Did you hear that? My heart just exploded.

This is Thumbelina, an orphaned squirrel who never learned how to play with other squirrels or even identify with her own kind. Thumbelina was born in a stranger’s apartment while he was out for the day, under a pillow surrounded by leaves and twigs. It was the only place her mama could go after her nest was destroyed by a neighboring construction site.

Facing the destruction of her home, mama squirrel did what any mother would do – she sprang into action, climbing inside a 10th-story apartment window in order to give birth to Thumbelina and her sister. When the squirrels were discovered, wildlife rehabilitators Christina and Michael were called to action to rescue, rehabilitate, and release the babies. Unfortunately, Thumb’s sister passed within a few short hours, but Thumbelina, the little squirrel that could, pushed through.

Christina and Michael knew Thumb was a special case. Due to the off cycle birth season, Thumb was alone with no other squirrels to bond to. It was quickly determined she could not be released into the wild. Christina and Michael stepped up to the plate and became her adopted parents.

Now two years old, Thumb still refuses to express normal squirrel behavior. She can’t climb or jump, but prefers walking and snuggling. She enjoys spinach, avocados, and the classic squirrel cuisine of nuts. She also despises winter and the outdoors! She enjoys the warmth from her parents as well as “spending her day playing with her Mommy and Daddy, laying on a sunny windowsill, ‘opening’ and inspecting the groceries, snuggling, and watching the Wendy Williams Show. She is terribly afraid of the outdoors, other squirrels, and the vacuum.”

Her parents say, “Thumbelina is now our little ambassador squirrel. She helps us to teach people how important it is to respect and be kind to all wildlife, and spread the message – “Each little life is big to the one living it.”