I was having a conversation with her sister the other day and we got to talking about pets. She was talking about the rabbits they had when they were kids. I told her that I didn’t really have that good a history with pets. I went through a monkey, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 4 fishes, 2 birds and all of them died. And NO, I didn’t kill them. The dogs got parvo, one of the cats got run over (I should’ve placed blinds on their cages), while the other was found dead one morning. The fishes were a gift from a friend. They were janitor fishes which I assumed leeched off of dirt and algae from the fish tank’s walls. I didn’t feed them so they starved to death. The birds? The aforementioned cats ate them. And the monkey? I was around 4 when I “accidentally” fed it clay back when clay was still toxic. And yeah, it developed diarrhea and died.
I was starting to feel bad about all those failures when I suddenly remembered that I successfully raised one pet!
Her name was Bianca and she was the whitest, fluffiest, cutest white mouse I ever saw. As with most of my pets, a friend gave her to me. She was tiny at first, not bigger than the palm of my hand. I remember I used to take her out of her cage and let her run across my hands and shoulders. I even brought her to school at times- tucked safely in the breast pocket of my school uniform. Her favorite perch was on top of my head. She loved tugging at my hair while I studied.
I kept her in my room and fed her cheese and meat I surreptiously spirited away from the family ref. What I ate, Bianca ate too. She even developed a taste for chocolates! As expected, all that food made her big. But she wasn’t enormous yet. Just chubby. Then I started feeding her multivitamin tablets. And boy, did she grow! She suddenly grew twice her size! She was now the biggest white mouse I ever saw!
One day, she became agitated. She starting gnawing on the floorboards of her cage and turned this way and that. That night, I went to her cage to play with her and was astonished at what I sa.! Six baby mice lay wriggling around her! Six! I didn’t own another mouse. Bianca was all alone. And I was old enough to be dubious about immaculate conceptions. I knew were babies came from! They didn’t just sprout out of thin air! It was then that I noticed that three of the babies were gray, one was gray and white, while two were all white. So what happened? You probably already guessed it- a common house rat got her pregnant.
But since they were Bianca’s offspring, I still fed them and took care of them until those pesky cats decided to snack on them while we were all out of the house one afternoon. And Bianca? She survived the cat attack and lived to a ripe old age. She never got pregnant again.