Mouse upon a time

Some years ago I kept mice as pets. They were lovely, affectionate creatures — but oh so fragile and short-lived. None of them lasted for more than one and a half years, and apart from Nugget who died of a respiratory infection all the others had to be put down to spare them from a ugly death by cancer. Here’s part of their legacy.

Sleepy time

Sleepy time

This little mouse house was made from packing tape cores glued together. A tube made from 1″ label cores inserted into a hole made in the side of the resulting cylinder. More cardboard was glued to the base to create a floor. The assembly was then secured to the cage with garden-grade twist-ties. The mice seemed to find their home not just comfortable but tasty as well, so a new house had to made every four months or so.

Garter

Garter

Inky and Nugget

Inky and Garter

Twigs were added to create interesting new paths and climbing/resting opportunities.

Garter

Garter

Harlequin

Harlequin

Inky

Inky

Garter at cage-cleaning time

Garter

Harlequin

Harlequin

At cleaning time I’d take the cage into the yard, pull out the tray and leave the top gate open. The mice felt more secure in, on or near the cage, so I had no concerns about escape.

Spot

Spot

Spot

Spot

Playing in the coop cups was a frequent theme.

Nugget

Nugget

Nugget

Nugget

The mousies’ freedom was sharply curtailed when one morning a butcherbird suddenly showed an interest in the proceedings and, landing on the cage, tried to get at its occupants as I watched open-mouthed from less than two metres away. The cage door was fortunately closed at the time. After that incident there was no more unsupervised exploring.

Harlequin

Harlequin

This is Harlequin trying to get to the main cage from the travel cage.

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