The mice

After 8 years we had to give our turtle away. My younger daughter had difficulties to accept that Vroni and Guido were no longer living with us and constantly besieged me that she would like to have a new pet.

I refused dogs, cats and parrots, but when she asked whether she could have two castrated mice, I started to consider the idea.

I wanted to know how long they will live and she did not know it. After consulting specialist literature we found that mice get on average 2 years old (and not 80 like turtles) and I agreed.

The two grey mice were friendly and almost invisible and lead a good life in their large terrarium. After 4 years (and not after 2!! as literature had claimed – one really cannot trust anyone), the fur on their stomachs turned white and one of the mice developed a bump at the side. We went to the vet and he wanted to know whether our mouse is still eating, how she behaves and similar.

He said that as long as our mouse is eating she cannot have much pain and we should let her die in peace at the side of the second mouse. She died about one week later and our house was flooded with tears. The surviving mouse nestled to the dead mouse and only moved very shortly away from it, when she was eating. I did not dare to remove the dead mouse. I did not have the heart to hurl the second mouse to total loneliness.

Advice was required. What shall we do with a 4-years old mouse, so that she does not feel lonely? After two sad and hectic days, during which the dead mouse was still lying in the terrarium, we found a solution. Another girl with several mice agreed to take our mouse, so that it is not lonely. But first all mice had to be bathed in camomile infusion so that all mice would smell the same. Otherwise our mouse would have smelt differently and the other mice would not have accepted her as one of them but would have bitten and fought her. Everything went well. And our second mouse lived there for another month. Then she died as well. We then reunited our two mice in death.

After this emotional low-point I refused to have any further pets apart from a tadpole.

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