Baby Creature Born Into A Heartbreaking Situation Is Now Living The Life She Always Deserved

Some animal species just don’t make good pets. Yeah, dogs and cats are always up for a belly rub and cuddle session, but some of nature’s more un-tamed beasts have earned reputations as generally bad roommates. But does that mean these animals can never fit in at home?

When a young, motherless critter found its way into the care of two wildlife rescuers, the human duo did their best to give the wild (and non-domesticated) animal a chance to live. They didn’t realize, however, they were about to embark on a heartwarming journey that thousands would follow online…

If you found a mother squirrel leaving her two newborns on your bed before disappearing into the night, what would you do? A New York man recently faced this very dilemma when he found a family of baby squirrels making a nest inside his house.

A bit shocked to say the least, he had no idea what to do. These little ones were so small they couldn’t even open their eyes yet! Luckily, their mom was around…for a little bit, at least.

Little Thumbelina Girl/Facebook

Mother squirrel visited them frequently at first, feeding her babies and building a nest outside; but at some point, she stopped returning. Here the man was, with two baby squirrels on his bed. He felt responsible for them. 

Not knowing how to take care of baby squirrels, the man called wildlife rescue, who arrived quickly to assess the state of the babies. Fully aware they would not survive without the mother, the rescuers decided to intervene.

Mike Hodgson/Syv News

Since there’s only one official rehabilitation center in the city, the majority of wildlife rescue is done on a volunteer basis. Local rehabber Arina Hinzen says she rescues about 75 squirrels per year, and during busy breeding periods in the summer and spring, juggles up to 40 animals at a time.

WSJ/Vimeo

“We’re really seeing the impact of climate change with the seasons going way longer,” Hinzen said. “The first year it happened we thought it was just an odd thing, but it turns out it’s not. We still get small babies in October, when the season should be over at the beginning of September.”

Wildlife rescuer Christina Reyes and her husband Michael took it upon themselves to take care of the squirrels. One of the babies was already weakened and didn’t make it very much longer. Would the remaining squirrel meet the same fate? 

Little Girl Thumbelina/Facebook

All baby squirrels are born deaf and blind, normally opening their eyes at around five weeks old — but this baby squirrel, even after six weeks, wasn’t opening her eyes.

Little Girl Thumbelina/Facebook

But against the odds, the baby lived through her first few months in this world. The couple had talked about wanting babies themselves and completely fell in love with the squirrel while nursing her back to health. She was unfit to go back out in the real world, so they adopted her.

Thumbelina/Instagram

“There are people who think if the animal can’t survive outside it should be put down, and we decided that wasn’t going to be an option,” said Michael, the squirrel’s new dad. “There’s nothing physically or mentally wrong with her, she’s just different.”

Little Girl Thumbelina/Facebook

They named their new best friend Thumbelina, after a fairytale by the famous Danish children’s book author Hans Christian Anderson. It’s about a girl no bigger than a thumb who must find her way through the woods.

Thumbelina isn’t the first squirrel to become a household pet; in the 1700s, pet squirrels were all the rage. When Mungo, the pet squirrel of Benjamin Franklin’s good friend, got loose and was killed by a dog, Franklin wrote: “I lament with you most sincerely the unfortunate End of poor Mungo: Few squirrels were better accomplish’d.”

Usually, squirrels tend to run around, jump from tree to tree, and have high amounts of energy that could become problematic in a household. However, Thumbelina had never met another squirrel that she could remember. Her only influences were Christina and Michael, so she walked slowly and stayed seated most of the time.

Thumbelina/Instagram

Noticing her lack of squirrel-ness, Thumbelina’s human parents tried to introduce her to others of her kind; she was not a fan of it at all and didn’t see herself in her fellow squirrels. “I don’t know what she thinks she is,” her parents said, “but it’s definitely not a squirrel.”

Despite not having any other squirrel friends, Thumbelina – a now two-year-old Eastern grey squirrel as of 2018 – is having the time of her life living with Christina and Michael. In fact, one could say that she is living her BEST life.

Thumbelina/Instagram

Thumbelina has practically turned into a stay-at-home-human-being. She watches TV, cuddles up in blankets, and even dresses up in costumes that her mom hand-makes for her.

Thumbelina/Instagram

When the weather is nice enough for Thumbelina’s taste, she will sometimes go out with her mom in either a bag or on a leash. She won’t even do any dirty business in the bag because she is fully potty-trained and listens to her parents. Well, most of the time.

Thumbelina/Instagram

Despite Christina and Michael loving her with all their hearts, raising Thumbelina is neither easy nor cheap. According to Christina, the couple has spent over $10,000 towards Thumb’s care over the past two years. There must have been a few vet bills, but where is the rest of all that money going?

In an attempt to earn some money back for more of Thumbelina’s needs, Christina has set up several social media accounts for Thumb, which have taken off like rockets. On these accounts, she promotes the sales of Thumbelina T-shirts, keychains, and other types of merchandise.

Little Girl Thumbelina/Facebook

The cute photos on Thumbelina’s social media pages are highly enjoyable, but what’s most important is that she is both healthy and happy. Everyone seems glad that she was adopted and recovered, including Christina and Michael, Thumbelina’s fans, and of course, Thumbelina herself.

Thumbelina/Instagram

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