What harm in a little brown mouse?

7 October 2008

Although the rodent that I most want is a fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi), they are illegal in California. In that context, I have been thinking increasingly of getting a mouse (Mus musculus) for myself.

I have some experience with keeping mice as pets; I had four when I was a teenager — first Aristotle, then Jacques (who was disliked by Aristotle and returned that dislike with hate), then Bob and Ray (brothers who loved each other). The Woman of Interest also had mice when she was a child, and she's offered some helpful advice, from her own experience.

In fact, I've started assembling things so that I will be prepared again to keep a mouse. I got a couple of carriers — one suitable for very short trips, the other large enough to serve as a home for a few days (or longer if the mouse doesn't spend all of its time in it) — a couple of water bottles for the larger carrier, a Silent Spinner wheel, and a clear ball in which the mouse can be placed and allowed to exercise out of the cage.

I still need to settle on whatever I will use as the regular home for the mouse. I like mouse-scaled Habitrails, but I notice that Super Pet (who produced the carriers and ball) makes available many sorts of replacement parts for their habitats, which can be connected to Habitrails.

I also want to have a first-aid kit at hand, though I obviously hope never to need it. And I think that I may get some rodent harnesses, such as those used for laboratory mice, to facilitate airplane travel.

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