As you may know, I have pet mice. I love mice. It started when I was a child collecting mouse figures and toys and watching way too many Disney films (if that’s possible). When I got older and had money to spend, I started a collection of Charming Tails figurines.
When Shooshie was a teenager, I got my first pet mouse when she brought home one she rescued from the feed store- a mouse who was about to be food for someone’s snake. When Mousie died (Shoosh had some crazy name for her, but I called her Mousie) of a respiratory infection at the delicate age of only 6 months, I cried for 2 weeks until my then boyfriend took me to buy a new mouse. Stewart Mouse lived for over 2 years and traveled all the way from California to Virginia to Florida with us. He is buried in my parents’ backyard under a hibiscus tree.
It has been several years since I had a mouse because I lived with my folks for a while and Mum has major issue with rodents. She still will not accept the fact that one of her favourite pets was really a rat with a bushy tail. Yes. I had a pet squirrel when I was a kid- one of our many animal rescues. We set him free when he was a year old on a friend’s acreage where he would be safe from hunters, cars, and neighbourhood dogs and cats.
Just before this past Christmas, The Brit took me to PetSmart and bought me a pet mouse. She is a ginger and white called Amelia Pond. We don’t know what kind of mouse she is except that she is big and fluffy. A few weeks later came Marcella because The Brit was worried that Amelia was lonely when we were too busy to play with her. Marcie is a chocolate belted mouse about half the size of Amelia. She has an almost perfect O on her belly that looks like someone drew it on with a white marker and a white triangle on her back, both connected by a thin white line. They called her Doughnut at the pet store because of the O.
One of Marcie’s cage mates at the store was a grey mouse with pink eyes. A month later when I went for mouse supplies, she was still there. A month later when I went for more supplies, she was still there. I was truly upset by this and lamented my devastation now and again to The Brit that “she might live out her poor delicate little life never having a true home with humans who loved her”.
*insert sniffle, watery eyes, and pathetic mopey face here*
This was answered by a gentle silence accompanied by “the look”, a hug, and a reminder that I could not rescue every homeless mouse I came across.
Suddenly, this past Sunday, he changed his mind about having a third mouse (we have 4 houses, after all!), and told me if I could #1 find my way back to the store without the GPS (I get lost a lot, so this was quite an accomplishment), and #2 the wee mouse was still there, that I could get her.
It is, thus, with happy heart that I introduce the newest and (I promise, Brit sweetie), the final member of our mouse-household…
Our Ruby- a silver belted mouse.
Ruby is not quite as long as Amelia, and much thinner. They are different breeds of mouse. Though Marcie and Ruby are the same, Marcie is still a lot smaller than Ruby. We figure she was the runt of her litter.
Having had mice myself, as well as having had several other small pets (hamster, guinea pig, rabbit, ferret, squirrel), and having experienced my friends’ gerbils and rats, I feel that ferrets, rats, guinea pigs, and mice make better small pets. They are smart, trainable, tameable, litterbox-trainable, social, and clean. Yes, folks, rats are CLEAN. Guinea pigs not as much, though. Ferrets love to take baths. Rats and mice groom themselves and do not like to be dirty.
I hope to get to a mouse show sometime in the next couple of months. Mouse show, like dog show. Really! AFRMA has a few coming up about an hour from where I live.
If you plan to get pet mice from PetSmart, be aware that stores will carry either ALL female or ALL male small animals- mice, hamsters, etc. So call ahead to see which your store has. This helps prevents “mishaps” of mixing boys and girls which will quickly lead to LOTS of mice.
Based on my own experiences with the little cuties, here are some decent sites for information on pet mice: