Sunday, November 28, 2010

They're Deer Mice

...and they're adorable. They're charcoal gray (not brown) on top, with white bellies and feet. Well, okay, the bellies and feet are pink right now because there's no fur there, but there soon will be. Thee mousies are about the size of the top joint of my index finger, tiny, warm, fuzzy things.

They've had 8 feedings so far; they seem to get hungry about every 3 hours. How can I tell? They aren't interested in feeding much before then.

They have learned to associate my warm hand with their meals, and now instead of scrambling to get away fom my hand, they scamper right into it.

They also no longer need force-feeding, which is a relief, because you have to judge how much to give them. But now they lap up tiny droplets from the end of the syringe, all by themselves, and quit when they're full, which is after only a few drops, less than .1 cc.

You can see the milk in their tummies as a slightly bulging white area.

Their other ends are all functioning well, too. Meaning the formula is agreeing with them. All is normal.

And I'm thrilled. I've missed having animals. I've especially missed having hand-fed animals around.

And it gives me something special to do while I recover from this very miserable cold. (I went to church this morning, but was extremely glad to arrive back home and go to bed.) I've set up a tray table beside the bed, covered with a couple of baby blankets and the heating pad, set on "Low". On top of the heating pad sit two tiny "cages", really just those little boxes sold for children to collect insects in. They are good because they're small enough the mice don't get lost and they are fully enclosed so they don't escape.

The mice are transferred, one at a time as each one is fed, from one box to the other, so I can keep track. These "cages" are coverd with another baby blanket to keep out drafts and keep in the warmth from the heating pad.

Also on the table: a syringe full of formula tipped with the smallest nipple you ever saw, rubber-banded to an ice pack; a small thermos of very hot water in which to warm the syringe at feeding time; a bottle of hand sanitizer. The Kleenex box doesn't fit on the table and is right beside my pillow. The waste basket is right under the tray table.

So it's a nice set-up. I only have to get up every 3rd feeding, for clean syringes and fresh formula. I sleep (if I can) when the babies do.


Emily H. said...

Awww... They're deer mice and dear mice!
Hope you get to feeling better soon!

margaret said...

Sounds like a very good arrangement. Miss Tilney is all agog and keeps asking for updates.