Sunday, June 17, 2012

302. A Mouse and a Mattress

The brand new bed has arrived, and it's every bit as comfy as we'd imagined. It's also substantially smaller than I pictured. We had a queen, which is too large for the Wizard's bed frame, so we decided to get a smaller nicer mattress for it, rather than buy a new frame and keep the same worn out mattress. The reduction in width was fully expected, but what I didn't realize is that queens are also longer than fulls. It'll be fine, but we were both taken a bit by surprise. Luckily, neither of us exceeds 6 feet in height, or we'd have a real problem.

The day's second arrival came an hour later, and is much smaller. His name is Fat Albert, and he's from Texas. Al was the classroom pet for my pal Josh's fourth graders. When the year came to a close, Al found himself out of a job and without a retirement plan.
 
 I've had mice before, but they were lady-mice. They loved spending time curled up together, or running together on their wheel. Al is a dude, and apparently he's not fond of other dudes. His last roommate wound up dead under a mysterious set of circumstances, and foul play was suspected.

I had a ridiculously over-sized cage just sitting in the basement, leftover from my pair of rats, both of whom passed away over a year ago. It's a mouse mansion, and with so much space, it seemed silly to leave all of that room to one mouse. He's like Howard Hughes in there. I knew there was a chance that he really was a loner, but I decided to try and get him some company anyway.

Meet Bruce Willis, the mouse.

Bruce is apparently a bit younger than Al, and the moment we put them together, Al was on Bruce's tail like a school bully after milk money. The Wizard did a quick Google search and discovered that Al is not an exception to his species. Male mice, upon reaching sexual maturity, become highly territorial, and will fight other males for turf, often to the death.

I was crushed. Bruce is a lovely mouse with the casual sort of personality that makes him great company. As I type this, he's perched on my shoulder, curled up under my hair. Happily, the Wizard had a solution. The rat cage is massive, with four levels of indoor climbing space. It can easily be divided into an upper and lower penthouse, each of which will remain substantial in size, and still contain 2 levels for climbing. The boys can rest easy knowing their kingdoms are safe from invasion, while offering a neighbor who lives close enough for over the fence pissing contests and shouting matches. Al has claimed the upper penthouse, and Bruce the lower.

The only issue left to address is the fact that Bruce doesn't have the sense to stay on his side of the fence. He's so small he fits right through the bars into Al's living room, and Al doesn't take kindly to uninvited guests. Once we get all the little cracks sealed, I'm confident the members of the neighborhood association with settle into a more congenial disposition.

1 comment:

Joshua De La Noco said...

This post brings me great joy! Thank you for giving Al a happy home and a neighbor. He is a bit of a hard ass - but he's lovable.