- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A cute critter has made himself at home inside the house of Kristie Wolff.

Wolff, a third-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in Pocatello, rescued a baby American red squirrel back in August. She nurtured the little fella back to health, and it stuck around. After being named Thor by Wolff’s third-grade class, the squirrel has taken a liking to Wolff. Thor perches himself squarely on Wolff’s shoulders as she does the dishes or tends to her garden. He nibbles on raspberries and walnuts out of the palm of Wolff’s hand and scurries around her arms as she goes about her day, reported the Idaho State Journal (https://bit.ly/2g1YGtv).

And though Wolff plans on letting Thor loose once he gets old enough to take care of himself, for now, she’s perfectly content letting the tiny woodland creature hang out.

“I’m just playing it by ear,” she Wolff said. “Whenever he’s ready to go out, we’ve got a little house for him.”

Wolff’s addition to her family began when her cat brought the baby squirrel to her back porch. After leaving it outside overnight and trying to get it rescued by its mother, Wolff decided to take care of it. She bought puppy formula and bottle-fed the squirrel. Though chances of its survival were slim, the squirrel began to grow.

“He acted like he was a kid when he was little,” Wolff said. “He would be all snuggly and just lay there, and then as he got older, he would go out on his own and come back and make sure I was still here. . Then he went into his teenager stage - kind of independent and does what he wants.”

Wolff has done away with the puppy formula and has expanded Thor’s diet to include nuts and fruit, which he munches on happily. He’ll also forage outside in Wolff’s backyard, where he’ll feast seeds and nuts from various trees.

“He loves fruit, and it’s always fun to buy a new fruit and see if he likes it,” Wolff said.

For Thanksgiving, Wolff even let him try some pumpkin pie.

“He didn’t care for it,” Wolff laughed.

Wolff thinks that Thor will be ready to leave home around springtime when things start getting warmer. With winter just around the corner, Thor is finding himself inside more often than not. Though Wolff has grown attached to her new buddy, she’ll be ready to watch Thor go off on his own when the time comes.

“He’s just so fun,” Wolff said. “I just love watching him.”


Information from: Idaho State Journal, https://www.journalnet.com

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