Friday, September 29, 2006

Clara mouse and the 'liquid yoggie'

Today I gave Clara mouse PediaSure instead of PediaLyte. Clara went wild with excitement trying to lap up all the PediaSure offered. She actually grabbed at and bit down on the applicator in order to get her fill. In between feedings and cleaning Clara mouse was all happy and virtually popping around in my hand, waiting for the next serving of PediaSure, her eyes wide open with anticipation. Otherwise, Clara mouse's "recovery" continues. She is using her front legs more often and I have found her sitting upright cleaning herself. Her left eye may be a complete loss but I could swear I have seen her looking right at me with it. Her left eye is still a little occluded but cleans up nice.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Clara's quandary

Once again Clara mouse's recovery, like her recovery from her previous illnesses, is questionable. I have been helping her with food and water but she is obviously eating and drinking on her own. However, Clara mouse appears to have sort of paralysis of her front legs. Clara mouse has had paralysis of a sort previously when she had been injured from apparent strokes or infections and recovered in her own way. Clara's current condition is a quandary in that she had obviously lost some of her visual ability and insists on only pushing herself along with her back legs. But she has also reacted to visual stimulus and swatted at me with her front paws...

I hand fed Clara mouse a yoggie which she voraciously ate. Clara willingly laps up the Pedialyte offered in the syringe and will eventually turn her head away when she has had enough. Clara mouse throws her little tantrums, like she had before, when I put her down after cuddling.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ratty snuggles

Eva rat takes in a snuggle.

Chaucer rat gives a wink.

Slugo rat sleeps the day away...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

And then there was Clara.

After her second birthday, Clara mouse's health rapidly declined. Her left eye clouded over worse and worse and began to swell and her right eye appeared to sink in and become covered over with debris. Clara mouse was not eating or drinking as much and was nowhere near as active as she had been before her birthday. The poor old lady mouse was also having trouble breathing.

I spent a lot of Saturday night holding Clara mouse after cleaning her eyes and trying to get her to take some water with Pedigree. Clara mouse and I sat together in the dark, she insisting to cuddle in my right hand, something her papa mouse Mabel would do when he was alive... After a few hours I put her down in her nesting area with a low hanging water bottle and some easy to eat treats and went off to bed. Every time I woke during my rest time I went to check on her and found that she had been moving some of her bedding around and she even appeared to have eaten some of her food. I even found Clara mouse sitting in her wheel...

Morning came and Clara mouse was still with us. I am holding back on some hope that she would recover like she had in the past. But poor little old lady mouse Clara has had quite the life and it would be selfish to want her to go on in such a state. We spent part of the morning and afternoon together. This time Clara mouse was not as much at ease and having more difficulty breathing and fussing and crying out if I moved too much. We sat together for some time until I needed to go off and do some errands. I put Clara mouse in her nest again and watched her for a short time before leaving. Clara mouse laid in her corner nest and poked up her head chattered at me...

Sunday late-afternoon into Sunday night it looked like Clara was making a comeback. Her poor eyes were still occluded but her breathing was improved. Clara mouse still crawled slowly around her house but she was at least moving around. I cleaned her eyes and tried to get her to take more Pedialyte but she was in fact becoming more and more testy about being handled, like she should be as a grouchy little old lady mouse. She settled down and cuddled in my hand until it was time for her to go back into her house. I scatter her treats around the cage to make it easy for her to nibble.

Monday Clara mouse looked a little better. I found her sitting on her food dish and she appeared to react to me looking in on her. I could see she had been active in her house during the night, moving her bedding and toys around and I saw that she had been eating. Through out the day I checked in on Clara mouse, cleaning her and offering her fluids which she did take some of. I suspect Clara mouse sees well enough because when I brought a cotton pad up to her face to clean her eyes she tried to avoid it. When she was back in her house I saw her crawl over to where there were treats and she also sat up on her own.

