Thursday, April 27, 2006

Poor Old Mouse...

Curly is a bit chubby. This managed to hide something...

The lump seemed to just appear out of nowhere. The mass is very solid. Curly does not appear to be in any distress. But I have noticed she slowing down that she is napping more often.

In this post on April 25 you can see a hint of the tumor.
In this post on April 8 nothing appears to be out of the ordinary.

Curly is very sociable and will greet me, especially when she wants treats. She nibbles on the pads on my fingers when I am holding her and seems content to wander from hand to hand and then settle down.

Curly's Auntie Bell had a tumor like this between her jaw and shoulder. Bell was very active and happy to the end and I hope this will also be true for Curly.

Two Beijing Mice's Story

Two Beijing Mice's Story
Two Beijing Mice's Story When little mice try find their fortune and happiness in front of difficulties.

Eva the explorer

Eva takes a look around during the morning routine.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Eva peeks

Eva peeking out of her hammock.

"I'm busy..."

"Got treats?"

Me, too!

Curly had to pop in, too. Even though she is a bit chubby, she is as wiggly as Clara.

Lady Clara

She is more or less back to normal. And in these pictures she reminds me of her mother. Clara has been using her wheel more often. Clara will often greet me when I look in on her. You can not tell in these pictures that her right eye is fogged over with a cataracts and it seemed that she was loosing use of her left eye. But she gets along just fine.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Sly Dormouse

...So the Dormouse stood impatiently tapping his boots till the Mole should be ready.

The Dormouse was dressed in the height of fashion, and thought himself a rather handsome fellow. Some people said that he was conceited, and indeed a Spider that was near at hand plainly told him so; but, whether this was true or not, there is no doubt that he was a very kind little fellow, because he came to lead his poor blind cousin to the feast.

From The Butterfly's Ball, by William Roscoe

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Say hello to Eva

She's a "Silvered Lilac" Berkshire and was born on 12/3/04.
Eva arrived today. After letting her settle in and get comfortable Eva was offered a cheerio treat and a cuddle. Her cage is between Agatha Budgie Bird and Boober Rat, both who were extremely interested in their new friend.

Maternal instinct takes over

Maternal instinct takes over
By Mark Hofmann
Friday, April 21, 2006

Kelly Kent, of Connellsville, was surprised when her 2-year-old cat, Zoey, decided to adopt another mouth to feed, especially since Zoey already had a litter of kittens -- three to be exact -- on March 26.

Friday, April 21, 2006

update: Colombian Police Train Rats to Find Mines

Runcho walks on the hand of a police animal trainer at a police school in Sibate, Colombia May 3, 2006. Colombian police are training white-furred, pink-eyed rats to locate landmines in Colombia. Police animal trainers, tired of seeing their explosive-sniffing dogs blown up by stepping on mines, hope the white-furred, pink-eyed creature will make it through upcoming open field tests and then into the Andean country's live mine fields before the end of the year. Picture taken May 3, 2006. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz.

Police train rats to sniff out landmines
SIBATE, Colombia (Reuters) - Her name is Lola and she's at the top of her class of risk-running rodents being trained to sniff out landmines in Colombia, home to the world's highest number of mine-related deaths and injuries last year.

Colombian Police Train Rats to Find Mines
The Associated Press - Friday, April 21, 2006
BOGOTA, Colombia

Watch out Fido, your days on the force may be numbered. Police in Colombia are training Lola and Espejo, two whiskered, red-eyed rats, to sniff out bombs and land mines

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Clara's adventures

Little Clara is turning into a right grouchy little mouse, as she should be. She will chatter at me when I look in on her and she gets annoyed when I offer her water. She still takes nibbles from offered food but will often push it aside and insist on wondering around down my forearm or even trying to climb up my shirt. I let her run about on the bed sheets and she seemed to enjoy herself. Today I put her in an adventure wheel and she tried to roll around for a little bit but was soon tired.

