Saturday, November 29, 2014

November's Homework Assignment: The mouse who ran away



Early this fall, GrandMa moved away with very little warning. She decided not to take the cat with her, since she had issues with medical conditions. Igor remained with us for a full 48 hours. After that, my allergies got the best of me. And not very surprisingly, after getting an almost clean bill of health, GrandMa started missing her pal. Igor was returned to her, and Husband decided it was time to make us three. 

So he built a home for a small reptile. A home with glass walls and a semi-open roof. We went to pet shops to ogle at Bearded Dragons, and we googled the internet for instructions on how to care for a lizard. A reptile seemed like a perfect choice: they're calm, they don't need humans to play with all the time, and they're relatively easy to care for if you study even a little before getting one.

And then... we went to Seinäjoki, and came home with a mouse. 

WTF, you ask, and so did I. Not that I have anything against a small mammal, it's just that... well, we were going to adopt a reptile and I didn't know a thing about rodents! 

Anyway. The mouse was called Beamish. We added von Mousse, and I called him Le Mousse Domestique. 

The first days passed as Beamish slept, and hid, and came out at night to eat and investigate the corners of his home. On the third day Husband got him to climb on his palm. On the fifth day he brought Beamish some twigs to play with, and on the sixth day, his home was empty. 

We were on our way out the door as we realized Beamish was missing, and being late already, we had no choice but to run. We returned three hours later. I put the sauna on, and Husband set a mousetrap (a big plastic bucket with a ramp leading up and all sorts of treats on the bottom, so if Beamish ventured in, he'd be well-fed until we rushed to the rescue) before going out for the evening. Just as he'd left, I heard rattling from the bin cupboard. I pried the doors open, and saw Beamish. I tried to catch him, but he was too quick, and hid under the floor of the cupboard. The last thing I saw was a furry bottom and a ridiculously long tail disappearing into a tiny hole.

The next morning, the mousetrap was empty. It's funny how quickly one gets attached to a small being. I was worried sick over Beamish, and he still hadn't even dared climb on my hand. 

The day passed in silence. No rattling from anywhere, no mouse droppings to alert us of his presence. And then... 







Around four pm I heard a noise from the bin cupboard. Husband went to investigate, muttering about a mole he saw in there earlier while I still slept. He opened the doors, and found Beamish safely inside a bin bag looking for crumbs. He was quickly returned to a cage, and offered food and water. You could not believe how much the little thing ate! 

After his little adventure, Beamish gained a lot of courage. He climbs out every chance he gets, and runs on our hands and arms looking for food and the opportunity to hide in our clothing. He's a curious little thing, and is proving to be a right joy. I'm still a bit overwhelmed at how quickly he stole our hearts, and would not trade him for any lizard. This little guy almost knows his name, remembers a whole bunch of things, and can figure out a way to get out of his cage. I caught him pushing through the bars once, and realized that as a social, smart animal, he's learned to know us, and wants to be with us. 


Funny little dude. I hope I'll learn to be a good mother to him. 


Love, 
Heather 

PS: All photos, part from the last one, are taken by Husband. The last one is a webcam shot I managed one night. Taking pictures of a fast little thing is hard! 

10 comments:

  1. As funny as your story sounds and as good as Mr von Mouse has it at your home, I can only beg you to buy him some animal company! Mice normally live in groups and suffer if they do not have other mice around them!

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    1. We know that mice prefer to live in groups, but. Male mice are territorial, and will fight when paired. A male paired with a female will result in a swarm of babies. It's a problematic thing, and we're doing our best to keep Beamish von Mousse (with a double s) healthy and happy.

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  2. How sweet! They are very sneaky though. I used to have dwarf hamsters and somehow they always escaped. .. but always came back. .. it is problematic with the pairing though, I had two males and once they had grown past babyhood they fought so much I had to separate them. Luckily I had a huge rotastack cage so they both had lots of room to themselves.

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    1. Sneaky and smart, it seems somehow wrong to keep a mouse in a cage. Husband's hoping Beamish will learn not to run off, so he can hang with us whenever we're at home.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this thrilling story, I was full of worry for the mouse being lost throughout! At least you don't have cats!

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    1. I was rather worried too, when Beamish went missing :P

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  4. Aw, Beamish! I had mice when I was in high school. I found that they are great little companions. They especially like a little bread soaked in warm milk and will do tricks for sunflower seeds. As you've already found out, they are smart little buggers. Congrats on your new addition.

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