Our Mice Were Stirring On Christmas Eve


You won’t read this column until after New Year’s Day, but, as I write, it’s not quite Christmas Eve, and as far as “mice stirring”, there are two at our house.

Lloyd, our cat, has rolled into maximum play mode because one of his furry toy mice (there must be six in the house but they get lost under the furniture) has been found. While I’m thinking of my column, Lloyd is jumping on my bed, his furry catch in hand – I mean mouth. He is wild over these mice.

He rolls around with it a bit and stirs up my covers, then he grabs it up in his teeth, and jumps down and away to show everyone else how ambitiously skilled he is.

When he enters Kathie’s room, he’ll no doubt stop with the fake mouse long enough to pay homage to our real mouse, Mortimer. (Our gerbils have all passed to the happy hunting ground and are lying peacefully under our pin oak tree with large stones to mark their resting places.)

Mortimer was an impulse purchase on a day we went to the pet store only for gerbil food. Blackie, our last surviving gerbil, died later that very week as if he knew his replacement had arrived.

“Morty” is a tan and white mouse whose entire litter had a genetic mix-up which gave them all short tails. He is very friendly and much easier to catch than the gerbils were. You would think a small mouse would be harder to get hold of, but this guy is tame and walks calmly around our heads, along arms, over chests, and even makes his way to the top bunks of bunk beds.

Lloyd is fascinated by him and often sits on top of the mouse cage to keep an eye on Morty’s activity, but, tonight, since the fake mouse is accessible, it calls him off to play again.

Probably very few of you have a new pet mouse in your plans for 2003, but here’s a word of warning. Male mice have much stronger odor than females – something I wish I had known that day at the pet store. Oh well.

I hope the New Year 2003 is kind to all of us.

I also hope none of Morty’s “outside cousins” decide to visit us during the cold weather as they have in some winters past!


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