Passages

In a rather appropriate bit of timing, my little white mouse Whits passed away over the weekend. She was just a tiny little feeder mouse. I didn’t even want a mouse, and if I had wanted a mouse, it would not have been a white one. But sometimes things happen.

In my case, I had been at a restaurant a year or so back when there was a sudden eruption of screaming and yelling. An attractive young couple were throwing an immense fit over the presence of a white mouse under their table. An absolute shrieking frenzy. It was obvious to everyone that they had introduced the mouse deliberately in order to scam a free meal.

Naturally, it didn’t matter to them that their free meal would involve causing a small creature several minutes of panic and terror and ultimately, death by stomping. No. They were young and good-looking and most likely (in this Los Angeles area) actors, so it was all about them and what they wanted.

Eventually, when my plans are complete and I become Boss Of The World, I will be able to have such people executed on the spot.

Unfortunately, my schemes have not yet reached the point where I am able to shoot people for being dicks. So instead, I had to resort to the only other alternative available at the time, which was to assist in the capture of said mouse and — after management took a picture of it outside the restaurant to prove to the Health Department that it was a white mouse rather than a wild mouse, and it had been removed from the premises — I put it in a take-out container and took it home, stopping along the way to purchase a cage, water bottle, and bedding.

The handsome young couple got their meal comped, of course. But I have memorized their faces.  They will find me waiting for them upon their inevitable arrival in Hell.

(BTW, before I get any snarky letters about animals dying for my own meal, I’m a vegetarian. I wasn’t always, and I’m not rabid about it. It’s mainly for health reasons. But in this one particular instance I get to feel all self-righteous about it, so STFU. Thank you.)

So. I had a mouse. I carefully observed her for two weeks but she was not actually pregnant, so I dodged that bullet. Saved me the cost of a couple more cages.

She lived in my office, out of reach of the dogs, and was taken out daily for scritches and to play on my desk for a while until she got tired, after which she would come scurrying back to my hand so I could put her back in her cage. But she was just a feeder mouse, with their innately short lifespan. So of course after a year or so when she finally began to slow down and eventually passed peacefully away of natural causes, I accepted this with equanimity.

Yeah, right.

I was a wreck. 

She was buried in the yard, just like all our other beloved pets have been over the years.  Since we’ve lived in this house nearly thirty years, there have been a few. But I always figure if you’re gonna have ghosts, you want to make sure they’re the ones you’ve loved. Spiritual Defenders of the Home, as it were. At least she’ll have good company.

But I will miss her.  She was a sweet little mouse.

Bob out.

 

Artist’s Notes:  I really live for these quiet storytelling opportunities.  I hope you take a moment to absorb the full impact of this page.  She’s dead, folks.  -Max