R.I.P., Tina Mouse

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And then there was one.

Today, our little mouse, Christina Aguilera, a.k.a. "Tina," made her transition. I spotted what I thought was her lifeless body, lying on its side looking for all the world like a mouse in rigor mortis on the main floor of their habitat this morning, but when I went to pick her up, I was startled by movement. She was not gone--just on her way. It took her most of the day, but she made the transition sometime in the last couple of hours.

She was our speedy mouse, always streaking from place to place, and the most beautiful little mouse I've ever seen. She was the most skittish of the 3 of them, but in the last few weeks during her decline into old age, she had become less willing to bolt whenever we'd approach. Either she just didn't have the energy, or, what I'd love to believe is that she finally realized we loved her and would never harm her. It was probably the former, but I will go with what makes me feel best!

So now, with Britty and Tina both in Mouse Heaven, there's just Nettie left, and she's been in a more visible state of decline than Tina for months now. While even up till yesterday, Tina was eating round the clock, Nettie has only been dragging herself out of the sock (their haven) for one, maybe 2 meals a day, and hardly eating even then.

They say female mice die of broken hearts when left alone without one of their own. I pray that is not the case for Nettie. I think she's well on her way already, and I do hope she doesn't suffer. Meanwhile, she's the mouse that is most interactive with us and who doesn't mind me picking her up when need be, so in a way, she may be the best candidate for last one standing.

I never expected to love those little creatures so much. I don't think you can measure the size of a Spirit. While Tina weighed mere ounces and her body was tiny, her Spirit was as large as anyone's. I am honored to have been her steward. But I don't think this human heart can handle getting that attached again to creatures that have such a brief life expectancy. My mouse-mom days are drawing to a close. I just hope I can give Nettie what she needs to make her last days comfortable.

An update on my physical transformation is in the works--I just haven't quite gotten it done. Soon!

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Olivia said:

I'm so sorry about the loss of your mouse, Julia. I have lost pets before, and know that the size of the pet has nothing to do with the size of the love. Peace be with you, O

Julia said:

Thanks, Olivia. So true.

I'm happy to report that Nettie came to the opening of the sock a little while ago and ate some almond butter off my finger and drank a little water. She may be sad, but she hasn't thrown in the towel yet!

Sibylle said:

Hi Julia,

I'm so sorry to hear you lost another of your mice. You are so right, there's no measuring spirit - and no matter how small some pets are, they are still huge personalities and warm our hearts every day! I feel the same way about my budgies.

It's heartwrenching to lose a pet. But in the end, I always decide that the happiness and love makes up for the pain of parting.

Good to hear Nettie is holding up well!


Julia said:

You are so right, Sibylle. The happiness and Love do outweigh the pain of loss. In the case of the mice, however, they do not outweigh both the pain of the loss AND the weekly intensive hour-long habitat cleanings! There is more than one reason my stint as mouse mom is winding down. (That doesn't sound very nice, but it's the fact!)

Nettie is, indeed, holding up well. She's eating a good bit and seems, so far, largely unfazed at being by herself. I'm so glad. We'll happily keep cleaning her "house" as long as she decides to stay with us.

Thanks for your comment and the hugs.

If Nettie is willing to have you hold her and pet her, do so. I had a little mouse years ago who was "the last mouse standing", but she was tame enough that she accepted my company and went on to live for some time on her own. She ended up living a good long time for a mouse, as a matter of fact, with me as her best friend. Just let Nettie know you love her, and she should be okay.

For what it's worth, we lost one of our pet mice a few weeks ago, so I understand that sorrow well.

Julia said:

Thanks, CaterpillarWoman. I did try petting her the other night and she went right back into her sock and stayed till I was nowhere near, so I took that as a commentary!

If it weren't for the dachsies, I'd have been more interactive with her so she'd be used to me petting and holding her. Since that didn't happen, I hang out by her cage a lot and tell her I love her, so I hope she feels that. And I am spoiling her with her favorite foods--our society's favorite non-contact way to show affection! (Of course, unlike with a human child, I'm not worried she'll develop an eating disorder at this late date!)

Condolences on your own mouse loss. It really is amazing how much you can love a tiny rodent, isn't it?!

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on February 2, 2010 5:20 PM.

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