Saturday, 4 October 2008

I see a gerbil in your future...or is it a mouse?

sunny, then cloudy, now sunny again. temps 14

Cool, autumn day.

We seem to have a new family member. But I wish I could tell you what it is. It might be a gerbil. Or a mouse. It's definitely neither a fish nor a moose. But I can't completely rule out deer.

Either way, it's now living in a delux cage in our mudroom.

Here's what happened. Michael came back from his morning walk with the dogs around the pond singing Trudy's praises. Apparently she had something cornered and was playing with it (read:tormenting) prior to doing the dirty deed. Michael saw this and called her off. And, miraculously, she stepped back.

He went up to her and walked her away and saw the poor little creature. he thought maybe it was a vole.

Then we went off for breakfast with Joan in Sutton and when we got back I let the dogs out for their walk and Trudy takes off like lightning across the yard and out into the field. I remembered the vole and thought, 'That's going to be one disappointed dog.'

then I see something small and brown leaping (or being tossed) into the air. Now, there's always a chance it's poop, but I was taking no chances. I ran out there, calling for Trudy to get back. Which (second miracle) she did.

There on the ground was a small, round, brown thing. Too big for a mouse, too small for a moose. Not poop (that I could definitely rule out). It was exactly where Trudy and Michael had left it three hours earlier. I figured the poor thing must be injured. I got a little stick and prodded it, and it moved off. Didn't seem injured at all. But neither did it seem inclined to run.

I was flumoxed. Still am, frankly. Maybe it was still in shock from that morning, but my experience was that rodents and other animals might freeze for a while, but that wears off. And it had had three hours of peace. It was absolutely amazing no bird or other predator had picked it up.

I decided it still might be injured and it was our responsibility. Can't leave an animal in pain. So I got a box, put grasses in the bottom, seed and water in little containers, put gloves on and went back. Fully expecting - indeed hoping - it would be gone.

It was still there.

I picked it up, it didn't fight, and put it in the box. And put the box in the screen porch. It was just strange. It really didn't seem injured.

Michael and I began to wonder if it might somehow be a gerbil, escaped from a cage, or let go by idiots who no longer wanted it.

Of course, it might still be a mouse. But we've seen so many of those this sure doesn't look like one. Maybe a Bull Mouse. Or Queen Mouse. Alpha Mouse. Anyway, it's our mouse now.

After the psychic reading, where he said a whole lot of great things (apparently you're going to LOVE this book, and the next even more!) but failed to see this event, I went off to the Pet Store in Cowansville for gerbil supplies. Cage, shavings, alfalfa, food, water bottle.

I hate pet stores. Never go near them. They're outlets for puppy mills. Perhaps not every store, but in my opinion pet stores should carry pet food and supplies - maybe some fish - and that's all. If people want pets they can go to a reputable breeder or better yet, the shelter.

But I had to go into this store. I needed the gerbil stuff. So I averted my eyes from the cages because if I actually saw puppies I'd have to go ballistic on them. And storm out. Without the stuff.

As you see, I have situational ethics.

Happily, there were no signs of cages - and I got the stuff. And now the gerbil (do you notice the more I say it the more it actually seems likely to be a gerbil and not a mouse, or rat?) is asleep in it's brand new, safe, home.

I check every now and then to make sure it's a) alive b) still there.

Had great fun with the psychic. Michael and I will live long, healthy lives. I will know success beyond my wildest dreams (already happened, actually). A few clouds - but nothing big. It's fun. And Michael did his best not to roll his eyes when I reported all this.

But, yes, I think I saw a couple of you roll your eyes just now. It's OK - I probably would too. But have to say, I loved the experience. And I choose to believe it...who wouldn't when told a string of good things?

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