A rescued baby squirrel named Peanut has been welcomed into a little cat family of a mama and her kittens.
The Washington Post reported on the heartwarming story of Peanut, the family who rescued him, and his adoptive cat family.
Vista, CA resident Chris DeBaets found a baby squirrel in the street and brought him home. The baby’s fur was growing in but his eyes were not yet opened. He was cold and dehydrated.
Chris’ wife Liz is a pediatrician, so she knew what needed to be done for the squirrel to help him thrive. The DeBaets’ cat Missy had given birth to a litter of six kittens a week earlier, so Liz removed Missy from the box with the kittens and placed the little squirrel inside.
“We just kind of rubbed it around with the litter of kittens,” Liz said. “He was cold. He was happy to snuggle in there. We left him for an hour then we introduced the mom.”
The kittens immediately accepted the squirrel, and Missy did, too.
“She kind of sniffed him and licked him and that was that for her,” Liz said.
The couple and their children all pitched in to help. They rehydrated the squirrel, which they named Peanut, with Gatorade, then gave him special formula. After a week passed, Peanut started nursing from mama kitty.
Peanut and the kittens have transitioned to solid food and have become litter box trained. Liz says Peanut was the first to master potty training.
“They’ve all just been growing up together,” Liz said. “Their eyes were opening around the same time. They started to take their first food together. We give them kitten chow and he likes it. Then I introduced some squirrel food — strawberries, avocados, walnuts — and one of the kittens loves the squirrel food.”
“I think she’s very maternal,” Liz said of mama Missy. The kitten siblings treat Peanut as another cat, romping with him in the play-hunting that cats do.”
Peanut can remain with his kitty and human family for as long as he is happy and thriving.
See Peanut with his kitty family here:
Read the full story and see more photos at the Washington Post.