I live in a house on a quiet street in North Portland now, and am gradually filling it up with plants, books, and art. Having moved in back in December, I've been unpacking more slowly than I prefer - then again, there's more space, but fewer closets here. Shelves are in shorter supply, even if I do have a garage and a massive, half-finished basement. All things I'll be fixing slowly over time - the usual long-running household projects that serve to occupy time I might otherwise spend dissociating into video games.

It's not all wine and roses - though there is plenty of that. The house was unoccupied for at least three months before I moved in, so the plumbing has needed some love. Less than a month after I started living here, the drain in the basement broke, requiring the landlords to hire plumbers to come in with a jackhammer to set things right. The windows require propping open with whatever's handy, and the garage door hates staying up, rendering it more of a storage locker than a place to store vehicles.

But it's two bedrooms and no shared walls, and it's mine until they raise the rent too high. I have dirt and space to plant in, great shrubs of lavender and roses out front, and a surprisingly large kitchen for this town. There's a working fireplace, a porch just big enough for a tiny patio table and two chairs, and a giant pantry cupboard at the foot of the stairs between basement and kitchen. The driveway holds up to two vehicles - three if they snuggly - and most of the traffic I see happens to be folks walking their dogs.

At the tail end of a pandemic season and a slow re-finding and reinvention of the self, this domestic bliss isn't something I quite expected, but I'll take it.

Welp, I have a mouse now.

I used to have mice, back when I was a kid. Rats, too. But this was not a planned mouse acquisition.

Our cat, Twee, is the living embodiment of this meme. He is a remorseless killer, and we frequently find bits of rodent and bird around the yard because of him.

So the other day, we find him clearly having something cornered in the shrubbery, and we pick him up and bring him in. When I go out there again, I see that the thing he had cornered was a small, white mouse.

White, albino mice are not common in the wild. This is because, aside from the mutation being rarer when there's a shitton more genetic diversity among wild mice, the ones that are born albino tend to not live long, seeing as they are. You know. Very edible creatures who are a very visible color.

As such, I concluded that this mouse was likely a pet that had gotten loose or, more likely, a feeder mouse that had narrowly avoided being lunch twice that day.

So of course I brought him inside.

Mouse was very well behaved, likely due to shock. I kept him in a little "hospital" cage (really a very very small transfer-cage we use when transporting lovebirds), set him up with food, water, nesting material and a heater blanket. I really expected him to die, seeing as he had a puncture wound in his side (that I washed out as best as I could and slopped over with neosporin).

Well, surprise surprise, mouse not only lived, but he was much more active the next day. He ate food, drank water, slept a lot, but still walked around the little cage. It appears that one of his legs is broken: he has been dragging it behind him, though occasionally I see him move his foot, so it's not paralyzed. With rodents, there's not really a lot you can do for a broken leg except try to keep them from walking around too much, and making sure they have easy access to food and water.

Yesterday, me and the fam went out and bought a proper mouse habitat (as our old ones have long since been given away). We got all the mouse fixin's and now the mouse is set up in his own comfortable little habitat. He has been staying mostly in the little tiny house that came with the hab, but he's come out to eat and drink, and he must be walking around at night, because there are little poops on the opposite side of the cage.

I, legitimately, had forgotten how fucking cute mice are, and I have been doting on the little fucker nonstop.

My elderly and beloved cat is named Onion. Since mouse is white like she is, but is also a small boy, his name is Sonion.

I realize that Sonion may still bite it, and that even if he recovers, mice only live for a couple years, but I am glad he is here.

* * * * *

Also I am getting my second Covid Shot today, so here's hoping it doesn't kick my ass as thoroughly as I fear it will!

EDIT 3/30/2021: It kicked my ass.

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