Tag Archive: mice


The Mousie Afterlife

Once upon a time ago, I had two mice. Padawan and Asmodean (or Asmo, for short). Then Asmodean ended up being male, Padawan became a mother, and for a while, there was uncertainty about how I would take care for all the mousies.
Eventually, friends and family took care of some of them, and the other ones went to a pet store that sold pet mice and feed mice separate, and I ended up with six mice.
Padawan, Ghost, Lanfear, Bastilla, Crackmouse, and Arya.
Ghostie died one night unexpectedly. She had had a few seizures, but she hadn’t had one in over a month. We thought she had been doing better. We were quite upset.
Padawan died 24 hours later. Seriously. I came home from work, and was worried I was having dejavu, because I went to the mousie tank, like I always do, and she was laying in almost the exact same position,in almost the exact same part of the tank, almost exactly 24 hours after I had found Ghostie (I had gotten out of work the same time both nights). Padawan, however, had a big scary tumor, so her death wasn’t completely unexpected. However, she had seemed fine up until that day, so we had thought we’d have some more time with her.
It was hard to have two mice die within 24 hours of each other. Especially the ones that did. Padawan had been the mommy mouse, and I had had her the longest. And Ghostie had been the runt of the litter, and the only grey and white mousie out of both litters that Padawan had. She was my secret favorite. I would reach in and pet her, and she would let me pet her a few times before running away, unlike the other mice, who would like to bite me if I got too close. So Boyfriend and I made up a story. Either though neither of us is religious, or believes in an afterlife for humans, we made up a mousie afterlife. The mousie afterlife was a pretty sweet place for mouses. They could have all sorts of adventures they couldn’t have while they were alive, because now they didn’t have to worry about any sorts of predators or dying or anything. And we decided that our mice would be circumnavigating the world in a little mousie sized ship. And when a mousie died, they’d wake up on the ship. And instead of being upset about dying, they’d be happy to see their family members they hadn’t seen in a while. And they wouldn’t hurt anymore and be happy and no more tumors ever again.
I write about the mousie afterlife…because I fear that Lanfear will soon be joining them. She has barely moved since last night. She has trouble righting herself. She seems weak and…I just think she’s not long for this world. She’s had tumors, started having them soon after Padawan did, but while Padawan died quickly, Lanfear has been fine for a long time. Hell, she even chewed off her tumors once or twice when I wasn’t there to soothe her. I joked that she would outlive all the other mice, and hell, I half started to believe that myself. She was beast….but she’s taken a sharp turn downhill. And she may surprise me…but I’m not holding my breath. I’m gonna lose my shit…already losing my shit but I’ve got work and I can’t call out and I’m not sure how well I’m going to be able to keep it together. We love you Little Lanfear, and hope that you somehow have a miraculous recovery, but, if not, we hope your passing is as painless as possible, and that you have a great time with your mom and sister in the mousie afterlife.

In leiu of finishing the more “serious” posts I have in draft mode, I’m going to share a cute story with you that happened a few weeks ago…

So, I have six pet mice. Ghost, who is grey and white, Lanfear, who is an albino, Padawan, Bastilla, and unnamed (I haven’t figured out what to call her yet) which are various different combinations of being mostly brown with a white bottom and white patches on the top, and “Crackmouse”, who has a real name but i always call her by her nickname because it fits so well, who is black and white.

It started, as most things do, with boyfriend and I watching a movie. All of a sudden, I see movement near the mouse tank that catches my eye. I turn on the light next to the bed…and see crackmouse on top of the tank! Oh dear! So I go over there to try to fix this, because I didn’t want her to get out and get caught somewhere, because our apartment isn’t really “mouse friendly”.  So, I slowly walk over there…and I manage to get her in my hands… but since I wasn’t able to catch her tail, she was able to slip out of my hands (mice are contortionists, I swear) and ended up on the floor.

Fuck.

So, the race to get my adorable little mouse back in her tank before something horrible happened had begun! First she was near the heater. I didn’t want her near that, because there’s a bit of a hole around where the heat comes in that she could get down and get who knows where. But I knew the room itself was near the upper limit of comfortable mouse temperatures, and figured that the metal heater was a lot hoter, so I defended the hole while trying to shoo her to boyfriend, who was trying to catch her. By hand, unfortunately. He failed, and mousie-puu got under his desk, and then ran under my dresser! Oh no! No way to get her out without hurting her besides luring her out, because the dresser is heavy and tipping it on its side would scare the mouse, making her potentially go anywhere!

