Baby squirrels are the last thing you would expect to find in your home, let alone on your bed. However, this is what Michael precisely found on a chilly March morning after he came home from work.
No Home to Return To
It turns out that the nest of their mother was ravaged because of nearby construction work. To safely give birth to the eastern grey baby squirrels, their mother braved and climbed towards the tenth-story apartment, which was owned by Michael, and let herself in through the window.
Since there was nobody else around at that moment, the mother squirrel took the chance to work hard in building a new nest. She would scrounge for twigs, dried pines, and bits of leaves and shape it into her ideal nest. Moments later, she was able to give birth to two small baby squirrels where Michael found them nestling underneath his pillow.
After their surprising discovery of the newborn baby squirrels, Michael and his wife, Christina, attempted several times to reunite them with their mom. Sadly, the mother squirrel rejected all their efforts and refused to bring the baby squirrels back to the wild.
On the other hand, she would diligently bring nesting materials back to the apartment and use it to surround her two babies. After some time, the mother squirrel stopped returning to check on her newborn baby squirrels. It was then that the couple knew that she would not be coming back.
A Second Chance in Life
Michael and Christine are wildlife rehabilitators, and so they made a decision to adopt the abandoned baby squirrels. Unfortunately, one of them did not survive and it seems like the other baby squirrel’s life was on the line too.
A local wildlife vet assessed the condition of the remaining baby squirrel. He broke the bad news to the couple that her chances of surviving are slim if she were to be left alone without a mother or a caretaker to tend to her needs.
Hence, the couple decided to adopt and take the feeble baby squirrel into their care. With their extensive experience in taking care of wildlife, they successfully nursed back their weakened pet baby squirrel back to good health.
The couple named their newborn baby squirrel Thumbelina because of her small size. Because of an abnormal birthing season and the death of her sister, Thumbelina grew all by herself. Therefore, she never knew how to interact with her kind.
And so when the normal birthing season has arrived, the little squirrel was past the point of bonding with other squirrels. It was then decided that she should be kept at home for it is perilous for her to live in the wild.
One of a Kind
The couple observed that their furry friend was a not-so-ordinary squirrel. Thumbelina seemed to constantly progress slower compared to others. If most baby squirrels switch to eating real food such as nuts and berries once they tasted it instead of milk, Thumbelina, on the other hand, refuses to give up her love for it. She is a big baby that would refuse to eat any real food and clings on tightly to her milk bottle.
Majority of baby squirrels open their eyes between four to five weeks of age. But Thumbelina had to wait for almost nine weeks. If most babies cannot wait to use their stretchy limbs for jumping, crawling, and climbing, Thumbelina deviates from that normality. The squirrel would rather walk than run. Instead of climbing up or leaping, she would choose to behave, sit, and wait.
Thumbelina also enjoys spending her days cooped inside her home than running around in the backyard. She also loves being picked up by her mom and dad and is leisurely carried around. One of her foster parents even jokingly said, ‘I don’t know what she thinks she is, but one thing for sure that it is not a squirrel.’
Thumbelina also prefers the warm companionship of her human parents. She only cared to interact and play with Michael and Christine. They tried to reintroduce her back to her fellow squirrels, but she has already chosen where she wanted to be. Thumbelina refused to interact with any of them and went back to her mom and dad.
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Thumbelina currently spends her time with her beloved mom and dad. Despite her ‘unsquirrel-like behaviour,’ she still enjoys getting herself into tiny mischiefs such as curiously ‘opening’ and inspecting groceries. Thumbelina also loves receiving attention from Michael and Christine, who dedicate their time in playing and snuggling with her.
Thumbelina is also a total foodie. She is a picky eater and has a long list of likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Her most favourite food items are sugar snap peas, avocado, and arugula, and she would usually stick with these as her tasty meals.
She is extremely photogenic too. Thumbelina loves getting dressed and glammed up for photos. Her mom and dad would dress her up in cute costumes and she wouldn’t mind. In fact, she loves attention and enjoys it as much as they do.
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