Last month when I was in Bishop a mouse got into my van – she was there the whole time I was out there. But I thought that she was just coming in at night and then leaving and that I had left her there. However when I returned back to El portal I realized that she had come with me. I bought one of these really simple humane traps and actually caught her 3 times – I would go up the back hill to the road and release her or down to the play park but she would come back by 3am and would be back in the trap, I couldn’t believe how persistent she was. Eventually I went to a meadow and set her free there. 2 days later I was in my van and I could hear this little squeak and it was coming from under the fridge. I opened the cabinet there and pulled out the stuff that was stored there and in the stuff was a tiny little baby mouse. I couldn’t believe it! No wonder the mom mouse kept coming back. I felt so bad that I had busted up the little family. In the back of the cabinet on top of the wheel-well was a nest. I looked in it and through all the stuff that was under there and found no other mice. I took the baby inside and warmed it up and fed it milk with an eyedropper. It was so hungry. It had been 2 days with no care! And made a nest for it in a shoe box. The next day I was in the van putting my laundry away and I heard another squeak! It was coming from my bed, the one above the driver cab. I pulled back the quilt and there was another little baby mouse! I was so shocked. How had it gotten up there!? Had it smelt us sleeping there the prior night and made a determined effort to get to us in a means for survival? Nevertheless I brought it inside and warmed it up and it ate a little bit. I put it in the nest with it’s brother and they seemed happy to smell one-another. Two days went by and the first little mouse I found was doing great – eating a lot and really moving around quite a bit. The second little one was hardly eating and really wasn’t moving around too much. The morning of the 3rd day I fed them both, right after I finished feeding the second found mouse it died. Suddenly and with a full stomach. This really saddened me, I wanted him to survive – I was hoping against the odds that he would get his strength. I buried him in the back hill next to the cat. I then packed up the van with the shoe box, and an ice-chest of formula for the other little guy. I went to Mariposa for groceries and a car wash. I left the shoe box on the passenger seat with the little guy in there with a hot bottle of water to keep him warm. I was in the store for about an hour and when I came back I glanced in the shoe box, but I didn’t see the little mouse in there. I loaded all the groceries in the back and then went around to the passenger door and opened it – i was thinking maybe the little guy had gotten out and was on the floor. Right when I opened the door I saw a little mouse on it’s back on the floor. I thought it was the mouse from the box and I quickly picked it up – it was very cold. I put it under my shirt next to my stomach to get warm. I went around to the driver side and turned on the heater and then took the sweater out of the shoe box to wrap the little mouse in. It was then that I realized the mouse that was originally in the box was still in the box! meaning this was yet another mouse, a third mouse. by this point she had been without food for 5 days! I was amazed she was alive and found her drive to survive so impressive. After a little while she was feeling really warm and started to eat and I placed her in the box with her litter mate. They, too, seemed happy to have found one-another. For the next couple of days they did quite well. But, she was smaller than he and was definitely not eating as much. At night they were very active, getting out of their box, running all around me, and playing. Mice are nocturnal. And this was making for really poor sleep at night – that with the fact that at night they eat double what they eat during the day. Sunday morning they seemed like they were cold. I came inside and heated up some water to refresh their water home-made heater and while I was doing this the little girl, the thrid mouse, passed away. She did it slowly and with such grace. I felt sad once again and carried some guilt about the whole situation. I buried her next to the other one. The other little guy was growing and going through some changes – his ears had popped up and his eyes opened. I woudl take him outside in the sun and he would explore around a little bit eventually coming back to me and going to sleep. Tuesday evening after he had eaten and was sleeping soundly in his nest he, too, passed away. It seemed so sudden and unexpected. And so I buried the third little guy with the others. I can only hope that they felt loved. It was really something getting so close to them and seeing what little mammals they are. They really were so much like little humans.
April 9, 2009