Mouse House… House*S*

It’s been a few weeks since I built the mouse house and simultaneously lost Amelia Pond and Marcella mouses.  The new mice, Pippa and Theodora, are settling in and Ruby happily keeps the little ones in good order.

It took me 3 weeks to be able to dismantle the old regular mouse cages, and I still cry for Amelia and Marcie.  However, this past weekend, despite a pulled rib and a drill-hole through my thumb, I have thrown myself into focusing my energy into building relationships with the new babies and re-building their house to be more cat-resistant and just overall better.  Seeing how they lived and interacted in the first one for a few weeks, I was able to note some areas for improvement based on their habits.

So for the past 4 days, the girls have been in the “normal” cages while I dismantled and rebuilt their Ikea hacked habitat.  During this time, Teddy has suddenly become completely tamed and social.  Pippa has been enjoying our company for a couple of weeks already, and I wonder if she told Teddy about the awesome humans and the delicious nibbles to be acquired for humouring their delight in cuddles and playing “climb the human tree”, for it was a very sudden transition.  Now, every time I open the door (provided she’s not sleeping; she has an adorable sleepy face when woken prematurely), Theodora is raring to climb out and play.  Ruby is still skittish, but she will now take treats from our fingers.  Matter of fact, she has even gone as far as to put her hands on our offered hand and give us a polite sniff as opposed to the stink-eye we’ve been getting for the past month since we got her.

Ruby’s stink-eye consists of squinching up one eye and shaking her head as one does when one smells something bad, usually followed by a mad dash for her wheel or simply elsewhere.  It’s OK.  We take no offense.  She was in a pet shop for the first 4 months of her little life, and it takes time to get used to being *home* and feeling safe.  She still runs on the wheel compulsively, though not as much.  I really feel that she is feeling better about her new life.

No.  I do not anthropomorphise them too much.  Mice have interesting and very intelligent social and behavioural structures.  But I shan’t go into that here.  This post is about the mouse house(s)!

A Visual Guide To Mouse Castle

Ikea kitchen base cabinet from the As-Is section.  $20

Ikea kitchen base cabinet from the As-Is section. $20

Playpen panels- same as cage panels on typical store-bought rodent cages.  $15

Playpen panels- same as cage panels on typical store-bought rodent cages. $15

 

Plexi-glass doors made from trim woods.  Make sure to pre-drill glass with smallest bit first, graduating to next size(s) up to accommodate your screws.

Plexi-glass doors made from trim woods. Make sure to pre-drill glass with smallest bit first, graduating to next size(s) up to accommodate your screws.

Completed house #1.  Laid the cabinet on its side, hinged 2 glass doors on "top".  Front end was cage material, back was solid cabinet backing.  Add baskets, tubes, levels, bird ladder, and bedding...

Completed house #1. Laid the cabinet on its side, hinged 2 glass doors on “top”. Front end was cage material, back was solid cabinet backing. Add baskets, tubes, levels, bird ladder, and bedding…

The girls in the CareFresh bedding under the cedar ramp from level 2 to hanging basket.

The girls in the CareFresh bedding under the cedar ramp from level 2 to hanging basket.

 

NEXT!!

New doors framed with 11/16" by 2 3/8" pine held together with L-brackets.  Half door on front, this full length door on back.  Heavy latches secure each.

New doors framed with 11/16″ by 2 3/8″ pine held together with L-brackets. Half door on front, this full length door on back. Heavy latches secure each.

Finished back door replaces original solid panel.  Half plexi, half cage bars allows more light and ventilation, while supports make it more secure.  Oh, and I stood the cabinet on its base to make it higher.  These girls like to climb!

Finished back door replaces original solid panel. Half plexi, half cage bars allows more light and ventilation, while supports make it more secure. Oh, and I stood the cabinet on its base to make it higher. These girls like to climb!

Front half-door of cage bars on top of solid plexi panel allows access to play and feed, and a solid cat-proof bottom half for visibility and light.  Note the glass Mickey Mouse door knob (from Disney World).

Front of house. Half-door of cage bars allows access to play and feed, while solid plexi panel framed separately makes a cat-proof bottom half for visibility (theirs and ours) and light. Note the glass Mickey Mouse door knob (from Disney World). Top is comprised of 2 separate solid panels- 2/3 plexi, and 1/3 cage for added light and ventilation.

From front:  Ruby, Pippa, Teddy- after an exhausting hour of exploring their new palace.

From front: Ruby, Pippa, Teddy- after an exhausting hour of exploring their new palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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