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I Made a Pet Out of My House Mouse

By Jennyphresh @feralpony
I now have a pet mouse. In the absence of any other pets, I have decided to adopt the only other female in the household, who happens to be vermin. In fact, I am not sure "she" is even a female. It has been suggested that "she" is a male who has a wife and litter behind the stove, and is thieving crumbs and goodies to fatten his family.
I resent these accusations, for I have a spiritual bond with "Avomato," whom I have named due to her obvious loves of avocados and tomatoes. She has destroyed many such items.

I Made a Pet Out of My House Mouse

Avomato requires a balanced diet. Including CHEE-TOS!

Bloodthirsty members of my household have many things to say:
"Mom, are you really putting a plate out with snack for a MOUSE?"
"What is WRONG with you?"
"This mouse must die."
Why do I have such a soft spot for wee Avomato? Is it because when I am typing away, lonely as a monk, I hear her stirrings in the kitchen as she drags away a glorious orange Chee-to that I have left for her?
Others have suggested that Avomato will leave "poo." All I have to say is that she is very cleanly thus far, and has left only 1-2 small turds. Or maybe 3-7. Or 8-15. I vacuum them up with the Dustbuster and all is good.
Who can say this for their cats? Cats leave large and horrible turds in litter boxes, which must be pulled out daily, lest the cats get snarky. Dogs are worse. Who hasn't seen a happy dog walker, swinging a hot bag o' turd as they stroll along, having wrenched that very turd from its clutches in some neighbor's grassy sod? I have had the pleasure to walk a dog, and the experience of tearing the turd from the grass blades nearly made me wretch.
Avomato's wee turds are tiny. And there is no scent. The fact that they are on MY KITCHEN COUNTER is troubling, but as long as they don't mingle with anything similar (e.g. chia seeds) and I disinfect the counter regularly, what's the trouble?
I have stepped into dog turds in neighbor's lawns, unawares, in sandals. Just saying. This was disturbing.
The only problem with Avomato is her lack of true love. I give, and she receives. She never cuddles with me. She is rather heartless, after all. She hides whenever I come to greet her with a hearty "Avomato, my love!" Just earlier, I spied her from the outside window, head into a bowl of gnocchi. I rushed inside to have a heart-to-heart, but she had vanished behind the stove. It is a one-sided relationship, but I don't mind.
She is perhaps faithless, and cruel. She is perhaps a male mouse. She is nothing I imagined, but I feed her all the same. I leave small things out for her, because it is brutally cold outside. Where would she go now? What would she find to eat? What if a plethora of Avomatos invade my kitchen, come the spring?
She found me. She found my warm kitchen. She found my expectant heart, open to a creature we normally would rather extinguish from our lives. Many would have purchased a trap. Please, for goodness sake, don't ever use one of these sticky traps. They couldn't be crueler. In college, my friend and I found a passel of tiny, stuck mice on a "Mr. Sticky" mousetrap. The custodial staff had put them down, unbeknownst to us. Heartbroken, we thought about peeling the mice off, before we realized that to do so we would have to tear their limbs off. The glue was that strong. I don't want to tell the end to that story; it has haunted me to this day.
If you must use a trap, use a humane one: See Me and the Mouse in the Night.
Who is to say who should be lucky, and who unlucky? What differentiates you from the mother mouse who climbs frantically from the broom which has dislodged her from her nest in the garage? What makes you better? Do you care for your children more? Would you climb down walls with your children clinging to your back, knowing that there is no savior waiting for you? I've seen a frantic mother mouse doing just that. A group of mice is called a "mischief." A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of half a dime.
Are you that amazing? I think not.
I will choose to be kind—senselessly, stupidly—even for the smallest and meanest among us. I would rather make the mouse a heroine in a children's bedtime story. May there still be little boys listening to that story. Boys who would make a mouse sentient, and allow her a name. She will have a story to tell. This heroine mouse might become a memory when you are old and jaded, and will awaken a small spark of empathy.
But if cockroaches ever rear their heads, they ain't welcome. Kindness has its limits.

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