The Christmas Mouse

002a                                                                       Picture by Eva…vintage mice of mine…2014

When my daughter was in Middle School, her homeroom teacher had a cage with white mice as their mascots.  Basically to give the kids practice in taking care of pets.  (we had already done that with the first grade guinea pig).  When it came time for the Christmas break, my daughter came home one day and asked if she could bring the mice home for Christmas.  My response was, “Only if no one else will take them”.  Well, to a kid like mine, that’s basically code for, “all mine!  Mom says YES!”.

I didn’t hear anything more so I “assumed” that someone else has stepped up to the plate and were taking them home.  That afternoon she calls from the office with, “you can come and pick them up this afternoon Mom…”   I went to the school and she was waiting just inside the door with a small wired cage with two male mice…Charlie and Chubby.    Her friend Amanda had a cage as well with two mice as well.  Both girls were almost giddy with the sheer joy of being able to take them home.

I was less than enthusiastic because I personally didn’t care for white mice with their red eyes…and besides, we already had a menagerie…and I didn’t know if the cats were going to get after them…  We put them on top of the refrigerator…I thought that would be the safest place for them…and I hoped they wouldn’t make too much noise to get the cats excited…

The next morning, my husband was sitting at the kitchen table eating his breakfast and watching intently up at the refrigerator…and as I come groggily in to get a cup of tea, he says, very calmly I might add, “oh, one of the mice just got out:…

“WHAT!!!!”  I grab a kitchen chair and scramble up to the refrigerator to catch the little guy…he refused to go back inside because every time he did, the other one would charge at him.  Luckily I had one of those small travel cages…so I fixed that up with woodchips, food and water and he was quite content in there.  I checked to make sure the other one couldn’t get out and began to breathe once again.  The cats didn’t seem to be overly interested and I was beginning to feel that I might live through this experience after all.

The next day was Christmas Eve.  There was so much noise coming from the cage…I had covered it up at night to both give the mouse the darkness as well as keeping in the warmth.  My daughter stepped on the chair and lifted up the blanket.  “MOM!  MOM!  It’s full of babies!!!!”  I quickly went up on the chair and lo and behold…there were little pink mice  all over the place…eyes still shut, no fur…  It gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Christmas Mice!”

My daughter was so excited about this whole change in events and called up her friend Amanda to tell her the “good” news.  And one day later, Amanda called her to tell her of her good news as well…so much for the female mice being together and the male mice being together!  Someone goofed!

We now had 24 little baby mice.  As they got older and got their hair and opened eyes, my daughter would stand up on the chair and call them to come to her.  After a while, she got the idea to put a little dot on their tails with magic marker…to let her know who would come to her.  Blue dot, Red dot, Green dot…

When school resumed, we couldn’t move the mice because we had read on the internet that if you move them too soon, the mother mouse would eat them…and we couldn’t risk that.  When the time did come to take them back, my daughter tearfully asked if we could keep “just one”…  I had grown attached to them at this point and I said yes.  She kept the one who had come to her the most…”Blue Dot”.  We called him, Meezer.

The teacher was not pleased to now have 50 mice instead of the original 4!!!  So, she sent a note home to all of the students that anyone who wanted a mouse could have one.

Meezer became a treasured pet over the time we had him.  I had gotten to a point where every night when I would be sitting on the chair, I would take him out of his cage and let him walk over me…my husband would look at me horrified!  I would have little treats for him to find and we grew quite fond of each other.

So, we had our own Christmas Mouse(Mice)!

til next time…Eva

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