Friday, December 02, 2005

The Skippy Situation or Time To Say Goodbye


A friend called this morning with an interesting situation; the humane disposal of an unwanted pet. We discussed it for a while and concluded the only reasonable thing would be for me to pose her dilemma to the internet. Hence, I am the spokesperson asking your opinion: What do you think should happen to Skippy The Mouse?

About a year and a half ago Skippy was purchased as a very young white mouse from a local pet store, where he’d been born several weeks earlier. He and two of his siblings were intended as dinner for the purchaser’s son’s snake. The snake, however, had other ideas. Apparently Hades* is a very discriminating snake with a delicate palate which does not include white mice. He wouldn’t eat them. So the father of the boy with the snake, instead of returning Skippy and his brethren to the pet store, set them free amongst the wilds of his cul-de-sac backyard. (Please remember we are not here today to judge anyone on his relative decency, humanity, compassion or stupidity.) This backyard just so happens to be next door to my friend’s back yard.


My friend was outside, enjoying a balmy summer’s early evening when she spotted something white moving in the grass. Upon further inspection she was shocked to realize she was seeing a tiny, white mouse. She and her son were charmed to discover a rather friendly mouse that did not try to run away or act afraid of them or have any other discernable mouse-like characteristics except for a tiny cute nose and adorably twitchy whiskers set upon a whimsical face framed by darling little mousy ears. She was smitten. She picked him up, brought him inside her house, thus rescuing him, and named him Skippy. She and her son took fine & loving care of Skippy. They kept him in his own mouse habitat, safe & comfortable. They fed him well on a diet of wholesome, delicious mouse food, fresh water and occasional cut-up vegetable snacks. By all accounts, Skippy’s is a very good life indeed, especially for a little mouse living on borrowed time.

Then Skippy began to mature and started acting like the fully-grown, sexually frustrated, pissed off & resentfully imprisoned male mouse that he is. This brings us to today, whereupon Skippy has become an unhappy, hostile adult mouse of the most disagreeable kind. He jumps. He bites. He attacks. He bites. He stinks. He is… unpleasant, to say the least. My friend and her son are gentle, thoughtful, kind & compassionate people. They have been reduced to muttering “I really hate Skippy” and “Get me the thick leather glove so I can change Skippy’s water” and “He just won’t die” and “How long can he possibly live, anyway?” (About another 2-4 years if the internet is to be believed, and why shouldn’t it?) There was even a short period of time when Skippy was, through a series of unfortunate miscommunications, neglected and denied food & water. But still, Skippy thrived. This mouse is a true survivor. Skippy is also a huge pain in the ass. The question to you, dear reader, is what should my friend do with Skippy? Suggestions so far:


  1. Toss him outside & let him figure it out.

  2. Grin & bear it. Continue caring for him until he dies a natural death.

  3. Try to find him a new home where a feral mouse will be warmly welcomed.

  4. Turn him loose in a location deemed likely to already support a mouse population.

  5. My personal favorite, return him to the store, by whatever means necessary.

  6. Other.

Actually, option 2 isn’t really an option, as there are other, extenuating circumstances which I am barred from sharing. Just know this, Skippy must go. At this point, he is wholly unwelcome and it is time for him to be scurrying along.

Note: The addition of a cat into this particular household is not an option for allergenic reasons. While a cat would certainly “handle” the Skippy situation in a natural, circle-of-life kind of way, foresight predicts a Fluffy situation would soon follow.

I put it upon you, my dear internet friends, what do you think? Ideas? Suggestions? Anyone want a mouse?


* name changed.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

No, David, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Anonymous said...

A little google seaching and I quickly found that white mice like Skippy are frequently used in medical experiments, er, research. Maybe Skippy could contribute to society via Pfizer?

Ken said...

Hair dye! Make the mouse brown, black, or gray and let the snake have his feast. By now, he must be starving. The creature that is truly suffering is the snake.

Jane said...

I already have a mouse, thank you very much. It's trapped behind the drywall of my bedroom and trying to CHEW ITS WAY OUT every night about 3 or 4 in the morning. Yesterday I paid $160 for Critter Control to humanely put mouse poison around my attic. So far the mouse has not gone for the humane, wax coated, maple and peanuttbutter flavored poison. It prefers drywall. Meanwhile, there is evidence it has extended an invitation to all of its relatives who have been trying to enter via the garage. It'll cost me another $169 to uninvite them. Meanwhile, I say to both mice, in the words of Austin Powers, WHY WON'T YOU DIE???

