I met Stuart September 12th, 2012 when I went to pick up a very sick hamster (Simon for any who remember him). Stuart’s young owner had been breeding her mice, and Stuart was from her first litter (an oops). He was on his own in a crittertrail with a house, a food dish, and a bowl for water. She pulled him out and let me handle him. She told me he was blind and mentally slow. I thought he was adorable. She said she loved him, but I ended up taking his sister (from the 2nd litter) and the hamster Simon.
I next heard from this girl on Oct 4th when she had another mouse who needed help. I ended up taking home Brutus (his dad) and his very very sick mom, Dashi. I checked all the mice out, including listening to the lungs on all the wee babies (3rd litter) and Stuart. Stuart sounded like he had a little bit of a rough lung, but more of a watch and wait scenario. I told the girl to let me know if he got any worse.
3 months later, she emailed saying I had to take all her sick mice/critters, as she had realized she was not a responsible owner at all,, and she was going to give them away as snakefood. I really didn’t want to take in any more mice, as losing Stuart’s special mom Dashi broke my heart. But I had met these wee beasts and I just couldn’t leave them there.
I arranged to meet her at the subway stop, and then began the weirdest transfer I have ever been through. She sat in her dad’s van and I stood in a snow bank with my carriers in the snow. Handing in each carrier depending on which box had which critters in it. Not pleasant in the middle of a snow storm, but we accomplished it with absolutely no thanks or gratitude, and I took my newbies home. Belle the sick hamster, and the 2 healthy girly mice were adopted at the vet clinic and Dudley (the biter mouse from the latest litter) and Stuart stayed with me. I quickly found out Stuart was as special as his mom was.
He loved to be held, stroked, cheek tip beautifully when rubbed, would run to loud sounds, sit happily on my shoulder...he really was a very rat-like mouse and I adored him
And sadly he also left me too soon, and very young, just like Dashi and for the same reasons as his mom…masses in his abdomen.
Stuart was slowing down a bit lately but today he went downhill, so I held him and kept him warm against my body, held him through his seizures and kissed him goodbye.