Aug. 25th, 2009 09:20 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I miss my mice... )

And on a slightly different subject

jumping spider courtship with sound effects )

(easily amused)
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This morning I was in the kitchen with [livejournal.com profile] aekiy making my morning coffee, when I noticed what I thought was a hairball on the floor. I reached to pick it up, but upon closer inspection, realized it was a little grey mouse (not one of mine). Apparently it had somehow gotten into the house, and I imagine it didn't survive long after that. I'm not sure who got it, but I suspect Oosie, who is the arch-huntress around here. I was gladd I hadn't accidentally stepped on it or picked it up before I realized it wasn't a hairball. I put it outside in a far corner of the yard. So... that was kind of interesting, but not the point of this post.

About two weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] rialian said, "I put your mouse back in its cage for you". I was rather taken aback to say the least. I asked what the mouse was doing OUT of its cage, and he said I must have left the top open.

"Ossana found it," he continued. "She had the mouse in her mouth and brought it downstairs to me. The mouse was fine". Somehow, my escaped mice always make it upstairs, through several rooms full of cats, whereupon they are discovered by Ossana.

By this time my jaw has dropped to the floor. "The Great Goddess OSSANA found it??? and it's STILL ALIVE???"

"Yes - the mouse is fine," he replied.

This is the second time in the past two years that one of my favorite mice has escaped and has been found by Ossana, the arch huntress, the slayer of mice. She has caught and killed three wild mice in her lifetime, which amounts to all the mice that ever got in the house. And my mouse SURVIVED.

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because we found her in time before she killed them. Or maybe some part of her little brain knows that these are my mice - I've had them for a while and shown them to her from time to time to get her used to them. Or maybe it's a little of both - because she knew they were mine, she delayed killing it or something. But the mouse was in her mouth. She could have bitten down and that would have been the end of it. But she didn't. She carried it downstairs gently enough so not one little bone was broken.


I don't know, but I'm really glad it did. This is two weeks later and the mouse is still fine.

Luna dies

Jan. 21st, 2006 09:48 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)

RIP little Luna..
She was 13 months old.
This was the one who was sprung from her cage by accident when Sithreal broke into the room where the mice are. She survived seven (7) cats on her way upstairs and hid out in [livejournal.com profile] rialian's pants. She was almost done in by the Great Goddess Ossana but was found by someone when they went upstairs for a moment. Then (to her relief or chagrin? I guess I'll never know) she was returned to the safety (and relative boredom) of her 10-gallon tank...

Wellp, she was the most vibrantly colored and sweetest tempered mouse I ever had. Sometimes I thought she wasn't a mouse at all...

She's survived by her "sister" Ramona, the transgendered mouse. If she was a she. She never did have any babies though "she" lived with Ramona all her life.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I had these beautiful fancy mice that I'd rescued from feeder bins at pet stores. Their names were Strawberry (red banded satin male) Umbra (black satin female longhair), Dawn (red and white), and Pretty Polly (cream satin). Strawberry was clearly the most beautiful mouse in the world, as evidenced by this picture (so ok, maybe not the most beautiful, but surely close).


Unfortunately, mice only live a short time - 2-1/2 years if you're really good with them, 1-1/2 years if you're average like me and give them pet shop food instead of organic hand-mixed grain and fresh produce. Umbra passed at about 13 months old, and then Strawberry a few months later - I think at about 15 months. Several months prior to that, Dawn and Pretty Polly also had passed. They were all pet shop rescues, so they probably weren't that strong. None of them were very tame, since I didn't raise them from babies.

One really weird trait about Strawberry's strain was the apparent ability to gender shift. When I first got him, I thought he was a girl. Then when his son Rosie was born, I thought Rosie was a girl (until, that is, he got some females pregnant and promptly turned into a boy at about age 6 months. I didn't realize it, but Dawn/Pretty Polly's strain also had the gender shifting trait, as I found out recently.

Fortunately for me, both strains had babies before they died so they wouldn't be lost. From Strawberry and Umbra's line came Ygraine, a beautiful black satin mouse who carried Strawberry's red banded gene. Before Strawberry died, I bred her back to strawberry and got three red banded females. One died of some sort of paralysis - never did find out what that was. The other one died of tumors. But Poppy lived. Meanwhile, from Dawn and Pretty Polly's strain, I had Sunflower and Dandelion. Sunflower died of tumors and Dandelion of unknown causes about 6 months ago - but before that happened, I allowed them to breed once, and they had Luna, Ramona, and Juno - three beautiful red satin females with big black eyes.

