Mouse Droppings: Return to Sender

white-mouse-on-skate-board.jpegI am saddened to report the news that Milford the Mouse has officially been evicted from the Feldman household. I can’t say the decision to oust the smelly rodent was an easy one. You see, my incredibly responsible and kind son reminded me that once you name a pet, you’re not supposed to send him back. The only problem was, if you name a pet that then emits a foul smelling odor that starts creeping through your mudroom and into your garage one week before your mom is supposed to arrive for Passover, it’s time to send the mouse packing.
And so, after my son did an incredibly wonderful thing yesterday – he sang at a nursing home on behalf of our synagogue, I broke the news to him as gently as I could.
“Dylan I have to tell you that we’ve got to send Milford back to Petco. But I’m going to make a deal with you. If you let us return him, I’ll get you two pets for the price of one.”
While Dylan was upset at first, he took the bait and agreed to check out his options. We then raced home and Dylan found a shoebox, placed his friend inside along with a piece of lettuce and we hopped in the car. Of course, the ride over to Petco had a bit of drama – Milford managed to find the one hole in the shoebox where he could slither out and escape. I over-reacted and grabbed the rodent and Dylan started crying – thinking I was crushing his poor defenseless pet. Thankfully, Milford was just fine and I instructed the kids that if the mouse were to seek refuge in my car, it would not end well for him.
Once we arrived at Petco, my husband attempted to find someone who would help us return Milford. What we discovered is that Petco is like Home Depot. If you’re a pet owner, you should know where you’re going and don’t expect anyone to help you. Just like when you’re in Home Depot and you need to buy some nails and no one is there to assist you with your purchase. We finally found a guy in the reptile section who thought we were nuts returning the mouse and even asked us for a receipt. We told him we didn’t have one but he could just keep the mouse – we didn’t want our money back. And so, he shrugged his shoulders, said “Okay” and walked away with Milford – toward the reptile section and not toward the mouse tank. Let’s hope that Milford made a great escape before he became an appetizer for a snake or that the guy cleaned him up and put him back in the pen with his friends. Either way, we bid adieu to Milford and went on a search for a new pet.
Since no one at Petco was helping us, we left the store and hit PetSmart – which incidentally, is like the Lowes of pet centers. People are eager to help you and are even knowledgeable if you ask them which rodent really doesn’t smell bad. When we explained our plight to one of the Petsmart employees he instantly knew where we went wrong and even let us sniff all the tanks to show us what they smelled like before their bedding was changed. Incidentally, the prize for the worst smelling tank was awarded to a rat.
After rounding a corner and taking a look at all the different options in front of us, my kids set their sites on two dwarf hamsters. And while the argued briefly about where they would put the tank (it’s now in the guest room), they scooped them up, put them in a box and we were on our merry way.
I am happy to report that Millie (named for Milford) and Munchkin are doing quite well in their new home. No foul smells are coming from their tank and they’re having the time of their lives. As for Milford, I don’t know what happened to that little white mouse – I only hope that he got the chance to re-join his family so they could all live smell-ily ever after.

Mouse Droppings: A Tail of Two Tanks

iStock_000012365285XSmall.jpgIn week four of our never-ending saga of Milford the smelly mouse, my husband and son were sent out on a mission. The goal was to rid our home of the putrid smell Milford has been emitting from his cage ever since we brought him home as a house guest. Today, the men hit Petco and happened upon an incredibly helpful store employee who came clean about keeping a mouse as a house pet.
In case you ever consider buying a $2.99 mouse for a split second, move along and take a look at a harmless gerbil. You see, according to the Petco store worker, while mouse poop doesn’t have an odor that can leave you gasping for breath, their urine on the other hand, is practically lethal. The only thing to combat the smell is to invest in pet friendly air fresheners (check) and open the windows to air out the place.
Undeterred by the news that we may never rid our home of that foul odor, Dylan and Darin selected a reptile tank which traps in the smell and keeps it contained inside the glass. Unfortunately, that means Milford will be dealing with the smell on his own and hopefully, he’ll keep that offensive odor to himself.
To make his home a bit cozier, Darin and Dylan selected a nice igloo for Milford to hang out in. So now, he’s been holed up in his see through home ever since they brought it home. At least the place is more spacious. Let’s give it another week and see what the future holds. If the smell continues to fester throughout the house, I’ve told Dylan that Milford’s days are numbered. I’ve even promised to buy him a monkey if that mouse doesn’t stop fouling up his house and ours. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like the old lady who swallowed a fly.