Thursday, April 23, 2009

before anyone is alarmed

... thinking that, you know, I've gone insane, let me clarify:

1. I didn't intentionally set out to obtain a pet mouse; and
2. That's the first and (likely) last haiku of my blogging career.

Update: for further clarity:

The original plan for the mouse was that it would be a fun, temporary playtoy for the other pet (a cat). The cat, after all, likes to play around with little fake mice, and it gets more interested in them if you kind of dangle them, or throw them, or move them around. So I figured an actual mouse, which moved on its own, would get even more interest. I pictured the cat batting the mouse around a bit, chasing and stalking it, etc. Maybe giving it a friendly bite on the neck or so.

But let me back up a bit. A mouse costs $3.00 at the pet store. I am reliably informed that people often purchase them for use as meals for pet snakes. So purchasing one for use as a cat toy didn't seem to me to be a breach of any kind of pet store etiquette.

But, uh, on the contrary... at the pet store when I told the lady I wanted to buy a mouse, she gave me a long look and asked: "For a pet?" I hadn't expected this, but I think I recovered well. I said yes. Or maybe I didn't recover all that well, because then she asked me if I had a cage, and mouse food, and etc. "Oh, yeah, of course. Got a cage. Uh huh. Lots of mouse food, at my house. Yep."

The pet lady's suspicions were again aroused when my companion and I also purchased a large container of kitty litter. "The mouse isn't going to, er, be a "playmate" for the cat. Is it?" "Ohhh, no. No. Of course not! Noooo. Nope."

I had been asked (not by the pet lady) what I planned to do with the mouse once the cat, inevitably, got bored with it. (The assumption, rather optimistically, being that the mouse would still be, like, alive at that point.) I said I planned to set it free. You know, return it to nature. These answers were met with some skepticism. Nevertheless, the plan went forward.

When we got home with the mouse: disappointment. The cat was interested for about 90 seconds, at which point -- upon perceiving, I believe, that this cat toy was, in fact, an actual live animal -- the cat retreated into a corner of the room and managed to simultaneously look bored and horribly frightened. Subsequent attempts to engage cat with mouse failed miserably. You can see the results of one such effort below.

So. In conclusion, I have now been prevailed upon to keep this mouse as a "pet". His home is now a clear plastic storage box with no lid. We dumped junk mail from the paper shredder into the bottom of the box. The mouse made a little nest. He eats stale Ritz crackers. He has now, a week later, managed to acquire an exercise wheel. I can't tell whether he is happy (nor, frankly, do I particularly care), but I suspect it is better than an alternate destiny as snake food.


Gleemonex said...

If anyone ever asks me to describe you to them, I am going to send them this post. It is you, in a nutshell.

PS: I'm glad the mousie avoided a tragic fate. Heh.

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