My Merlin has thumbs, and he can use them!
He picks up all kinds of stuff including pencils, straws, small toys. he likes to pick up his treats and put them in his mouth instead of just eating them off the floor. he will sometimes grab our hand/finger especially if he is trying to steal food from us. Yes he does that, he has been known to snatch a potato chip from our hand as we are snacking in front of the TV and as I am writing he is begging for ice cream from my husband by touching the cone gently with his thumbed hand.
Yes Merlin is a freak and a weirdo but we love him