For several years now I have been trying to persuade Peter to get a dog. In the meantime I have been content with babysitting our grand dogs and playing with Minou, the neigbours’ cat. Until recently when a different option became available.
You may recall reading about our mouse adventure with our grand daughter Agnes during the summer. She found a sickly mouse and nursed it back to health, only to have it escape. She was devastated; eventually her parents gave in and the family grew from 3 to 5 when 2 store-bought mice, named Missy and Sissy, arrived.
Recently a family situation arose which made it necessary for Agnes and her parents to move to New Zealand for a year. But Missy and Sissy? Well they don’t have passports! What to do? All you grandparents out there know the answer already…
Agnes began our mouse training well ahead of time. She showed us their habitat and their tricks through facetime. “Look Nana, here’s where they sleep, and here’s their food bowls, but there’s no bathroom. Basically they just poo everywhere.” Sounds great, Agnes. Then she began sending us training videos. “Here’s what to do if one of them gets hurt.”
The mice arrived on Saturday. At Agnes’s suggestion, we installed them in their new home – the sun room. We watched them play as we tried to figure out their names. After all, what parents, even substitutes, can’t tell their kids apart? Agnes pointed out some distinguishing features and then we had a test. I guess we passed because we went on to learning about how to clean their cage. I’m not sure how Lucy will feel about her extra cleaning duties.
Then we were taught how to provide entertainment. For example, add a toilet paper roll for them to use as a tunnel. Or hang a kid’s mask along a wire and let them use it as a hammock. Or a toilet. Another trick: wrap up a sunflower seed in a bit of brown paper and hide it. Then watch as they search and unwrap – just like Christmas. These activities seems to be like mouse sudoku puzzles – brain food.
Next Agnes told us about their other kinds of food. They eat little pellets supplemented with special treats including meal worms (dead, fortunately). But no citrus or cheese. What, no cheese? We thought mice and cheese went together like dogs and bones! Agnes also said the mice like having a whole tomato in their food bowl. I stared at her in disbelief and went to get a tomato. She laughed. “Not That big, Nana, a Cherry tomato!!” I still have a lot to learn.
Things seemed to be going smoothly – until Sunday morning…
I was in the bathroom changing out of my pyjamas, when suddenly I heard loud wailing coming from the sun room. I threw on my clothes and rushed over – to see the neighbour’s cat Minou crouched in pounce position in front of the mouse cage, her eyes bulging, her fur standing on end, and Agnes holding on to her for dear life. I checked that the lid was on the cage and the mice were happily playing, unaware of the danger. It was not a crisis yet. But Agnes had looked into the future and it was grim. She continued to wail as I gently tossed Minou out the door.
It seems that our loyalties have shifted. For the first time in history, the mice have won out over the cat.
9 thoughts on “Missy and Sissy Move In”
OH, Sue! I know you are going to miss your little Agnes!! 😦 You must be heartbroken.
But a year will pass by soon enough.
I hope someone told Agnes mice only live a couple of years, cat or no cat. 🙂 Enjoy your new cuties and the inevitable and the many enjoyable Skype visits to come.
If this isn’t true love, what is?
A year huh. 😋😋. Bill
At least they’re cute. Not as cute as a dog though. Enjoy parenting.
You are a good Grandma to Agnes taking on the responsibility of her 2 mice. Good luck! You will certainly miss the family, but on the other hand a trip to NZ will be lovey!! If we ever get rid of Covid.
Maybe Peter will break down and prefer to own a dog rather than 2 mice after they have been around for a while.
I’ll look forward to reading how you all manage.
hi people yes i am agnes the agnes that nana/sue has bean writing about
Hey Susan..never a dull moment. My Susan had a white rat from her lab at Guelph University and she used
to sleep with it crawled up in her hair when she was home. I was glad when she returned to school but she
loved that crazy rat. Best of luck! Are you going to babysit them when they go to New Zealand? cheers, Ruth
Such a cute story. Wishing your family a wonderful time in New Zealand. And wish you a great time with Missy and Sissy. Agnes knows they are in best care. I’m sure you will have zoom meetings including Missy and Sissy.
Well Missy and Sissy will add some excitement to your life these days. Good luck that they don’t escape when cleaning the cage. I am sure Agnes will be checking in to make sure that you are taking good care of her pets. You are very good grandparents.