The squirrel, named Mr. Richard, is being well taken care of and even owns a house hand-made by his best friend.
Derrick Downey Jr., a Los Angeles resident, started feeding squirrels outside his home in 2022. However, he had no idea that he would befriend one on his back terrace. Today, he spends his time with a new companion, Mr. Richard, the squirrel and they are absolutely insaperable. He captured his endearing bond with Richard in a now-viral TikTok video with over 26.2 million views. The video begins with Downey sitting on the ground with one of his many squirrels standing beside him and eating.
He can be heard talking to Richard and asking it to look at him instead of the camera. Their beautiful friendship won many hearts and people absolutely adore Downey for taking care of the squirrels. He told The Dodo that his bond with Richard is something special and it seems that Richard told a few friends about his new crib because the other squirrels started showing up. Maxine, one of the squirrels, would often fight Richard for Downey's attention and they treated each other like they were born enemies. It was not too long ago when the duo started to get along and now they even hang out together without picking a fight.
Richard is a proud homeowner who got his home built from scratch— with a white picket fence, a birdbath and a driveway. The interior features a fireplace, a television, and a comfy sofa. The mini squirrel mansion, which started as a two-story house, now has a massive faux tree to hang out in when Richard’s life at home with his partner, Maxine, becomes too much to handle. Downey made all the renovations with Amazon finds and carboards. He glued everything to make the setup weatherproof and 'squirrel-proof," per Apartment Therapy. He also gives Richard some good advice from his life experiences. He says to him, "I can’t tell you how many times I thought about giving up, but as long as you don’t give up. It doesn’t matter how many times. Let me tell you something, it still hurts because you have not healed from whatever you are going through. Do not ever sacrifice your authenticity for other people’s approval."
The story and friendship of Downey and Richard have gained a lot of attention on social media. A compilation of videos that highlight their journey together was shared on Reddit by u/noassumedname. The post has over 47K upvotes and viewers are gushing at how adorable their bond is. "That's the best thing I've seen all month. He's like Kronk befriending the squirrels," commented u/headbanging_forJesus. "I'm closing up the internet for today, it won't get any better than this and I leave it feeling all fuzzy inside," wrote u/Forever_Pancakes. "I want a squirrel family too. So freaking cute. My man living a real Disney life. I’m jealous lol," said u/1Hate17Here.
Anyone who wants to play a small part in their story can buy something off of Downey and Richard's Amazon wishlist and contribute towards giving these adorable squirrels a lavish life.