Unfortunately, soon after that, Juno died - so Ygraine, Poppy, Luna and Ramona were left (and are my pets now as we speak). Everything was going along normally - four girl mice were easy to take care of, since they don't smell like the boys do. But I was sad that none of them were boys and the strains would both die out. They are exceptionally beautiful mice, and I like to breed them once during their life times to perpetuate them. I told them I wished one of them was a boy. (oops).

One day I decided to introduce them to a male from the pet store. To my surprise, as soon as I placed this male with them, Ramona went NUTS, and attacked to kill. I was like, huh?? Females usually don't do that with males. I removed the offending dude immediately. Then I started noticing Boy Mouse Smell from the girl's cage, in which there was no boy mouse. I checked carefully but no sign of any maleness was to be found. Four girls, just like always. They're all really fuzzy mice, so checking for nipples, which is one way to determine gender in mice, was not an option. I couldn't figure it out. I told Ramona, "Please turn into a boy, since I really need you to be one - and then do your job and reproduce, dammit. What kinna boy are you?" (oops).

Subsequently, he obliged (sproing). I caught him mating with all the females about a week later. Ygraine is too old to reproduce now and also has a large tumor. Luna never really fully developed into an adult, she's a tiny, sterile mouse - she hasn't become pregnant (thank goodness). But to my delight, Poppy is very pregnant. I expect 8 or 9 little visitors shortly. This should be most fun. Of course, Mr. Ramona will get his own cage now that he's "done his job" and perpetuated my Magic Mouse line.

But I'm still spooked by the fact that Ramona was, for all intents and purposes, a GIRL, until I asked her to switch. It must be the lighting and environment change - I'd had them upstairs and brought them downstairs. That must be it, yepyepyep...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I have these three pretty red-gold mice called Ramona, Luna, and Juno, and two chocolate brown ones called Truffle and Coconut - those are currently my five favorites because they're inbred enough to be very dumb and docile and make excellent pets as a result...

Wellp, I cleared out the room where I was keeping them so I could paint it and get it ready for a friend to stay there. Therefore I moved the five mice (two cages) into my room temporarily prior to taking them to the attic where they'll be staying. At some point when I opened the door to go in or out of the bedroom, Sithreal sneaked past me into the room. About an hour passed, and I got involved in computer stuff, and then I heard from the next room: "Uh, you might want to check your mouse cages". Oh no. I ran over there and both the cages were lying on their sides, open. Headcount. Truffle (check). Coconut (Check). Ramona (Check). Juno (Check). Luna (UNcheck). Oops.

I looked all over my bedroom - nothing. Emptied out the closets, nothing. Moved furniture, nothing. Looked inside the box spring (the cats have gutted it and created a cave). Nothing. I figured Sithreal had surely eaten this mouse, who isn't the quickest little thing since she was bred to be a pet and trusts everything. So... I looked in a few more places around the house - but there are a lot of places so finally I gave up. Two days later. Rialian comes into the room with a mouse. "Look what I found"... Poor little thing looked hungry and thirsty but otherwise ok. She had been located in a pile of clothing on the floor (Rialian's Pants, to be exact). Ossana had found her, as evidenced by the fact that she was seen vigorously attacking Rialian's Pants...

So this supposedly "slow" mouse survived (1) Sithreal, who had specifically upended the cages to get to the mice (but evidently decided that since they weren't collard greens, they weren't worth bothering with); 2) all my other cats who are positioned strategically all over the downstairs; 3) Sageti, who guards the upstairs hallway; and 4) perhaps most miraculously, she survived the Jaws of Ossana by hiding in Rialian's Pants. If she hadn't been discovered at exactly that moment, her luck would probably have run out. I checked her a day later and she looked refreshed and playful, so I guess she's ok.

A very resourceful mouse...

New Mice

Nov. 14th, 2004 07:57 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
So anyway, I found this mouse, and he's really spooky:
He has these glow-in-the-dark eyes and stuff. I call him Leeto.
Kind of a cross between Leto Atreides, Ledo's pizza, and a good programmer.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
My big girl-mouse Pretty Polly CROAKED. She was FINE this morning, but when I looked this evening her sister had buried her and she was DEADJIM.