I moved Clara's cage to on top of the girlie rats cage. The girlie rats took immediate interest as did Clara. Clara climbed up the side of her cage and stuck her nose out at the rats, the rats responded in kind.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

On the move

Since Clara has managed to get out of the temporary cage I set up for her twice I figured it was time to move her into a more manageable situation. I set Clara up in the small metal open faced cage that has a wheel. The moment I put her in the cage she became very animated, scooting around the cage, mapping the her new territory and even stepping into the wheel for a short walk. I put in a low level food bowl which Clara promptly pounced upon, making quick work of the bits of food and treats. I put in a low hanging water bottle for her ease as well.

I thought since Clara seems to be getting better that maybe Curly should come in her cage with her for a while. I wanted to see if Curly would care for Clara and if Clara would brighten up being with her sister again. Curly promptly went to Clara and sniffed and licked her. And then Curly went about exploring the cage. Clara tried to keep up with her but kept stumbling behind and was often run over by the excited Curly. And as I feared Clara was getting trampled by Curly, who was not showing much interest in Clara after a few minutes of being in the cage. The fact that Curly would hop into the wheel and Clara would try to follow and get her nose banged by the cross arm of the wheel or her feet caught on the wheel as it was being turned by Curly was enough to help me decide that it was not going to work out. Although they appear to miss each other it is best they be apart for now.

Friday, April 14, 2006

As Clara sleeps...

I tended to Clara this evening. Even before I picked her up she lifted her head and seemed to look right at me. I cleaned her eyes and gave her some water from a soaked cotton swab and q-tip. And then I tried my finger tip and Clara licked it all off. I hand feed her some bits of cheerios, dried banana and yogurt chips. Clara would play by pulling herself forward over my fingers and unto my other hand, just like she would when she was younger and healthier. She even grasped onto one of my fingertips with her paw, as if she was saying she was 'large and in charge.' [I think she might like me a little bit.]

When I put Clara down she seemed to have a little fit involving thrashing around and kicking her legs. It may have been nothing more than her way of saying she did not want to be put down yet. I helped her upright and set her in the middle of her space. After a while I looked in on her and she appeared to be sleeping. But when I made little kissing noises at her she looked right up at me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


[A friend emailed me about her cat so I wish to share it here.]

Tonight at 9:30 pm I let my little cat go. After 17 very happy years with me I said goodbye. These last few months she has been struggling and this last week she was really miserable. I took her to the vet and they gave her the shot to put her to sleep, and she went to sleep in my arms then they gave her the shot to stop her heart and she went right away. She is now catching the birds she always dreamed of chasing. I wrapped her in her favorite towel and laid her to rest with her toys behind my garage. Even though she was miserable to everyone she ever met, she loved me very much and I loved her and will miss her. I thought I should let my friends know. Annie and just Angie

[As mean as she was I remember the first time I meet her. Not knowing that she was such a mean cat I picked her up and cuddled her. I remember her staring/glaring at me with something best described as disbelief and her owner looking surprised/terrified...]

Clara's Dark Night

Clara is really, really trying. But she does not have much fight left in her. She is very aware of me when I talk to her and will lift up her head and crawl into my hand. I fear some of the noises she makes may be teeth grinding or respiratory distress.

"Do you mind?"

"I'm busy..."

"I just want to sleep for a little while longer..."

Clara's Winter

I decided to separate Clara from Curry. After a rough Monday night I came in Tuesday morning expecting to find Clara gone. I noticed a mound of bedding had been build near the water bottle and I prepared myself to find Clara. But she was not there and it was then I heard her chirping and chattering. I found her, laying on her back and kicking her back legs, in one of the tubes leading from the nest. I took her out and after cleaning her eyes spent all of the morning and most of the afternoon holding her with her resting in my palm or on my stomach or chest. Clara slept off and on the whole time, occasionally lifting up her head and chirping before going back to sleep

Later when I put Clara down on the table to examine her she would 'cry out' and try climbing back into my hands. Her right eye appears to work. But her left eye is discharging and clots over. I noticed some bloodied spots on her nose and her back paws but I suspect these are caused by her scratching. She hasn't a lot of strength and tends to flop over on one side while moving around. And then after going a short distance she will stop and nap.

