Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh what a day . . . This is a long one.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to use it as sort of a confessional, a way to be held accountable maybe. I'll start with this: I am a life-long procrastinator and suffer from chronic disorganization. I should be clear that this is self-diagnosed. I've never been told by a professional that I suffer from chronic disorganization but one look into my house and my habits and you'll see that it isn't that hard to pinpoint. Also, I don't think that most mental health professionals would even consider chronic disorganization as a diagnosis, but there's something definitely abnormal about my behaviour (yes, I've been watching too much Hoarders).

Today my procrastination has caused the suffering of another member of God's great animal kingdom and very much emotional pain for me. If I'm honest, I am procrastinating right now by writing this instead of cleaning up my house but my mind is racing so much that I just have to write and get it off my chest.
The day after we found her at about 6 days old.
The story began last Saturday night when I went into the shed to get my kid's bikes out for them. Lying on the floor apparently abandoned was a tiny baby mouse only about 5 or 6 days old, as I later learned. She was squeaking so loudly as if begging someone to help her. She couldn't even really walk. I also later learned that she appeared to be female.
I left her alone for a little while but her mother never came back. We took her inside knowing she might not make it but thought it would be worth the try to save her. As I found out this was a very risky thing to do and I would not recommend anyone to adopt abandoned mice. Deer mice carry a virus called hantavirus that is extremely toxic to humans causing serious illness and very often death. I didn't know this at first but chose to continue caring for her after learning that the area I live in an area that has not had any human cases of hantavirus and has not even documented any cases of hantavirus in mice. I figured if myself or my family came down with symptoms of hantavirus that I would seek medical attention immediately and pray for the best.

In my daughter's hand at about 8 days old.
I found instructions on how to care for her on the Internet. I read that until her eyes opened up it was very unlikely that she would live but she seemed to be doing very well. She was eating great, and all her bodily functions were doing what they should. I was so happy last night when I noticed that her eyes were starting to open into little slits. I knew she was probably hitting the 2 week old mark soon and that she was well on her way. In the last couple of days she had started to nibble on things when she was hungry which I thought maybe indicated she was getting ready to start solid foods in a few days.


Feeding her.
That all changed today. I didn't get up and feed her first thing in the morning like I usually did. I went straight to my netbook and sat there for at least an hour. Then I got my son ready to go to a friend's house. When I got back, I put the baby down for a nap and got busy figuring out how to plug coordinates into the GPS. At around 1:30pm I finally remembered that I hadn't fed the mouse or changed the water in her hot water bottle. I went to pick her up and she was pretty lifeless but I thought once I started to feed her she would perk up. It took me a few minutes to realize that she wasn't opening her mouth to feed; she was air hungry, a phenomenon that can occur I guess when all mammals are dying. I had witnessed it before in humans at my job so I knew she was passing away. Watching that poor little thing breathe her last breaths was heartbreaking, and here I had been trying to feed her.

I bawled all afternoon. Alot for the mouse to which I had become more attached to than I realized, and even more for the fact that I really believe she died because of my negligence. If I had cared for her first thing in the morning like I should have and she had still died, then I think I would feel less guilt. But now I have to live with the shame of allowing my sin to once more rule me and this time with great consequence. Oh I am sure some of you are thinking "But it was only a mouse." Yes, it was just a mouse, but it was a mouse that was totally dependent on me and I failed her. I sought recluse for a few minutes, bawling my eyes out, and asking God for forgiveness for letting my sin stand in the way of my responsibility. The tears fell from the realization of the permanence of my actions. Actions that not just affect a poor little mouse, but my children, my husband, my friendships and most importantly, my relationship with my heavenly Father.
3 days before she passed away at about 10 days old.
Rest in Peace Li'l Squeaky.


  1. My apologies for the weird formatting. I couldn't get it to flow right no matter how hard I tried. I'm still new at this...

  2. I reformatted this post on Window's Live Writer and got it to look WAY better than it had previously.. lovin' Window's Live Writer right about now.

  3. Ohhhh! I would have been SO UPSET, too!

    (Little crying sweet helpless baby mice you feed and love are much different than the scary ones in my garage)

    How sad. I hope since then you've realized you did more for that mouse than any other woman on the planet would have and without you it would have died that first day...

    (didn't mind the link at all. anytime.)


To protect mine and my family's privacy, comments with identifying information will be edited. Comments will also be edited for obscenities.