Monday, April 8, 2013

Gorgeous and Graceful - My Children - My Mice

A few years ago, I came home with two mice. Half a year or so later, I came home with two more. A couple died from old age, and I replaced them with others that I had fallen in love with. My mice are my children, and I love everything about them.

Mice really are like children - they throw tantrums, they talk back, they're picky eaters, they argue, and they fight. They even play tricks on each other. There is a video where tricks are played here.

One of my first mice was T'Mol-kom ("of serenity" in Golic Vulcan). She lived for more than two years, so I have a lot of photos of her. I tried to pick only the best.

Here she is after I first brought her home:

More than a year and a half later, she was dying. She was stiff, and hardly breathing. I came home from work to find my mother holding her in her hands and she was totally unresponsive. I picked her up and held her - I leaned in toward her and said - "hello baby". Suddenly, she perked up and looked at me. She lived for a few more months after that - getting better, getting worse. I rubbed vitamin e oil on her skin because it was dry and flaky and I spoon fed her baby food and oatmeal a few times every day. 

When it was warm outside, I would take her out onto the balcony and she would relax and lay on a scarf I laid out in front of me. I would often lay my hand beside her and she would move over to hold me as she laid there.

One time when she was very ill and unable to even walk, I found her curled up and caked in blood. It turned out to be a small cut from where she scratched her face, and I gave her a warm bath to get rid of the blood. After I was finished, she relaxed in my hand and I held her in the sun for a minute.

When I finally found the towel and dried her off, I wrapped her up and she looked like a little burrito.

She actually made a full recovery after that, and was reunited with the other mice (she even ran on the wheel again, despite her arthritis) before eventually worsening again and passing.

The other mouse that I first brought home was T'Vet (meaning "of doubt" in Golic Vulcan - also the name of the ancient Vulcan goddess of War).  T'Vet and T'Mol-kom were sisters, and they often slept and ate with the sides of their faces pressed together.

T'Vet was obsessed with her wheel. She would run on it for hours, and fight to keep it to herself. Because of this, I got a second wheel for the cage.

One time all of my mice got mites, and so I brought them to the vet and got some drops for them. Unfortunately, T'Vet had an uncommon reaction and the drops affected her neurologically. She could hardly eat, and her limbs seemed to move on their own. I had to hold her firmly because she would suddenly jerk and jump to the side. When her body did settle down, she seemed exhausted.

She returned to normal after a week or so, and lived a happy and healthy life. In fact, she didn't even seem ill before she died - I simply found her buried in the cardboard shavings one morning, and it looked like she was sleeping.

About half a year after I got T'Vet and T'Mol-kom, I brought home two other mice. When I was buying mouse food one day, I saw some live feeder mice on the other side of some glass, right beside the reptiles. I ended up bringing home two of those feeder mice - a mother and her daughter. The mother I named T'Sochya (of peace in Golic Vulcan):

And her baby I named T'El'es (of freedom in Golic Vulcan):

It took months for T’Sochya to feel at ease and safe again, and she would panic as soon as she was separated from her daughter for months more before learning to trust me and her surroundings. 

I remember when I first brought them home - T’El’es was so tiny that she could just walk straight through the holes in the bars. I never had to worry about her escaping and getting lost, however, because T’Sochya was always there protecting her - I recall seeing her smack her daughter whenever she started to leave the cage.

Both T'Sochya and T'El'es ended up getting a face/eye infection which I had to treat (a couple of times) with antibiotics. I still treat T'El'es every few months because the abscess on her face keeps returning. The veterinarian thinks that it is a tooth - if that is the cause, then there is very little that can be done. I begin giving her antibiotics now as soon as the side of her face starts growing, and it has never gotten this bad again:

one morning when I was looking in on the mother (T'Sochya), I found the other three mice (T'El'es, T'Vla-spen, and T'Spatchka) sleeping with her dead body. It was actually difficult for me to separate them - T'Sochya was very important to the three of them, because she was a mother to all of them. She protected them when they were new and being bullied, took care of them, and was the first to meet them when they came home for the very first time.

When T'Vet died, I ended up bring home another mouse whom I named T'Vla-spen (of the side-jump in Golic Vulcan because of the way she would jump around):

T'Vla-spen is actually the largest of all of my mice at the moment, and sometimes I'm amazed that she can even get around like she does - jumping and climbing upside down.

After T'Vet passed (about half a year after her sister T'Mol-kom did), I brought home a beautiful and skittery mouse whom I named T'Spatchka (a combination of Vulcan name convention and the Nadsat word for "sleep". When I got her, she already had a small tear in her ear, which I think looks cute:

She was a very nervous mouse, which was not helped by the fact that she was picked on by T’Vla-spen. T’Vla-spen was (and still is) a very emotional mouse, and was not taking the transfer/sharing of attention well. T’Sochya kept her safe, though - and slept with her so that T’Vla-spen couldn’t hurt her. Whenever T’Spatchka heard a noise or felt something that scared her, she would run to T’Sochya and T’Sochya would protect her.

After T'Sochya passed, I brought home T'Rukh (named after Vulcan's sister planet) - with T'Sochya gone, however, the other mice found themselves without a mother/authority figure/leader. T'Vla-spen and T'Spatchka attacked each other, but they ganged up on T'Rukh and injured her quite badly one night (T'El'es was neutral, keeping to herself). Her feet were swollen and bleeding, she had cuts, and one of her toes was broken. She was afraid to come down from the very top of the cage, where she clung to the bars in the corner. I ended up putting her in her own cage as soon as I saw this and went to get one of her old cage-mates from the pet store so that when the time came to try and put them all together again, she would have another mouse on her side. 

When I was on the way back with T'Rukh and the friend I picked out for her, I noticed that she had lice - and quite badly. I brought the two of them straight to the vet and the veterinarian managed to make time for us. It also turned out that T'Rukh had a respiratory infection, for which she was prescribed antibiotics.

All of the lice are now gone, and T'Rukh is infection free. 

The friend that I got for T'Rukh was the black one that I almost got in the first place - I named her T'Vaksur (of beauty in Golic Vulcan), a name that I had been saving for years for a black mouse.

With the lice and infections gone, I attempted to reintroduce the mice. All five of them get along amazingly now.

Now, because I have taken a lot of photos and couldn't narrow them down any more, here are a few photos of some of the mice together:

T'Mol-kom (A few hours after a vitamin e rub) with T'Sochya (T'Sochya got darker and very large as she got older)

T'Mol-kom and T'Vet, with a young T'Sochya in the back.
T'Vet with T'Sochya (the mother) and T'El'es (her baby)
T'Vla-spen, T'El'es, T'Sochya, and T'Vet at the Vet.

1 comment:

  1. I like animals, but currently don't own any. I have in the past owned: dogs, a cat, a raccoon, fish, birds, etc. Mostly I had them when I was younger, though the cat I had when I was a younger adult. I guess I don't have much to add beyond that, but enjoyed your post about your mice. I've often thought once I get a little better settled, I might like a dog or cat again.