Trading Places

Dear readers, I hope that you have enjoyed the stories about Missy and Sissy; the 2 mice we have been babysitting while our grand daughter and her parents are visiting in New Zealand. I’m sorry to tell you that those stories are finished.

After Missy died of old age in February, her sister Sissy managed quite well on her own as a single lady. Who says we girls aren’t resilient? She tidied up the bedroom and added lots of paper and bedding to keep herself warm. She got to spend time in a wheel that had been Missy’s exclusive territory. She ate all the nuts and seeds that she was offered. But a few days ago she started sleeping curled up in a corner, instead of in her bed. She seemed a little lethargic. I coaxed her: “Sissy you can do it!” But she couldn’t.

So now Sissy has joined Missy in the freezer, waiting for Agnes to return in June and plan the burial. I’m not sure what she has in mind. She does play the piano – maybe she has an appropriately solemn hymn in her repertoire. Then what? A double plot in Mount Pleasant Cemetery? A cremation with ashes sprinkled in Lake Ontario? Or maybe just a nice spot in our garden underneath the magnolia tree.

I never thought I would be babysitting mice inside my home. I always thought of mice as rodents in the garage that were caught in traps and flushed. But I have to confess that I miss those cute little girls. They became a part of my routine. Every evening I would visit them, say hello, check their water and food bowls and add a few treats. On Sunday mornings I would clean out their cage, rearranging the tubes, the wheels, the bridge, the teeter-totter. Then I’d watch them scurry around, investigating the new arrangement. They were so excited – just like Christmas! Our house seems a little empty without them.

Bot Not For Long! We have heard that my son James and his wife are going to the Philippines to visit relatives – and they need a babysitter for their dog, Venus. Now Venus is no tiny mouse. She is Big – 100 lbs. She arrives with a suitcase full of treats, large food and water bowls, a raincoat, a collar and leash, and Two beds!

The last time Venus came to stay, she brought only her night-time bed for the bedroom. When we watched tv at night in the living room, she would lie on the floor, clearly uncomfortable. She would toss and turn, snort and sniffle, and finally get up and head towards the bedroom, looking back at me to follow her. But it was only 9:00 and I didn’t want to go to bed yet! She would slump back down on the floor, disgusted with my attitude. So this time she is bringing her daytime bed too, for the living room. I can just picture it: she will be snoring on the daytime bed, Peter will be snoring in his La Z Boy chair, and I’ll be trying to hear the news on TV.

Venus is very good company. She listens carefully when I talk, tilting her head sideways so she can hear better. In just one day she can chase all the squirrels out of the back yard. She delights in entertaining the neighbours’ cat Minou, and she happily cleans up any leftover food, especially if it drops on the floor by mistake. A very helpful guest.

It looks like we have traded two tiny mice for one huge dog. Stay tuned for updates.



3 thoughts on “Trading Places

  1. So sorry that Sissy is now gone too. She has joined her sister. I do understand that you are missing them.
    Glad that Venus has joined your household. She will keep you busy till her family is back.
    I’m trying to imagine Venus and Mr. P.I. both snoring while you are trying to watch TV. You should tape it. Have fun.


  2. My condolences on Sissy. I can see how you miss them as we do tend to get attached to our pets. At least you won’t have to worry about Venus not waiting for you son’s return. I think you will find her a good substitute for 2 caged mice and she’ll keep you busy. When she snores to loudly just remember that you get to send grandchildren back.


  3. You certainly do not live a boring life. So sorry to hear of the passing of two cuties. Happy doggie sitting. Ruth


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