2 Mousketeers

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If you've read this blog for awhile, you can probably guess what's happened: one of the 3 Mouseketeers has passed on. It was "Britney Spears," the mouse whose gaze into my eyes at Petsmart caused me to temporarily lose my mind and purchase 3 baby mice last July. Britney, or "Britty" as I was more likely to call her, was my favorite--primarily because she was the friendliest and least skittish. She was the only one who willingly allowed me to stroke her fur and handle her. She was the white one with black markings.

We'd noticed that she hadn't seemed to be herself the last 10 days or so, but she was eating well and my inner guidance was to just allow her whatever process she was going through. I thought by the way she was walking that maybe she'd had an injury and just needed time to heal, and, indeed, she seemed to rally the last day or so. Last night, though, I saw her fall from the top of the ramp to the bottom of the tank (about 11-12 inches). It was a terrifying sight. She managed somehow to run back up the ramp before she collapsed.

My internal instruction was to make her comfortable by putting a padding of paper towel under her, so I did. She was pretty much out of it as the other 2 mice were nudging her and trying to get her to respond the them. Then they laid on top of her--Rick thinks it was to warm her up--but then left her alone. She was alone and panting when I left the room for about 5 minutes--though I really knew she was dying, I hoped she might just be in shock and that she might come out of it. I had dabbed a tiny drop of Rescue Remedy on her--but when I came back, she was on her side, eyes glazed over, and she was gone.

I made her a little bier out of part of a papier mache bottle package and laid her in state in it on a cushion of tissues to leave just outside the tank where the other 2 mice could see her. Before putting her there, I  stroked and stroked her soft fur, and studied her tiny perfect little paws. And, of course, cried my eyes out. Rick had long before gone to bed, but I woke him to t
Brittys resting place sm .jpgell him so he wouldn't find out from a note, and I could have someone to commiserate with. Better to share it in person when a family member passes. I know, I know--she was just a tiny mouse. But it's amazing what a large spirit can inhabit such a small body, and how big a place such a one can make in your heart.

This morning, Rick dug a hole in the center of the herb garden inside the copper spiral that winds up the old clothesline pole with the quartz crystal on top that anchors the garden, and we
laid her body to rest. We put Ms. Mouse, a garden ornament I've had for years, on top to guard the spot. We're sad and the other 2 mice are bereft, but life goes on. As much as I appreciate the theory of detachment, I'm just not sure it's possible while still bearing a human heart.

Good-bye, sweet Britty Mouse! You were--and are--well-loved.

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Aww, I'm sorry to hear this. It's nice that she had a really happy little mouse life, though, with friends and good food and a nice place to live. That's pretty much all any living thing can ask for.

Detachment isn't about not loving. It's just about not believing that you must have something in order to be happy. Grieving is a normal, healthy human process, one of the multitude of experiences we can have while we're here in the space-time continuum. All is well, and all will be well.

Julia said:

Thanks, Caterpillar Woman. You are right, indeed.

All IS well, and the other 2 mice, who had been pretty much out of it all day & evening, rallied in the face of the irresistible: I got a fingertip-full of almond butter, their favorite treat, put it up to the cage, and they went wild for it--well, Nettie did, anyway, licking it off my finger. I smeared some of it on the cage bars and then shy Tina came and attacked it once I walked away.

Afterward, they were both acting fairly normal once again. I was relieved. I guess even mice have inner children that can be soothed emotionally with a special treat!

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on May 16, 2009 3:45 PM.

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