Yesterday afternoon I checked on the mouse nest. I had hoped the adult mice would have come back to the nest but when I checked inside the plant pot, I discovered that the smaller one had died and the other one was only making weak movements. Call me soft, but I couldn’t just let it die from cold and starvation. Looking around, I found an old glass jar and filled it with the soil from the plant pot. Making a small dip in the middle, I carefully transferred the mouse into the jar.
Quickly, I walked home, jar in one hand, phone in the other trying to research what baby mice should be eating. Judging from the bits I managed to read, my little survivor was less than two weeks old as it’s eyes weren’t yet open. A different website recommended milk. That was something I could easily feed it with a small 1ml syringe. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much went into it’s mouth but I kept trying to feed it at regular intervals of about an hour. The big test was whether it would survive the night.
I woke up in the middle of the night and struggled to get back to sleep. Deciding to utilise this time productively, I went downstairs and fed the mouse. Again, the poor little thing got drowned in milk but at least some of it must have got down it. First thing in the morning, it was still with us and a bit more wriggly. I took this as a good sign. Unfortunately, I had to leave him unattended for most of the day and I spent the day worrying a out what I would find when I got home. As it was, I ended up being delayed by nearly two hours and I was convinced I would come home to a dead mouse.
Dreading what I would discover, I slowly opened up the cardboard box. There was the little mouse. It was very still. Gently I lifted it out and it moved a leg. Urgently, I grabbed the syringe and spent ten minutes regularly dropping milk around it’s mouth. Quite quickly, it started to wriggle and move about. Throughout the evening, I kept feeding it – at one point, much to my husband’s exasperation, I was sitting on the sofa with the mouse in my hands. Usually, small mice would cuddle up to their siblings in the nest. Without siblings, our little mouse was at risk of cold. So finding something bald and warm, it curled up next to it.
This morning, I tried again to feed it and it seemed quite perky. Putting in supplies of milk, I snuck the box with the mouse in into my work bag so that I could feed him at lunch and after work which would mean the mouse wouldn’t have to go all day without food. However in the evening, the mouse didn’t seem so active and although I tried to get some more milk into it, it was increasingly lethargic. I put the mouse back into the nest box and left it to sleep for a while. When I came back to check on it, I found that the mouse had sadly passed away. It was so small and tried so hard to survive but the odds were against a newborn mouse coping without it’s parents.
RIP Mortimer the Mouse