I will keep an eye on her. Clara mouse will move on when Clara mouse is ready. Meanwhile she will be snuggled and cuddled and get all the treats she wants.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Best Friend

NOTE: This post discusses subjects that might upset, so please be warned

Dusty was a very special friend to me. He came into my life when I was 9 years old, born to a stray (who had adopted our family 2 years earlier) named Smoky. His mother had had 2 litters previous to his, but the tomcat got them all. This time, Dusty was the only one that escaped, because my father was able to hide him in the hayloft before it was too late.

Dusty was spoiled rotten by his mother Smoky, since she could devote herself solely to him. She was a great mother, and we watched with fascination as she eventually started to teach him all about the important hunt. She first brought home her catches and eat it in front of him, allowing him to sniff and examine. Next, he would try nibbling on a mouse or shrew; he found he rather liked them. Once he got a taste of them, Smoky couldn't keep them coming fast enough! He literally stuffed himself, the little piggy! We would laugh, wondering how many today. I think the record was 5 mice she brought in, and all for her son. Eventually, she started bringing her prey home alive, and would present them to him and we'd see how he would play with them, and not know what to make of them, and then his mother would show him how it - the kill - was done. It was humane, really - cats take a mouse by the neck, make a quick bite, severing the spinal cord (or as my father would say when he witnessed it, the cat would do a coup de grace...) It was an amazing process to watch over a short time as Dusty was growing up. It's another story, but during this critical time, he lost his mother. But she was there long enough to help him grow up. He never forgot his lessons, and was an amazing mouser the rest of his long life.

I shall share more about Dusty in future postings. He lived 18 years, and was quite am amazing fellow. I loved him dearly...

Napping in the yard...

Who is this handsome fellow?

Why, it's Captain Rupert!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Clara Mouse is two years old

Clara just would not get into the spirit of taking pictures to celebrate her birthday. She never was one to allow me to take pictures of her, even when she was in a good mood.

"We are not amused..."

"I'm really not into this right now."

"Look at my butt!"

"We are still not amused..."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Josephine the Mouse Singer

Among our people there is no age of youth, scarcely the briefest childhood. Our life happens to be such that a child, as soon as it can run about a little and a little distinguish one thing from another, must look after itself just like an adult...Childhood and old age come upon us not as upon others. We have no youth, we are all at once grown-up. For her [Josephine] there is no growing old and no falling off in her voice.

From Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk by Frank Kafka

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mouse-like mammal may hold genetic key

Mouse-like mammal may hold genetic key
Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana say the shadowy, mouse-like vole is little known but an important scientific tool.
The rodent, a fast-evolving mammal, has puzzling genetic traits that could help explain human genetics and evolution, studies show. The report on voles, found in the Northern Hemisphere and normally considered a pest because it eats vegetation, appears this month in the journal Genetica. Purdue's J. Anthony DeWoody calls the voles an "evolutionary enigma" with many bizarre traits that could shed further light not only on human genetics but gene therapy as well. The study focuses on 60 species that have evolved in the last 500,000 to 2 million years.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A rodents complaint

"Oooh ooh OINK ooh" says Chaucer as I try to explain to him that yes, I understand he is a big boy, but he still should take the medicine for this respiratory system, just in case... Boober tries to be patient and does very well. Slugo just laps it up.

The girlie rats giggle at the silly boy rats. But I tell them that they, too, may someday need to take this medicine...

Clara mouse just chatters at it all. She is still expecting lots of presents...


Dan and Carey are pals on a farm in Missouri.

Their caretaker is a lady who, along with her husband, has been farming there for several years now, having once been a cityslicker from California. Good for them!

In a world that is too busy, too fast, and too loud, her windows into the slow and the quiet are a special gift. I grew up in such a place, and many times miss it very much...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Afternoon Playtime with Slugo

Slugo loves to pop in and out of the covers and say "Boo!" at me; I chase him all over with my hands, even finger-wrestling under the covers!
A grooming timeout...
...then the game is once again afoot!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Male Ratty Supermodel"

A cute-as-a-bug cover boy, Fabuloso - Male Ratty Supermodel - is shared with the world here...!