City Creatures

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated you on the doings of Missy and Sissy. You may recall that we are babysitting Agnes’s pet mice while Agnes and her parents are in New Zealand. The mice have had a few adventures lately that you are just dying to read about. Right?

One day when Agnes was facetiming us from New Zealand, she noticed that Sissy’s nose was a little red. I got very upset at this news because I didn’t want to get fired. So I went to the ultimate website for mouse-sitters: Emmiology. Emmi is a mouse expert. She suggested that a red nose might be due to the bedding in the cage. Since I had just changed the bedding to a new bag, I became suspicious. I rushed to the pet store for a second new bag. Success. The red nose gradually turned pink and then the fur grew back. Sissy was saved!

Another day, Canada Day to be exact, the neighbourhood fireworks scared Missy into a frenzy. She climbed up onto the lid of the cage and I didn’t see her there when I took the lid off the cage to add some food. Poor Missy was hanging in thin air! I transported her very carefully back into the cage where she climbed off the lid and into a corner. Missy was saved too! So I am happy to report that, after 6 months, the mice are alive and well and heading into middle age. I am proud of myself for being such a successful caregiver.

And Agnes? She might have moved on to bigger things. Like lambs. As you may know, New Zealand has more sheep and lambs than people. And Agnes has cousins there whose family owns a hobby farm. She recently texted us a photo of herself bottle-feeding a baby lamb. She looks pretty excited! Could she be thinking that pet mice are a tad over-rated?

Furthermore Peter may have different plans for me as well. Last week he invited me to a workshop on composting. It sounded very scientific and worthwhile so I said yes. We arrived at the workshop to find a classroom full of little kids. Their faces were lit up with anticipation as the instructor announced that using worms in your garden helps speed up the composting process. The kids couldn’t wait to see the worms.

At the end of the workshop everyone was given a container of free worms! Peter was so excited he could hardly contain himself. As we got into the car, he deposited the worms in my lap with strict instructions to look after them and not to let any escape. I checked the container carefully for holes and then, when Peter wasn’t looking, I tossed the container into the back seat. No babysitting worms in my future, thank you very much. When we got home, Peter left the container on the kitchen counter while he went to change his clothes. Really? Worms on the kitchen counter?? How much is a caregiver supposed to put up with?

Well I am happy to report that the worms have disappeared into the outdoor compost bin and haven’t been seen since. I have gone back to taking care of Missy and Sissy. And as for Agnes, she still seems to like the lambs….a lot.


Sorry no photos: the worms are deep in the composter, the lambs have scampered off, and the mice are sleeping.

5 thoughts on “City Creatures

  1. Children really appreciate animals in a way that grown-ups sometimes forget. You showed that so eloquently, and how your dedicated stewardship of the family mice is connected to your love for Agnes.
    I know, earthworms are not very cuddly, but they are beautiful in the grand scheme of things. Did you know the species were imports? 🙂


  2. What a great mouse sitter you are!! I can live nicely without worms as well. Let’s hope that Agnes doesn’t bring home a lamb as that might be a bit much to look after and you can forget about house breaking it.


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