Then, I came up with a brilliant solution: Peanut butter! Contrary to popular myth, a mouse’s favorite food is not cheese. Baiting mouse traps (hopefully the kind that you can use to not hurt them and release them into the wild later…I cringe whenever I think of snapping mouse traps now…) with peanut butter will get you a LOT further. So, I made sure the floor in front of my dresser was clean, and smeared some peanut butter on the floor in front of the dresser, because she couldn’t run out the sides. When she came out, boyfriend attacked, trying to trap her in tupperware, but alas, she was too fast! She ran into a corner next to my dresser, populated by a safe, which, while moveable, but we didn’t want to move it because it made it harder for her to get out from where we had her trapped. Boyfriend put the jar of peanut butter on one side, the tupperware on the other, and used a stick to shoo her towards the peanut butter. When she got close enough to smell it, she went over, took a few tentative licks at it….and then walked right in (it was a somewhat used jar of peanut butter…maybe half full at best?) Boyfriend siezed the opportunity, and picked up the jar and put the cap on it (not twisted shut…just clapped it on top and held it there…) I quickly carried it back to the tank, and proceeded to count the mice….there were two still missing! Oh no, half of my mice escaped!

So, there was much swearing, and trying to figure out what happened. Ended up discovering that when I had been feeding them earlier, I had left a piece of plastic askew. It was just enough so that the mice could climb to the top of the water bottle and then jump and grab the plastic and climb up. I never would have thought they could make it, but obviously I was wrong.

The search for the remaining two mice continued, for I did not want to have to buy mouse traps of any sort, and getting a mouse trap for my own mice seemed kinda silly. My mouse tank is on a shelf. There are two shelves, a lower one and an upper one, and under the upper one, there’s a rod that I can use to hang my clothes, because the only closet we have is a small coat closet. We started moving the clothes, because we figured we’d start near where the mice lived and move out. Bastilla ended up being caught up in my hoodie. We quickly trapped her in the hood and let her out back in the tank. We went through all my hanging clothes and still couldn’t find the unnamed one…until I started putting the clothes back. She was crawling around on my kimono. So cute! Trapped her up in it and let her out. At that point,. I went and rearranged all their toys and messed up their bedding, because they mark territory and I wasn’t sure how long the other two mice had been missing. They freaked out. The one who freaked out the most was Crackmouse. She was shaking and jumping all over the place even before I messed up the bedding. Then I moved the bedding, and they all acted like that, except Crackmouse was the worst by far, jumping all over the place instead of walking, seeming incapable of standing still…it was funny and somehow adorable.

Thankfully, no mice escapes have happened since then, due to vigilance on my side. But I wish I could let the mice run free. They’re so cute, and I feel like they’d be less scared of me holding them if they were always around me like that. But they’d escape, or get into something they weren’t supposed to get into, or end up accidentally getting stepped on in the middle of the night….

But, still, it breaks my heart when I’m looking at them through the glass and it’s little nose goes all twitchy and then puts her little paw, that looks almost like a little hand, up against the glass…and then I put my finger, about the size of her paw, up against the glass. They’re too cute for their own good. It makes me feel conflicted. On one hand, I give them food, water, shelter, clean bedding, and enough heat to make sure they stay nice and warm and happy. But on the other hand…they like trying to escape. Is it okay to cage something for its own good? The only way they wouldn’t be caged was if I let them free, but they’ve lived in the tank too long to survive in the wild and I would never see my lovable mice ever again….

Oh well. I’m probably just overthinking it. I’m off to play with them. Ta.

Happy news!

So, first thing is first…barring any more financial aid snafus, I’m going back to school this semester. Woohoo. All settled for sure yesterday. Huzzah!

Secondly, I survived the mouse thing. Ended up giving the males to the pet shop, because definite death in the cage is worse than a potential new owner from the pet shop. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s what happened. Then, later that day, my friend who I had promised females to came by and yoinked the 3 non-momma-or-baby mice I had left. But the next day the babies started crawling around the tank, so all was well. They’re so cute, and ready to be weaned and sexed in the next week or so. There’s a grey-and-white one that I’m really hoping is female so that I get to keep her, because she’s the only one out of both litters who looks like that.  And I found out that if you take mice to petco and specify that they’re pet mice, they’ll keep them for people wanting pet mice, so there will be less angst when I have to part with this crop of boys. My mom loves the two mice I gave her and my sister so much that they’re thinking of yoinking two more over break 🙂

I’m taking  the GRE on December 23rd. It costs $160 dollars for the general, and supposedly lasts 4 HOURS. I mean, that’s probably in SAT hours, so I’ll be done much sooner, but I’ll still have to sit there until the 4 hours is up. It appears to be a more beast version on the old SAT (the one that went up to 1600, not the one that goes up to 2400)…but they’re updating it for next year’s applicants. So while normally the GRE is good for 5 years or so, mine is good for one. Bleh. But a relative donated the GRE money for this go at it, so huzzah!

