The Sideshow

Ruby the wombat masters the cat door

The Sideshow

No need for alarm. That wombat trying to get through the cat door is not an intruder. She was a member of the family.

Matt Hill, who made the charming video, named the marsupial Ruby. In 2012, she was discovered inside her deceased mother’s pouch on a country road on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Wombats, which normally live in the wild, are born undeveloped and survive inside their mother’s pouch for the first five months, according to National Geographic.

Hill and his partner cared for the joey — what an infant marsupial is called — as her mother would have, he told Yahoo News in an email: keeping her in a pouch, bottle-feeding her every three hours, and introducing her to their other animals at the house.

Ruby adjusted to being a house pet. In the video, Ruby bumps into the screen door before making her way through the cat door. "You are a clever girl," Hill is heard saying. People on the Web thought so, toothe video has been watched more than 92,000 times.

As another video on YouTube shows, achieving harmony among the other pets might be more of a challenge. The cat appears less than happy to see the wombat and makes an unfriendly swat. Another short film shows Nixon the dog terrorized by its encounter, while Ruby appears indifferent.

Ruby the wombat could come and go as she pleased, but when she got too dirty from playing outside, she got a bath. House rules.

After 16 months, Hill and his partner released Ruby into the wild at a friend’s property near a national park with a wombat community. "We have seen her once since her release,” Hill said. “She looks very healthy and has made new friends of her own species.”

Despite all the work, it’s clear Hill has no regrets.

“Having Ruby for 16 months has been an experience that is hard to describe,” Hill said. “She was very affectionate, very funny, very demanding, and always a topic of conversation amongst our friends,” he added.

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