Yesterday, while we were gone shopping between 4-8pm, Puddin' had her second litter of pups [baby mice are called pups, we've learned...] This is also a back-to-back litter for her, since she just weaned her first litter; this is stressful on the mouse, as you can imagine. We were too slow on getting Daddy out of the cage the first time she dropped, and he took full advantage. We're learning fast that mice are almost always in heat, and can become pregnant virtually right after having a litter. Poor Puddin'. Mabel is not ashamed, despite me telling him he should have given her a break!! He's just doing what a boy mouse does.
We weren't sure if Puddin' was pregnant, fat, or ill. Christopher kept worrying it might be tumors. We did a little research and found that the most common tumors mice have don't usually manifest themselves in a manner that would be indicated by her weight gain. We palpated her tummy gently to see if we could detect the pups, but inexperienced as we are, we couldn't tell. I found out that some mice are genetically predisposed to obesity, and it can look much like we were seeing in her, on the bottom half of her body with the upper body thin. Well, it turned out it was babies, and there are now eight more little ones in the house, just like the first time! Both Puddin' and Belle are once again taking turns nursing and watching over the wee ones. They make a great team those two. That will help Puddin' not be so overburdened...
The older pups are now in their own cages. We were having a devil of a time sexing them, but thankfully, that became very apparent this week! Since there are new pups, we got the girls their own place, too. So now we have 4 mice cages/tanks, plus Agatha the budgie. It's getting to be a regular Dr. Doolittle around here!
I'm thinking if I can't find good homes for this litter, maybe I'll form a mouse circus. What a hoot that would be...!!