One Last Gift

Urged on by warnings of supply chain shortages, I did my Christmas shopping early this year. Wearing my N95 mask and armed with my booster shot, I braved the malls and grabbed up appropriate gifts. When stymied by stores, I went online and snagged other gifts. Then I hit the pet stores and got some squeaky toys and cow bones for the 4 grand-dogs. Finally I was finished. Or so I thought.

Then last week, when grand daughter Agnes (in New Zealand) and I were having our weekly facetime meeting, she stumped me with this: “Nana what are you getting Missy and Sissy for their Christmas gifts?” Missy and Sissy are Agnes’s pet mice that we are babysitting while she is away. I hadn’t even had them on my shopping list. Silly me!

I went back to the pet store and roamed up and down the aisles. Since I had never shopped for mice before, I had a hard time. What size did they wear? I quickly gave up on the clothing idea because they don’t even like to be petted, never mind dressed! And they have lots of food treats, so much so that one of them is getting a little chubby. So no food gifts. Agnes is always telling me they have to be entertained in their cage, so I figured a new toy would be good. I settled on a set of tubes. They already had one short tube and it is a big hit. The new ones can be put together in many random shapes.

I thought this was a good gift because Agnes, via facetime, could help me design a structure with the tubes. I took the current toys out of the mouse cage, lined up the new tubes on the dining room tale, and waited for Agnes to call. Meanwhile Peter was not impressed. As a little boy, he got very few gifts from Santa. And here we were buying toys for mice! But he dearly loves Agnes and he agreed to help with the set-up.

Agnes was delighted with the new toy. Eagerly, she began instructing us on the best tube configuration while I held the ipad and Peter connected the tubes. Finally the structure was ready. We carefully loaded it into the cage and waited. Slowly and cautiously the mice emerged from their hutch and ventured out to see. They sniffed around a bit and then went back to bed. Imagine!

Pretty soon Agnes got bored and went off to practise her Christmas songs on the piano. Then it was time to say good-bye. But not until I had promised to be on 24-hour watch, ready with my phone to take a video of Missy and Sissy using their new gift. This turned out to be a bigger promise than I had expected. Those mice avoided their new toy for days.

But finally, one night when I was reading a book nearby, I sensed movement. There was Sissy, the shy one, entering the first tube. I grabbed my phone and began following her. She toured the whole structure from beginning to end, and then she turned around and went back the other way. Then Missy, not to be outdone by her sister, headed down the first tube. This video was turning into a full-length movie!

So I am happy to report that Missy and Sissy had a good Christmas. I hope you did too, dear readers. I’ll be back with another post next year.


PS Unfortunately, this platform does not support videos so you’ll have to wait for the Academy Awards to see it.

Gift for the mice.

3 thoughts on “One Last Gift

  1. What an awesome grandma you are! You’ve more luck with mice toys than I’ve had buying cat toys for Laura’s 2 cats. They totally ignored the stuffed mouse I bought them this Christmas (sorry Missy and Sissy). Last year I was told that they didn’t like plastic after buying what I thought was an awesome toy. They have liked rolly, noisey toys that I’ve bought in the past but Laura was unhappy about being woken up at night while they were having a good time. Looks like mice are easier to please.


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