Walking from from school a few weeks ago, Caden Philpott, 12, made an incredible new friend.
The schoolboy got off the train and was called over by a friend to look at a baby squirrel on the side of the road.
The animal quickly introduced himself – by running up Caden’s leg.
The lad tried to return the tiny rodent into some nearby trees, hoping he’d run off, but instead he clung on.
The schoolboy tried again, but ten-week-old Nutty would not relent and pursued his new owner for the entire 500m walk home.
Now the family has adopted him as a pet, naming him Nutty and even letting him live in a custom-built treehouse in their garden.
Although squirrels usually live in the wild, Nutty seems to prefer a more domesticated lifestyle and will come running when mum Rachel Philpott, 43, calls his name, making himself comfy in her neck.
Full time mum Rachel said: ‘He cuddles up to us and runs up our legs, feeds from our hands and has settled into our family way of life.
‘He is so unbelievably tame, I think he thinks we are his family.
‘Every time we call him if he’s outside he comes, dances all over us and has a little play about.
‘It’s been lovely, we’ve become attached to him.’
When Caden found the squirrel on Mary 27, he took him home before explaining the situation to his mum.
Rachel said: ‘He then FaceTimes me and says “mum I’ve got a squirrel on me he won’t leave me alone!”
‘I arrived there about two minutes later with other son and tried putting him back in bush, but he’d just keep running after us and following us, he just wouldn’t go.
‘We came home and my children sat in the garden with him and fed him nuts for the birds.
‘He sat in my son’s lap and let him stroke him and was running all over him.’
The family then went out for about three hours and left their new pet in an open shoebox in the house after he followed them indoors.
When they returned, Nutty was asleep in a jumper.
Mum-of-two Rachel said: ‘We opened the back door to try and get him to go back outside and up the apple tree in the garden.
‘He got up there, trembled, and then came back down!
‘The boys went to get their pyjamas and dressing gowns on and suddenly he’d crawled up my son’s leg and fell asleep in his dressing gown pocket.’
The next day, the squirrel showed no desire to want to leave the house in Burnham, Buckinghamshire.
She said: ‘He does a little purr like a kitten.
‘We tried to get him down, but every time I put him down he was up back on my neck.
‘I’d put a cardigan on so he’d stretch himself across my back and the cardigan just held him and he stayed there all day.
‘Ever since then every day we’ve tried to take himself outside as much as we can but he just wants to be with us.’
Although Nutty seemed to be well settled, the family weren’t fans of him leaving pinhead-sized poos around the house, and were worried about cat Dusty.
That weekend, dad James Philpott, 43, a project director in logistics, Caden and younger son Harley, 10, got to work to build him his own treehouse in the garden, where he now sleeps in a pillow case and enjoys three meals a day of walnuts, cashews, lettuce and some fruit juice mixed with water.
When he sees adoptive mum Rachel approach he will dash up her legs and wait for his lettuce treat before returning to play in their tree.
Rachel said: ‘We had lovely sun out the other day and put a blanket out and he came and literally laid himself out on the blanket to sunbathe
‘The children love it because they just love having a pet, but because it’s a wild animal that’s so tame it’s just ridiculous.
‘I want him to be in the wild and do things he needs to do, but yesterday when I didn’t see him for most of the day I was wondering what happened to him.
‘Hopefully he’ll learn to wander and come back, but at the moment I haven’t seen him leave our edge of the garden.
‘I think for the time being we will provide food for him and he’s got his house up in the tree and as long as he wants he’s welcome to stay!’
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