Monday, November 28, 2005

Pretty Boy Hamster

Humphrey will not admit to enjoying his daily brushing.

And then there were four...

Pudding was not well this morning. I could tell she was weaker, more tired and sad looking. When I picked her up she did not fuss as much as she would usually fuss, especially when I cleaned her eye. I cleaned her and let her rest in my hand for a while before putting her back in her nesting area. Pudding appeared to perk up a little as I watched her poke around, picking up a nibble of bread crumb or yogurt bits before she settled into a spot by the food dish.

I gathered my things to go do some errands. But before leaving I had to check on Pudding one more time. She was sleeping next to the the food dish in a crouching pose, her nose poking into the bedding and her breathing appeared to be regular.

I returned a sort time later. I looked in on Pudding and found her collapsed where she had been sleeping. She had not been gone too long. I was sad but I was more saddened that she had been alone, as that she had been with her babies when they had died. I took Pudding and laid her out on her burial cloth and gave her some treats for her trip home.

I then took out the remaining four. After checking each of them I let them take turns running in the adventure/explorer ball. I noticed that when I put the remaining four back in the habitat the youngest mouse ran down to where Momma Mouse Pudding would have been. She sniffed around and looked confused. I had removed Pudding's "sleeping bag" and removed the bedding around where I had found Pudding. So I suspect the little mouse had noticed Pudding was gone.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

strike a pose

Little Lord Fuzzy Butt Humphrey strikes a pose.

Friday, November 25, 2005

cuddle mouse

Pudding letting me take her picture while she gives me a cuddle.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I looked in on Pudding to find her on one of her adventurous trips up the tubes to the petting zone when I saw what appeared to be two of her girls attacking her as she tried to enter the petting zone. Perhaps the girls were only trying to get out of the petting zone and were merely pushing Pudding out of the way. But I saw one of the mice turn around and take a nip at Pudding. Maybe the older girls are just making it clear that the zone is their place? I opened up a section of the tube and rescued Pudding but I could not find any noticeable injury.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Small in Size Only

Wonderful things come in small packages.

It's those moments when we're "surprised by joy", that makes life the amazing experience it is.

With the joy comes the pain, which only makes it sweeter because we know we only have so much time.

My Christopher loved Mabel, and Mabel loved Christopher; and their love was something to behold. This week, another gentle giant of a man lost a small friend, and had these poignant words to say...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pudding keeps on trucking...

Pudding seems to be coming back into the game. She has twice gone all the way up to the hightest petting zone and even comes to greet me when I open her cage. Her eye appears to be slightly better and she seems to be able to clean it better without my help.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I guess it was inevitable. First there was Friendster. Now there is HAMSTERer.

This is Humphrey's "profile" on HAMSTERer. We've met several other neat hamsters and their humans through it. It's silly, but fun...

Pudding is determined

Pudding has been slipping away from us. She has lost the use of one eye and is getting weaker everyday. Yet she is determined.

Today I watched as Mamma Mouse Pudding, who has been staying in the lower level cage where there is a heating pad, crawl out of her usual place and up through the tubes to the highest point of the mouse city. She has not been this determined to climb outside the safety and familiarity of her space since Dixie Mouse died and I watched as she carefully pulled herself along the twists and angles of the tubes. There were a few scary points (for me) when it looked as if Pudding was about to stumble down or fall into a steeper tube. But other than snagging her foot on loose bedding Pudding managed to make it all the way to the top. Pudding crawled into the upper petting zone sitting on the top most section of the mouse city, pulling herself through the bedding and eventually tucking herself in ontop. I watched for a while as she curled up and took a nap and after a few moments I carefully took her out and cleaned her eye. I put her back down in the heating cage and after chewing on some yogurt bits and bread crumbs and drinking some water, Pudding tucked in underneath her "adventure bag" and went back to sleep.

Fear-controlling gene identified in mice

Fear-controlling gene identified in mice
US scientists turned normally cautious mice into daredevils by switching off a gene which regulates fear, in research that could lead to treatments for anxiety disorders, according to a new report.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Aggie and her best friend

Aggie the Budgie visiting with her Best Friend...


Regina peeking out of one of her favorite sleeping places.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Just remembering a mouse

This was Mabel, looking in on the first litter. Mabel was a "good father" mouse. Just before we had to remove him to his own cage so that there would not be another litter I found him straddled over the pups keeping them warm and cleaning them.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A lonely mother

I am starting to suspect Mamma Mouse Pudding has given up on life. Perhaps she is grieving over the loss of Dixie. But I fear with her own health and age issues Pudding is slipping away more rapidly.

And then the morning came

And then the morning came. I took the mice out, snuggling each one as I put them in the temporary cage. I opened the cage where I found little Dixie, partially covered up, and gently removed her and put her down. I could see she had died sitting up and appeared to have been trying to eat a nibble of a yogurt drop. After preparing her burial cloth I took Dixie out to where the rest of her family is and placed her near her sister Pixie.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sometime in the morning...

I have been observing the decline in the older and younger mice. Momma Mouse Pudding, the oldest mouse and the mother of all the remaining mice has mostly one eye (literally) and is thinning down. Pudding is still very much her own mouse and will chatter at me if I bug her too much but she will also come to my hand and snuggle right in. Dixie Mouse has also lost an eye and is showing the signs of cancer. Dixie is still motivated to eat and drink but not as much as she should. Dixie will also snuggle with me, even when I am trying to give her palliative treatments. Dixie does not cry out and does not appear to be suffering greatly.

I spend part of mornings and evenings holding these two mice together and separately. There was a time when Pudding would not settle in unless there was another mouse with her. But now Pudding wants all the snuggle to herself. Dixie immediately tucks herself in and will sleep for some time until she get excited and wants to be put back so that she can eat or go to the bathroom. Dixie has been such a good little trooper, much like her father Mabel Mouse was when he was in his decline.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Quimby in the Spotlight...

Quimby got two honors this past month - her image was chosen to grace the front page of a mouse group, and she won a photo contest. Way to go, Quimby!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Singing Mice

I can testify to this with some of my boy mice and girl mice. And that the budgie, Agatha, has had conversations with mice. In fact one time I was holding Pudding and Dixie and they were almost sleeping when Agatha let loose with a tirade of clicks and chirps. Both mice sat up and chattered right back at Agatha...

"The Public Library of Science has a research article on how male mice actually sing in the presence of females. They actually posted some of the audios adjusted for human ears as these songs are ultrasonic. The authors are comparing these warbles to bird songs. The songs are quite complex so do the mice learn them and/or improve on them? This can be a potential model for investigating how brain chemistry works during learning."

More links:
Study: Mice Sing in the Presence of Mates
Researchers add mice to list of creatures that sing in the presence of mates