Last night I set up a smaller cage for Clara with a low hanging water bottle and crumbled up food. She cried when I put in and it was had not to pick her up. Clara settled in after some fussing, managing to find some bits of food and even a nip off the water bottle.

Today I found Clara seemingly contented with her new home. It appeared she had eaten and drank a little more. She is still weak but responsive me, lifting her head up to look around or sniff at anything to comes close to her.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Clara the Stubborn

A week after her incident and (the little brown mouse) Clara, the Stubborn, is still with us. But I can see she is weakening and it appears that her sight is failing in her left eye. Her weight appears to be the same, that is, she does not appear to have lost a significant amount of weight (she has always been a small mouse.) She is not standing up as straight as she did after her slight recovery from her stroke. I have watched as Clara makes her way around the cages and tube system in starts and stops, crawling for a bit and then stopping to rest or even nap. Several times I was fearful that she would not go any further and when I went to check her she would chirp at me and start up again, climbing around in the tubes and going all the way back up into her nest. I am keeping the water bottle at an angle she can reach and crumbled up bits of food in the corners of the cage that are easy for her to grab onto.

Curly (the chubby brown mouse) often tends to Clara, bathing her and snuggling with her. But Curly is also eating up the smaller bits of food meant for Clara. One evening I watched as Curly bathed Clara from nose to tail and then covered her up with bedding before going out to get food.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Thinking back over this past year, losing so many of the furry friends we knew and loved, it was nice when Heavenly Heart Gerbilry had a 'best of show', the 'best of the best' from last year. Our friend didn't win, but they will always be winners in our hearts.

On the far right you can see Mabel and Quimby...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Wiggle Mice

Clara and Curly are very wigglely for their ages. Sometime it is impossible to get a clear picture.

Clara is still doing pretty well. I am slightly worried about her seeming to be a little weaker after her recovery. But she is very stubborn and persistent.

"We is too busy for this..."

"We don't need no stinking cheerios, we wants snuggles."

Time for snuggles.

Curly minding Clara.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

New Pictures of "Living Fossil"

WARNING: Link contains pictures that some might find disturbing
The Laotian rock rat, a rodent that "came back from the dead" after supposedly going extinct millions of years ago appears to be more common than previously thought.
Read full story here...

Good morning, Clara.

This morning when interacting with Clara I noticed that she was more or less standing up on all her legs. Her head has a slight tilt to one side. But otherwise she seems to have had a recovery of sorts. Clara ate and drank with much gusto.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Clara is hanging in there. She nibbles on my fingers and eats her cheerios with gusto. And she knows her way around her cage.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Perils Of Clara

Clara is putting up a good front. She pulls herself along very well and even makes her way to the food and water bottle. I reconfigured the cage and tubes to make it a little more easy for her to get around. But even before the changes she was navigating her way just fine after her incident. Clara still pulls offered cheerios out of my fingers and gobbles them down.

Clara is still a bit uncertain about some of the tube routes and I have seen her start her way up a sloped curve only to turn around and try another way. I changed the entrance to the nest to make it easier for her. But even then it took her awhile to remap her home. I watched over her for some time to make sure she could make it on her own.

Sad Little Brown Mouse

It appears that Little Brown Mouse Clara has had a stroke. She is still physically strong and strong-willed. But she has an obvious injury to the left side of her body. Her eyes are bright and her fur shiny. When I first suspected there was something wrong with her she evaded me with some skill until I caught her in a corner. After cuddling her and her sister for a while I put her back in the main cage and watched as she managed to crawl all the way back up to their preferred nest. I am a little fearful that the sibling mouse may bully her but I have I also seen this mouse clean and cuddle with Clara.