Garden of Fuzz

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rest In Peace, Nimba.

Nimba left us yesterday afternoon on the heels of Kitt. She is shown here having a nap on Monday, while Pilea comes in to groom her.

(He was a good-looking mouse, but really, Nimba…)

We hardly knew Nimba, despite caring for her and her sisters for over a year. Nimba was our little thundercloud; quick and tempestuous, and prone to strikes (with her teeth). Even when she was a mouseling at the Toronto Humane Society, she would not approach an outstretched hand, except to give it a warning nip. Her sister Cirra (cousin? With different fur texture, we think so) is just as fearful, though runs and hides instead.

We always knew when Nimba was on the exercise wheel; she was so fast and so … thunderous. We could hear her two floors up in the house, such a happy noise: a mouse running on her wheel.

Lately Nimba had been living alone with her sister Cumula. The other three mice (Strata, Pilea and Cirra) had been showing signs of barbering, a type of bullying, so we separated the groups until we could tell who the bully was as both Nimba and Cumula were a bit aggressive. When we got back from our vacation to France, it was obvious. Nimba was now showing signs of being bullied, so I put her into her own cage in transition to rejoin her sisters. It was the next day I noticed she hadn’t eaten her seeds from the previous night, so I put her in with her sisters right away, thinking she was lonely. She seemed to be feeling better, but still I noticed she seemed unable to locate food or water. She would see or hear one of her sisters eating or drinking, and run right over to get some, but would stop with her nose millimeters from her target, unable to find it. Our intention to go to the vet did not come soon enough and the following afternoon we came home to find her spinning round and round backwards, with her head and shoulders twisted nearly 180 degrees behind her. The vet thinks it was some kind of inner ear infection (aggravated/accelerated by a fall the day before, I think, for which I will feel eternal guilt; I should have been more careful), leaving her with no balance and nausea. She did at least stop spinning and begin to rest after the medication took effect – or extreme exhaustion – and after her sisters tended to her.

Nimba died in her sleep (I have to hope this), warm, safe and clean within the mouse-pile of her sisters.

We will all miss you, Nimba. Your sisters continue to search for you in their Habitrail, thinking you are just around the corner, in the next series of tubes.


  • Hopefully this is it for you and the mice for a while...I know 'Tara' wasn't a part of the house mice, but she would make up part of the third (bad luck in threes).

    By Blogger shyknitter, at 2:21 p.m.  

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