Still no luck on the job hunt,  but being able to apply for on-camus jobs widens the pool, which can’t hurt 🙂

Anyways, it’s cold in the room I’m sitting in. I’m going to go watch a movie in the other, warmer, room. It’s Up! tonight. Looks cute, and boyfriend, who has seen it before, says it is, so hopefully this’ll be a good one!

I don’t know how coherent and understandable this post will be. I’m under a lot of emotional stress right now, and am actually sobbing as I write this. Normally, when I’m sobbing, I like to go lay down.

Last night, I found the males hiding on the female side of the tank…and I figured out how they were climbing, so I moved the water bottle they had been using, and put them back on their side…

Asmodean decided he didn’t like them there, and started terrorizing them. I thought he was just being a dick, like he almost always is…he has a tendency to bite me with no good reason (I have reason to believe he might be trying to play, though…) and he tries to rape other mice who are seriously trying to run away (I don’t use the word rape lightly…that’s seriously what it looked like…)…but then the two little ones started in on each other too! 😦

So, basically, my male mice are all trying to kill each other. I can’t afford another tank. I can barely afford to feed the little squeakers as it is… but this is rough. Either let them kill each other, to take them to the pet store to be snake food…I’m pretty sure Asmodean is a bit too big to be snake food though. But if there’s a big snake…but yeah. I don’t know what to do with them. Which is worse…possible death or mutilation of the mice by the mice, or possible death by snake? Of course, it could also end up with possible loving home by person…if I take them to the pet store, that is what I shall convince myself…

I can’t handle the squeaks of pain. At least two of them, if not all three of them, are going to the pet store…..and I’m going to recheck the females for balls, because if there are still males there, I’ve got to get them gone now too. I can’t have mice killing each other. I can’t handle the squeaks of pain. And I can’t handle doing this again, if I discover males….and oh god, what am I going to do when the babies are old enough…I’ll have to get rid of the males, again, I guess. No pregnancy woes, I guess. It’s sad, because I prefer the males. They play more, are more interested in exploring if you get them out of the tank…I gave two of them to my little sister, and they like climbing up her shirt and hanging out on her shoulder. Mousie parrot, she calls it.

I named them while I was at my mom’s for Thanksgiving. Ishamael and Sammael, in keeping with the Asmodean trend (All were named after Forsaken from the Wheel of Time books). Now they have names I have to say goodbye to…..

What a horrible day it’s going to be…

I don’t know what I’m going to do…

Asmodean and Padawan had their first litter. Asmo jumped on Padawan the day she gave birth. That resulted in a second litter. I separated them, but there was a mishap, and there’s the possibility that Asmo impregnated her again. The only person who has taken any is my mom and sister, who collectively took 2.

I can’t keep them all. I can’t afford to feed them, quite honestly. A bag of food that would usually last a month and a half lasted maybe 3 weeks? And that was bought BEFORE the little squeakers started eating solid food. And the mouse food isn’t THAT expensive, it’s about $7, but it adds up, and I’m unemployed. And add in the fact that I need to change the bedding more often because there’s more mouse shit in there…

I COULD give them to the pet store, but I know that most of the mice the pet store has are fed to snakes, and the idea of the mice getting eaten seriously makes me cry. Like, we’re talking me sobbing for a good half an hour crying. I don’t cry at the thought of other people taking them…but knowing that they’d most likely be eaten…I can’t d it. I can give them as pets, but I can’t do it if I know they’ll be food, or killed, or what have you… and I haven’t the heart to set them lose, either. It’s winter, and cold, and they, and their ancestors, have been raised in tanks, so their survival skills are probably close to non-existent besides “Run away from the human”.

I just don’t know what to do. Boyfriend is pressuring me to do something about them, I won’t be able to feed all of them for much longer, and when I even think about, nevermind try, to bring them to the pet store, I start sobbing, and no one seems to want any of them.

So I ask again, does anyone want any mice? Please, to make a sad Momo stop crying?

1. NaNoWriMo is going okay. Had to change my plot a few times, ’cause it wadsn’t working out…until I found the ending I loved, until I found out that this books I was reading ended the same way. Well played, Brandon Sanderson, well played….