Ken said...

Jane, at our last house we had mice that found refuge elsewhere when I bought a couple boxes of moth balls and dumped them around the outside of the house and in a few strategic locations inside. A few mouse traps helped, too. The noise inside the walls was the worst -- although our cat enjoyed spending hours staring at the wall.

A jug of ammonia (about $1.20) is another easy and cheap deterrent.

Anonymous said...

I posed this question to a friend with some legal training who informed me that shop dropping is just as illegal as shop lifting. Isn't that a bummer? David, do you want him? Are you your own man, or what? If you want a wonderful, masculine, musky mouse, shouldn't you have one?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, David! What are ya? A man or a mouse?

(I'm so sorry. I just could not resist.)

Anonymous said...

Take this mouse/rat downtown and offer him up FREE to the person (probably male) with ...multiple piercings, black nail polish and lipstick, green or purple hair, black clothes dragging the ground and studs, lots of studs, guarantee you will find a new home for Skippy.

Jane said...

Thanks, Ken. If only my cheap Dutch engineer husband hadn't grown up in university-serviced apartments, he might know cool stuff like you do. As for cats and mice, the night Sarah discovered a mouse in the garage, we tried putting our two intrepid, manly mousers out into the garage to intimidate him/her and they remained terrified, trembling masses of cat jelly, clawing the house door to come in out of the cold. Obviously I should have sent the woman cat to do the job. But I can never catch her.

Shelby's Mum said...

OH! I love the anonymouse (get it?) suggestion of offering Skippy to one of those downtown guys. I was thinking Skippy might be more adoptable with a slightly more goth-sounding name... check out www.deadname.com to get your new goth name! Skippy's is Weathered Waste. Mine is Velvet Vamp.

Susan, of course said...

I have similar problem with a non-dieing guinea pig. Maybe they would enjoy each other's company? Just kidding, I've gone for Option 2 with Louie. Might I suggest giving Skippy to a household that already has a cat?

Joan said...

Jane: I like Ken's moth ball idea a lot. I too have a little mouse problem. OK a BIG mouse problem. My neighbors purchased themselves one of those new devices that emit some kind of high sound mice hate. They raved about it to me -- and I told them they had just solved the big riddle at my house - why all of a sudden it was crawling with mice all over the place. Unfortunately because I too (ha,ha) have a white mouse (quite a coincidence I should say) - I can't have one of those machines in my house. And because of a very, very cute puppy (who, also coincidentally loves paper towels and toilet paper), I can't really have bait around. So: after conducting Consumer Reports-like experiments with mouse traps, I can tell you that the round ones- where the mouse walks in, the door closes and they are dead- are by far the most effective devices. Forget those sticky pads. I used one, and the mouse was STILL ALIVE on that sticky thing and it looked like she was pregnant and I had to call in a special friend to dispose of it. Another time a mouse left a LOT OF FUR on one of those sticky things, and clearly had trashed all around the kitchen before he got away - not a pretty picture either. My mice ate the peanutbutter off the regular old-fashioned mouse traps, without them ever closing on them. So: round ones that close. You don't even SEE the mouse - (you feel how heavy the thing has become though!) - you throw the whole thing away and they are not expensive. Put peanut butter inside the bottom part. I have, in the last two weeks, caught 9 mice this way. Oh, my sweet, sweet neighbors with their brand-new high-sound emitting-mouse-chasing device!

David said...

Since I've been ordered, no Skippy, so how about other ideas, like: "um, I think we need a need a new vacuum cleaner bag"; "what just fell in the garbage disposal?"; "what's that on the bottom of your army boot?"; "I thought you fed him"; "you take this end of the cord, and when I say 'now', plug it in"; "I thought a WHITE mouse would love the cold...you know, like a WHITE Arctic fox"; "what's best with this, white or red wine?"; "it tastes like chicken"; "you scratched, I win."

OK, now that I got that out of my system: they should contact the Humane Society (http://hshv.org/), They'll offer advice or might even take Skippy off their hands. And they'll be very appreciative that they called them, given the alternatives.

David

Anonymous said...

Give him swimming lessons in the sewer system....