Oct. 4th, 2004 04:07 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
My girl-mice:
Dawn (red and white) and Pretty Polly (cream)


Dawn's photo shoot (auditioning for the Mouscapades)

http://www.rialian.com/mice/dawnmouse.jpg - Dawn the Mouse. She is making a study of magic, as you can see by her magical Library in the background... Pictured with her is her Apprentice, Pretty Polly.

http://www.rialian.com/mice/Dawn-studymagic.jpg - Dawn peruses her library...

http://www.rialian.com/mice/Dawn-headstand.jpg - Dawn finds that standing on her head helps the Knowledge to filter to her brain better.

http://www.rialian.com/mice/Dawn-drink-water.jpg - All that magic works up a thirst

http://www.rialian.com/mice/Dawn-eat-prettypolly-drink.jpg - Picnic time

http://www.rialian.com/mice/Dawn-Prettypolly-wheel.jpg - This is the real source of energy for the house. We just pretend to use electricity.

http://www.rialian.com/mice/Dawn-wheel.jpg - Backup generator: Pretty polly assists by muttering incantations on top of her house...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)

Pregnor mom (red and white satin markings) was in the feeder bin and I took her home. This was one of the results...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
How to introduce two or more female mice:

To make the introduction easier, try the following method:
  • Clean out the cage thoroughly, remembering to scrub all toys and cage furniture to remove the smell of the established mice. Since they recognise their own territory by smell, they will be less defensive over territory that doesn't smell like it is their own.

  • Dab each mouse (old and new) with something smelly like perfume or vanilla essence, to confuse their scents.

  • Put all the mice in the clean cage with an extra-tasty feed.

  • Put lots of hiding places in the cage - boxes, tubes, jars. The idea is to make refuges that one mouse can defend if she is bullied. If one mouse is smaller than the others, put in tubes which she can fit into, but the bigger mice cannot.

  • There will almost always be some squeaking and occasionally tail biting while a hierarchy is established. Don't worry about this, unless you see bleeding wounds. You can squirt the mice with a plant spray filled with water to stop fights.

Vanilla Scented Mice. Now there's a concept...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I had thought she was just fat. Nope.

My mouse Umbra had 11 babies born on 7/11 (slight side effect of thinking Rosie was a girl until two weeks ago). Some of them are probably even seventh sons of seventh sons (I can't be sure of that, but I can't rule out the possibility...). These are obviously very auspicious mice, who might bring good fortune to their houses of residence...

So...Does anyone want a mouse? Six black satin and 5 black with white bands around their middles (also satin). They should be ready to go home in about a month...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
My mouse Rosie turned into a BOY about an hour ago. Until then, 'she' was distinctly a girl. I liked her as a girl!! 'Her' brother, who is exactly the same age, was distinctly male, and has been so for the last month since maturity. There was no reason for Rosie to suddenly turn into a boy. Rosie was a sweet little girl, my POCKET mouse!!! And now, suddenly, Sproing, he's a smelly old boy-mouse. How in blazes do they DO that anyway? This is not the first time I've seen a complete gender switch happen in mice. My original mouse Strawberry was originally a 'girl' and then turned into a boy. Later he helped Umbra nurse a baby. I'd never seen a male mouse do that before.

It's not like there was any need for Rosie to mask identity to avoid injury by dominant males - he had a cage with his mother Umbra so he wouldn't get pregnant! Geeze. Oh wait. Umbra's been looking a little plump lately... Oh. No.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Here are some pictures of my baby mice, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, when they were just changing from fuzzies to hoppers:


They're just about grown now.

Here are some pictures of the Smurf Car. It was supposed to be a much darker, metallic blue with more green in it. Not smurf blue. Computer color being what it is does not pick up cobalt blue very well - and turns it into smurf blue - but that's not all the computer's fault in this case...


I think a third (and maybe a fourth) coat of something darker is definitely in its future...

Here are some pictures of Lyra:

helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
We went to Totally Fish a few months ago to get feeders for the pythons, and I found a fancy mouse in their feeder bin. That was the beginning...

Read more... )

April 2010



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