2. My Wheel of Time book STILL isn’t here. Came out on Tuesday. Didn’t ship until yesterday. With a USPS tracking nuWhmber, so I doubt I’ll get any useful information until it shows up at my doorstep. I don’t like them. But I like getting my book. Squee. A friend “spoiled” a bit of it, but it’s okay, and really only makes me more excited, because the fun of these books is more seeing HOW and WHY things happen, more than the WHAT, if that makes any sense. Seriously, read these books. Give it to at least the end of the second book before you quit. The first book is slow, but if you’re not hooked by the end of the second book, it’s hopeless. But the insane length is worth it so far, trust me….

3. My mice babies are now squeaking. I chanced a peek, and while most of them are still kinda hairless, a few of them are gaining little black spots like their daddy mouse. Looks like they’ll either look like mommy or daddy with no crosses in between, but we’ll see. In a week or so, they’ll be fuzzy and running around and such, so I’ll know then. I got a big ol’ tank from my mom, so that I can do the divider thing for real this time, with plexiglass or real glass or whatever, so that they can’t get around, and it’s a HUGE tank, so I’m not worried about crowding. I’m more worried about separating the boys and girls once they’re old enough, truth be told. Still looking for homes for them, because I don’t want them to go to the pet store to be fed to snakes. And they don’t treat them as well at the bed store, they don’t get handled as often and such, so they’re more likely to be mean biters…

4. Asmodean (daddy mouse) has been biting my finger recently, but not drawing blood. Apparently, that means he’s playing or warning me. Yesterday he sniffed all around my hand and even touched it with his paw and it was adorable. I love my little mice. I just wish they didn’t have babies. SO MANY BABIES!!!!

5. Still no job. Still looking. All over the place. Hard not to get discouraged, but I try. There are definately times when I want to curl up and hide and think that no one wants me, ever, but then I dust myself off and keep trying. If I don’t try, I’ll never get a job, right?

6. Here, I’ll give you the first 2 paragraphs of my horrible fantasy novel that I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. I already know it’s horrible, I just feel the need to share anyways…

Alendi sighed and turned back to his book as his father left. These arguments drained him, with his father always insisting Alendi become more like he. Alendi refused to turn out like his father. He has watched his father be a tyrannical lord for too long, and he refused to act as such himself. Too much was at stake. When he took up the position as head of the Danger house, he would be a different sort of lord. One who was kind, instead of cruel. One that worked with the people, instead of against them. One who worked for freedom, not for more oppression.
It didn’t matter yet that he did not yet know how to do that. That was why he read. He was trying to absorb as many different types of political theory as he could. They all had their flaws, but maybe if he made some sort of hybrid system, it would be workable… Nor did he look much like someone who was going to be the next lord of his house. His light brown curly hair was never neat, and he insisted on wearing clothes made of wool and cotton, instead of the normal silk worn by lords and their families, and cut in a style from a few years back, rather than the newest style. He often had a distracted, scholarly air about him due to the books he read. One could forget all that when they looked into his eyes. When his focused on someone or something, his ice blue eyes had been known to cause people to flinch.

Yeah, waiting for NaNoReMo (National Novel Revising Month…not an official thing, but everyone agrees revising takes time away from growing your word count…) to fix it. Made goal yesterday by the skin of my teeth. Can’t write today. Not in even a remotely workable writing mood. There’s (hopefully, need to mess with it) going to be a widget on the side bar with my progress, if you so desire to look at such a thing. 🙂 Remember, the goal is 50,000 words, with 1667 needed a day to make the goal….

7. Happy Guy Fawkes Day. Remember remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. Since there aren’t bonfires in most areas this side of the pond, I recommend watching V For Vendetta, and then reading the comic. The comic is far superior, but the movie is still very well done. I’m not sure how long the embed will word (most of the copies on youtube have the embed disabled…) but if you can;t find it, look up V for Vendetta TV speech on TV….

And this scene is pretty awesome as well…the cool part starts at 4:25 or so, but the entire clip is just win….

…and that’s what I’m going to be doing tonight…

8.  …I’m contemplating making a few comic strips out of my NaNoWriMo, which would help overcome a lot of the awkwardness inherent in my NaNo due to the medium and the story I’m trying to tell. So my NaNo would essentially be a “script” of sorts for my comic. Anyone have any thoughts on this? And any random names anyone has to suggest for my webcomic name? I’ve got a crapton of strips, just not the webspace to put them anywhere at the moment…..

Mice!

My birthday was  back in May. At the time, my boyfriend promised me mice, and all the stuff to set up their habitat. But we needed to wait for the right time.  We were going to be moving at the end of the month, and then there was moving around for work and such. But over the summer, we were finally able to get them. YAY!

