By The Christmas Mouse, I am referring to the poem I wrote, it is a few posts, or so, down from this one. Sure there was an inspiration, real live ones at that. Yes, more than one, since I now have about 50 mice in my mouse breeding colonies. I also have a cat and 3 dogs, just like in the poem. In fact I was enjoying my second glass of red wine, when the thought hit me to pen a comical poem; but no - none of the mice got loose, and then got chased by my cat and dogs, and I really have never seen a mouse dressed in a Santa suit, I swear I have not!
I have seen some pretty neat looking mice though not in Santa suits, but rather in lots of color variations, and with variations of certain other characteristics such as short hair, long hair, curly hair, and nude (hairless). I've seen all of these because I have been breeding mice, on and off, for abut 20 years now. You already know that I keep snakes and other reptiles, as well as some amphibians too. Well, most of the snakes I have kept are rodent eaters, and one of the most convenient rodents to feed snakes is Mus musculus, the good old common House Mouse. While I breed some of them for food items for my snakes, I learned long ago that breeding and keeping mice is an interesting pursuit all its own. I now have quite a few that are never meant to wind up as snake food, but instead will lead good and long mouse lives, as far as mouse lives can be called long.
A few of the color varieties I currently have are pictured here. The top one above is an Agouti (at least I think it is). The next one down is a Dove (pink eyed, light dove gray color). The next one is a Fawn, with pink eyes (they can also have black eyes). Finally the last one shown, is a fawn with black eyes.
These guys make great and interesting pets for folks with limited space, who do not have the time to give to a pet like a dog. They are also good pets for children, from about age 8 on up, with adult supervision at least until the child is in the mid teens and well familiar with caring for them. They rarely bite, but of course they can bite. They can be a bit smelly, usually if you have a male in a group or even alone. Males have smelly urine, while females urine has little noticeable odor. If you want to keep a pet mouse, or pet mice, and don't want that male urine smell, then just keep females. They get along fine with one another. Domestic house mice are easy to care for. Keep em clean by cleaning their enclosure at least once per week (twice at most), feed em once daily, supply fresh drinking water in a gravity bottle, keep them in a secure cage or tank, and they make great inexpensive pets that will live about 1 to 1 1/2 years. Keep a male and female together, and you can develop your own seemingly endless supply of pet mice. Give em an exercise wheel and watch em go, go, go... Let em escape (accidentaly of course, never on purpose) and really watch em go - forever gone - especially if you also have a cat and three dogs. Yes, some of mine have escaped before, so I know!
All the best,
3 hours ago