirrel. She’s slower, less reactive, and HATES the cold weather. She’s unique in every little way,” the couple writes.
Thumbelina now works as an “ambassador squirrel” for the two wildlife rehabilitators. She has 130,000 followers on Instagram, and everyone adores her.
Her followers even make fan art!
She’s basically a squirrel celebrity, and she has an important message to teach her fans:
“Each little life is big to the one living it.”
Thumbelina’s story is unique. Most squirrels aren’t suitable as pets, which means you probably can’t have a Thumbelina of your own.
But hey — a girl can dream!