I have two of them. Asmodean is black and white, and was named after one of the Forsaken in the Wheel of Time books. Padawan is kinda light brownish, and was originally named Bastilla, after the character in Knights of the Old Republic, but her name got switched to Padawan because it seemed to fit better. Sometimes she’s still called Bastilla, though. :-p

So, I bought them, thinking they were both female. They were both in the female tank, after all. I picked them myself, after much thought and deliberation and switching back and forth, trying to pick the bestest two mice!

Asmodean ended up being a dude. All of a sudden, one day, BAM! Mouse testicles.

The conversation went a bit like this:

Me: Boyfriend, come here! Asmodean has giant mouse balls!

Boyfriend: …yep. Those look like gigantic mouse balls. Fuck.

The really “funny” bit? The character Asmodean was named after was a male. And then Asmodean ended up being a dude mouse. **sighs and shakes fist at the sky** Really now?

So, I brought them back to the pet store, to see if Asmodean was actually a boy, and see what I could do. They offered to take Asmodean and exchange him for a female mouse. But that wasn’t okay! I had had them for at least a month at that point. I had bonded with them. No money off of a new tank so that I could keep them separated. No money off of getting mice to keep them company. They didn’t want to help me. And they gave me mean looks because I was crying at the prospect of maybe having to give up one of my mice, who I loved and named and bonded with. They really didn’t care that due to their mistake, I was either going to have to spend a lot of money or do something very emotionally upsetting. Boyfriend and my friend Zrad who were with me saw how upset I was, and they took me out of the store, and told me we’d figure out some other way. They saw me sobbing in the middle of the store, heard and saw how mean the people were being, and decided that they weren’t going to let me go through that.

So, we decided to use this metal mesh stuff to cut the tank in half. At first, I thought it was a brilliant idea. They would still be able to see and interact with each other, but and they’re have something to climb, to give them extra recreation time, but they’d be kept separate, so no mouse hanky-panky. But that didn’t work. First, they figured out how to climb to the top and push the lid up JUST enough to slide over. So I put heavy stuff on the top. Then they started repeatedly eating away at the tape that I had used to secure the mesh stuff. Then I managed to stuff some stuff in there that was too thick for them to chew through….and then I found them the next morning cuddling. I STILL don’t know how that one happened…the barriers were still in place, with super heavy things on top to keep them from climbing over. I just don’t know.

So, due to my inability to keep them separated…and the fact that they were showing signs on stress (overgrooming, barely playing at all, decreased food intake…) I took out the mesh. They either didn’t have enough space on each side, or they were lonely. Maybe they would view each other as brother and sister, I thought.

On Thursday morning, I heard a bunch of squeaking, but I thought nothing of it. They squeak sometimes, it’s nothing TOO strange…except there was a lot of squeaking, almost constantly, and it was still going on when I came back from my interview (after 11:30 or so). I had a sinking feeling in my tummy, but I had to confirm. I tipped up the log where they tend to hide……and there were mouse babies. A LOT of babies.

I counted 9, but I had trouble. They were all in a little pile, moving around and squeaking, and I couldn’t touch them, ’cause otherwise Padawan would eat them. So I don’t know how accurate that count was. But there were at least nine, if not more. And as long as Padawan and Asmodean haven’t eaten any of them, that’s how many there still are.

The worst part? Asmodean is trying for a repeat! Padawan went to go get food, ’cause she was hungry. She had, after all, given birth, and spent almost the entire day awake (they’re nocturnal, mostly…). Before she was able to pick any food up…Asmodean was on top of her, thrusting…I tried yelling, “DUDE! What the fuck are you doing? She gave birth today! LOOK DOWN IN SHAME!!!!!”…but he didn’t listen. Ended up having to knock on the side of their tank, which made Padawan run and protect her babies. 😦

So, now I’m visiting my mom for the weekend, to get another tank. My mom has one in her basement, ’cause my current employment situation prohibits me from buying a new one (I quit the horrible job, more later…) . Gonna separate them once I get home. I’m going to keep one of the male babies and one of the female babies, because the mice are social creatures and will get stressed if going for too long without friends. I mean, I COULD hypothetically devote hours and hours of time to each of them to keep them company, but added on top of how much I already try to play with them… I wouldn’t have time for anything else! I already have to throw away some of their food, ’cause they shit in their food and it gets too nasty before they finish it, so it’s not like it’ll take more food..

If anyone in the New Hampshire area wants a little baby mouse (or two…or more!), let me know, and maybe we can work something out once they’re old enough. My friends get first dibs, though 😉

But, I must go spend some time with my mommy now. Ta!

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