Friday, September 10, 2004

Hannah mouse

Hannah was the mouse we got when we got Mabel. She was the smaller, meeker of the two. I noticed right away she seemed a bit on the frail side and needed to be prompted or encouraged to eat and drink. Mabel seemed to be taking care of her (even though later we found out Mabel was actually a boy) and would often groom her and huddle with her. I would often take Hannah out and hold her in the palm of my hand and talk to her while stroking her fur between her ears and over her shoulder and back.

As the week went on I begin to notice Hannah begin to falter. She would fall over when she would try to drink from the water bottle and became more and more disinterested in activity. Her fur was becoming more and more dry and un-kept looking and she was obviously becoming more and more lethargic. When she sat in my hand she would just cuddle inwardly, her eyes closed and slip off to sleep.

The morning Hannah died Trish woke me up to say there was something wrong with the mice. I looked in and found Mabel maniacally running around the cage while Hannah lay in the middle. Hannah's breathing was extremely labored and every few seconds she would have whole-body spasms. I held her in my hand, trying to hold back my own selfish sobbing and weeping while trying to get her to drink from a water bottle. Hannah eagerly lapped at the the water and appeared to come around, becoming alive and perking up a little as she tried to crawl around in my hand. I held her for a while and then put her back in the cage. Hannah crawled for a few inched, but then was seized by another whole-body spasm and fell over. I picked her up again, gently blowing on her face and rubbing her fur as I tried to get her to respond to any stimuli. Hannah's body convulsed one more time and then relaxed, her mouth dropping open and her limbs falling limp. I looked at Trish and said, "I think she is dead now."

Hannah had been around for only a week. It may be silly to be so attached to such a little thing, but, I most of the day when Hannah died I would find myself sobbing and to this day I still feel sad when I look at her pictures.

Mabel noticed Hannah was gone. The first time I took him out from the cage after Hanna died, Mabel chattered pathetically, looking all around my hand for some sign of her. Since then I take Mabel out at least twice a day, letting him sit in my hand as I gently stroke his fur and talk to him. In the beginning Mabel was not my favorite mouse, but, has become since Hannah's death one spoiled little rodent.

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