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:
- Toss him outside & let him figure it out.
- Grin & bear it. Continue caring for him until he dies a natural death.
- Try to find him a new home where a feral mouse will be warmly welcomed.
- Turn him loose in a location deemed likely to already support a mouse population.
- My personal favorite, return him to the store, by whatever means necessary.
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.