We got Patch on July 1, 2000 and he passed away on Tuesday, August 28, 2001. All throughout life was alert, energetic and extremely good natured... he loved to eat fish as a treat and before he got sick he used to love running on his wheel... he did not ever do that again from about the beginning of the year though... seemed to just lose the energy after the myco first struck.
He used to run on the couch with us while we were watching TV... he used to love to do that... he loved his house too as when he was done running on the couch he would always make his way back to his house by himself... he truly was our pet who wanted to stay with us and live in his house... he knew us as well, he'd always climb the cage to say "hello" when we were around......
Patch was a really excellent natured little mouse really well socialized, loved to be handled and never bit anyone except once when he was being really grumpy because we gave him a needle (then he systematically bit me and then Phil within the space of about a minute... it was deliberate... he was getting revenge on us for giving him the needle!)
Towards the end... Monday and Tuesday this week he no longer wanted to be in his cage. He tried very hard to get out so we just let him come under the doona on our bed... seemed like he was after a quiet place to pass on... but his strong little hear would not give up. He would just climb under the covers and half shut his eyes while leaning against my leg, for perhaps warmth and comfort... I am hoping it was because he knew I was his Mum. When he started wanting out of the cage like that I knew that he was ready to go......
He had a very very strong will to survive, he went through so much sickness and always had an alertness about him of one who wanted to get better.... until Monday this week when he started to manifest real illness. I did not want to euthanize him, I was really hoping he would die peacefully at home but also his will was too strong and we had to take him to the vet to end the suffering. I know some mouse owners euthanize at home but there is no way that I could have done that. He was strong right till the end, his heart would not stop beating, nor would he stop breathing after the rest of his little body had given up. In fact the vet thought just a big anesthetic would be enough to euthanize him but in the end he was still strong and had to be given a needle on top of the anesthetic because his spirit was soo strong... I should know, I was in the room patting him as the vet did what he had to. The vet's arm was shaking... he liked Patch soo much he even had a picture of him up on the wall of his surgery.
We buried him with his wheel and in his little "star chamber" a black box with silver stars on it.... we covered him in dried rosebuds and flowers and lined the box with cotton. We closed the box and tied a purple ribbon around it. His grave was lined with mouse food and cat food treats as well as a little towel to keep him warm in the ground. The grave was covered with a flowering plant and 2 candles, which burnt all night to light his way on his journey... they stayed lit until the sun came up the next day.
Patch was buried by the light of the moon.
He was the best little mouse and I miss him soo much.
To find out more about Patch, email Angie.