Well... I did it. I got mice. They're so unbelievably cute and they're fantastically clever. I ended up getting three, and they seem to be happy with that. By 'they', I mean my mice- Gin, Whiskey, and Winchester (old West influence, much?). Pictured in the photo are Gin and Winchester.
After taking care of some important business, I went to PetSmart to buy their home and supplies. PetSmart is a great facility. It has a huge selection, and things that I've never seen at other pet stores. Between buying a cage (which included dish, second floor to cage, water bottle, and wheel), bedding, food, some gnawing treats, and nesting material, it wasn't nearly as expensive as I thought it'd be, and I was able to buy things that are a bit more natural. There's this great bedding for small pets that is made from recycled paper. It's kind of like the newspaper kitty litter, where it's biodegradable, has odour control, and is all around better. It's also better for mice, as you shouldn't use wood shavings (the oils and dust aren't good for tiny mouse lungs). My mice seem pretty happy with it. Gin (who is white, also referred to as Ginny) has this thing for carrying it in her mouth and pushing it away, into piles, uncovering the ground below. I'm also advocating the bedding because it seemed to provide them with some comfort on the trip home.
PetSmart also had a couple types of cotton for nesting. I bought these 100% cotton pads that mice can chew and shred to make nests and beds. Winchester (Winnie) is quite fond of it. The things they have for small animals these days... I tell you! There are even interlocking play houses you can get for mice and dwarf hamsters, that you can change. I'm thinking about getting some, so that I can change up their home and keep them interested and happy. One thing I did get was this thing made of twigs where the twigs are connected by bendable wire. You can bend it about to make bridges or hutches or what-have-you. I made it into a little den, and Whiskey adores it. Every time she eats, she grabs food from the dish, makes a mad dash for the den, and then you can hear a faint nibbling sound.
And oh my goodness. My mice like corn! The food mix I got is a mix of everything good for mice and rats, and the first thing that the three of them ate or hid immediately was any and all of the corn pieces. Now that it's gone or hidden they're eating the other food (GOOD), but I think it's really funny. Tomorrow I'm going to try giving them little bits of fresh food. Mostly to see what they like, and to see if I can earn their trust. Shockingly, if someone grabs you by the tail, puts you in a box with only two of your friends and family, and then moves you to a mysterious place, you don't trust them as much as that person would like. They're doing pretty well, though. I bought the mice from Pet Cetera (which I find I don't like as much as PetSmart... Sorry), and I think that it's assumed that you're going to be using mice as live food for snakes. I went in assuming that I'd have to buy a carrier case, so I took a towel to wrap a carrier in (as it is winter and it was brisk), and some of the bedding from their new home. Apparently, though, it's normal to shove some mice in a cardboard box without any real breathing holes. Needless to say, I assembled the carrier case, put the bedding in, and put the mice into the carrier. The cardboard box was already quite a mess because of their stress levels, but I'm happy to say that they were adventuring and cuddling and sleeping in the carrier case, and as soon as I put them into their home in my apartment, they were adventuring and eating and overall quite happy. I'd say that it's all off to a good start.
Now that they're settling in, I'm really glad that I decided to get mice. They're so clever, and watching them solve problems is fascinating. They're also shockingly agile (Whiskey has a great skill for scaling the wire bars on the cage, and getting to the second floor loft spot that way. There is a ladder/ramp leading to it, but apparently climbing a wall is more fun). It's just so amazing and curious to watch them. And they're just so cute. I was worried about stressing them out, but they're adapting so well. Their eyes are bright, they're exercising and doing all kinds of little things, so I think they're content.
Any ways, I think that that's a sufficient amount of gushing over my little mice friends, and now I should go to sleep. Currently they're really active, because my room is darker, so this should be a fun night. Fortunately the wheel is relatively quiet.