Mice/Baby mouse found in the most unlikely of places
My fiancÚ and I were watching a show last night when out of the corner of his eye, he spotted something moving in the ceiling light fixture. Lo and behold, it was the most adorable of tiny mice! After coaxing it off of the light fixture glass plate and into a small dish, we contemplated what to do with it. We live in the northeast (in MA) where it stays quite cold through the winter so I fear letting it go outside somewhere is sentencing it to a rather inhumane death.
I'm personally of the mind to keep it because I love animals of all shapes and sizes (and somehow my maternal instinct kicks in when I see helpless baby animals--ok, animals of any sort). The fiancÚ on the other hand is not so keen on the idea.
I'd like help identifying what kind of mouse this is (right now I'm thinking maybe a deer mouse or white footed mouse) and what possible age it is. What do you suggest as far as keeping as a pet vs. releasing into the wild (and for that, doing that now in the cold winter or is it best to wait until spring)? If I hold on to it (whether to release or to keep), what should I be feeding it? I've given it a cracker, a grape, cheese and a celery stick and I'm not sure it ate any of it.
Last night it was really wound up and nervous and jumping continuously but this morning it seemed that it had tuckered itself out and it let me very gently pet it (of course, I washed my hands afterwards). With keeping a mouse, my mom says mice carry a lot of diseases. Is there anything specific I should be looking for or be concerned about? Thank you so much in advance for your help!
That is the cutest photo!! I am going to post in in my rat and mouse group (see end of answer)!
It does look old enough to eat real food, if barely. Seeds are great. Some temptations to get it feeling safe enough to eat might be a little cheese, scrambled egg with butter, buttered and salted popcorn, cooked bacon, avocado. If you keep it you will get a prepared mouse mix from a pet store.
So the question is whether to keep it. Certainly till spring-- let's say when nighttime temps are in the 50s. The criteria or keeping a mouse as a pet-- and I differ from some hard-core and I feel hard-headed 'wild animals belong in the wild' people-- is whether it wants to be a pet. Does it like to be stroked or does it bite? Once it has a wheel, does it keep trying to escape the cage (minimum 20 gallon tank) or is it content? Is it lively or depressed?
I hope it wants to be a pet because these guys make great and, for mice, long-lived pets. All I can say as to species is probably a deer mouse, but I can't tell much from the photo. Are its feet white?
There are no diseases that a deer mouse will give you in Massachusetts. In the west it is a different story. The scary one os hantavirus but we don't have it here (I live in Jersey). You can look it up if you want to get really scared ;) but don't let your mom see :)
Have fun with the little baby!
Squeaks and giggles,