Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Murders, One Mouse and an Escapee

Just raising my head above water for a moment to say hello. The pile of preparatory work is nearly done to send wee kidlette off to school. Shopping is complete and packing has begun. My wee hovel of a home has been invaded with organisational piles in every corner which on the outside seems quite unorganised. But kidlette assures me there is a thought to her process of packing.

On top of all of my other responsibilities which have come glaringly to light most recently as Ive surveyed the state of my pitiful finances and the sorry circumstances of my organisational skills, is the discovery that I will be tending to the elderly needs of our most silent, freakishly devilish, assassin of a house pet that Id nearly forgotten about. (yes run-on sentences are my specialty) She's a mouse who currently lives upstairs with my daughter. Three years ago we bought three mice. Ive kept rodents as pets in the past, rats mainly but a few hamsters too. I gladly said yes to my daughters request to have mice, not only because I enjoy their squeaky little selves but also quite secretly I liked the thought that they only live a couple of years and soon Id be done with them.

They settled quite nicely in an aquarium, decked out in a style that would have had most mice reeling with jealousy repleat with little straw houses, pink bedding, a Cinderella coach etc...(Yes I do tend to indulge my kid way too much) Things went well with the mice for a few months but one curious little mouse displayed symptoms much like a creature with Asperger Syndrome or some other sort of Autistic disorder. Round and round she went like a whirling dervish, seldom sitting or grooming, just nervously circling for the most part but seeming healthy in every other way.

They say that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" but I am from the other camp generally. "Out of sight, out of mind" is often my motto which most certainly applied to the mice. (I take exception from the motto with humans.) We went happily along til one day my daughter rushed downstairs quite distressed and in tears. Apparently Asperger mouse had committed a cold blooded murder while we slept in our beds. She had strategically bitten right through her crib mates spinal cord just behind the ear. I was horrified! And not for the reasons you might think. Who knows what drives a mad mouse to murder and far be it from me to judge a wee creature who isn't even my own species. Perhaps she was provoked, I'll never know. No, I was horrified because I had remembered clearly what happened to our New Zealand rats, kidlette's first real pets. They died, one from a stroke and was put "to sleep" by the vet and the other squeaker of old age. Untimely and quite unfortunately so after the knowledge that we would be moving back to the USA. Unfortunate because kidlette couldn't bear the thought of leaving their little bodies buried in the garden on the other side of the world like proper little house pets but would have me cremate them much to the delight of the Vet and put the ashes in tiny cedar boxes with their cute names carved on the side. The then Mr. Lane, would smuggle them through international customs...thats a whole nother kettle of fish for another time. Much to my relief, little murdered mouse found a final resting spot in a hand folded origami box in our garden here. The funeral was attended by a variety of teenage girls bearing flowers, wearing dark and somber dress and sunglasses. Words were said, songs sung and a little lunch after.

A few months later the other mouse companion, a lovely little red headed rodent was found with her throat munched and her haunch chomped by the gleeful and ever twirling Asperger mouse. I offered to help Red out of her misery but kidlette would have nothing of it. She died the next day from her injuries and is buried next to her wee partner in what is now the family pet plot out by the garage under the hedge.

Its been three years now that the the murderous mouse has been living and twirling, a year longer than nature has prescribed for a creature of her sort. After the gruesome deaths of her bunk mates, lone mouse has had somewhat a change of attitude, become calmer and sweet, enjoying a cuddle from time to time, a scratch behind the ear or sitting happily in her Cinderella coach. Mouse will now be in my charge as kidlette goes off to Uni. Ive looked into her glistening little eyes and wondered, trying not to judge what might have happened between her and her other companions which is quite difficult as the act of judging and condemning seems to be endemic among my particular species.

Ive entertained (but not seriously) the idea of twisting her little neck after my kid heads off to school but I couldn't live with the wrongness of that act. Poor little murderous dear. I'm certainly not for the human death-penalty for any reason and it's certainly not my place to have any say in the life and death of another fellow planet dweller. Besides, the wee mousy may have extenuating circumstances that will never come to light for my own lack of mouse language or any living witnesses to testify in her behalf. I will instead take my duties as mouse-guardian seriously making her last days on the planet a comfortable pleasure...I could perhaps feed her to death, a slow silent snuffage from too many fatty and sugary treats. Just a thought.

Mr Lane himself escaped my clutches several years ago before my saucy and evil plot was discovered...a sure and certain death by butter and gravy. It is perhaps best if I offer no more on the subject. Suffice to report that we both are a bit lighter these days and living on opposite ends of the globe.

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