Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Squeaky Squeaks By

A couple of months ago I noticed that one of our mice, Squeaky, had a little hairless spot on the top of her head. The first time I looked at it, Quinn, whose mouse Squeaky is, looked at her and said, "I liked Squeaky better without that."

I agreed completely. It stressed me out to see something on Squeaky that looked like it boded poorly for her. When her face and head got worse, I eventually took her to the vet and started giving her antibiotics and pain killers, which she responded well to.

Unfortunately, after she had largely healed and we completed her medicine course, she started to scratch again. And scratch and scratch and scratch. I knew I shouldn't, but I started medicating her again and she got better and then got worse and then got better and then it got to the point where she had scratched chunks of fur off of her body, leaving red welts on her head, face, and side.

This is by far the least gruesome recent photo I have of her.

I made an appointment to take her to the vet today with a great deal of trepidation about whether she would be coming home. If I'm going to be honest, I was afraid that the doctor was going to take one look at her and bring out a shoebox with a mousetrap inside of it for her euthanasia.

Isn't that what they do to pet mice?

We spent some time over the past couple of days making sure that Quinn got a lot of time with Squeaky and I laid some groundwork about how she is sick and I have to take her to the vet and she might not come back, which meant that every time I reminded them of the upcoming appointment, Quinn would say, "Squeaky might die."

It broke my heart. It also broke my heart last night when I was watching Squeaky in her cage, all unaware of my plans for her. But the thing that most took my breath away was that when I first told Quinn that we might lose Squeaky, Sam said, "Quinn, I can give you my mouse. You can rename her anything you want."

Which is how Poseidon nearly became Squeakseidon.

I had hired a babysitter so I could go to the vet by myself because murdering their mouse in front of these particular three children seemed like a spectacularly bad idea. We had one last cuddle with Squeaky and then I took her away.

I, however, severely underestimated the veterinarian's desire to make Squeaky better. He was fine with my decision to continue her first meds, which made me feel better. He kept telling me, "This is such a nice mouse," and "I'm going to try this first," and "If this doesn't work, we can try something else."

I would have had to say, "I want this mouse put to sleep," in order to make that happen and I think we all know that I am not the person who will say things like that. Sorry, Alex.

I'm not going to assault you with the photos of Squeaky that led me to believe that she wouldn't be coming home from the vet, because I know you all are very delicate and probably don't want to see them. Frankly, I don't either. I honestly thought that her quality of life was terrible. If she can feel better, I will be so happy. My fingers are crossed that this works.

Long story short, now Squeaky has THREE medicines. And a vet who really wants this nice little mouse to have a long life. And a me who is too much of a bleeding heart to not give her my best shot.

Plus...Quinn. It's really not all about the mouse.

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