Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

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Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by ontheroad on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 2:33 pm

Hi Everyone,

I have joined this forum to consult with y'all since you are wise and knowed in the ways of the mice. I have had my mouse for a little over 2 years. He's a white albino, was originally a "feeder" mouse. I was told he was a few months old when I got him but I have no way of knowing if that's true. He does not like to be handled, he's very nippy, so we mostly interact through the tank walls and when I clean out his tank and change up his toys.

I am going to be moving from the east coast to Colorado next month and will be driving. I'd really like to bring him with me, but I'm not sure what the best way to do that is. He currently lives in a 20 gallon tank, which would take up a lot of real estate in my car, so I'd prefer to pack the tank (I'm shipping pods) and put him in a smaller container/home for travel. Plus, I will be making the drive over 4 days (driving 6-8 hours a day), and will need to bring him into the hotel room each night. Because I'm also bringing my dog, who will sit in the backseat, he will have to ride in the way back (it's a hatchback car, so not in the trunk).

What do you think? Is he too old to survive this journey? Would it be more stressful to take him than to rehome him? If I do take him, do you have any recommendations for what type of container/home he should be in for travel? Has anyone done this before?

Thanks for all your advice. Confused Love

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Re: Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 7:50 pm

The Creek Valley Critters YouTube page has a video titled "Travelling with Mice - Getting Ready to Go".  Watch that first.

If you never take your mousie out anywhere, I'd set up the travel mousehouse and take him for some practice trips, just around where you live, so the actual journey won't be such a strange experience.  And I'd ride him up front with you, out of the path of hot or cold air blowing from the vents.  He may like to nibble you, but you are his family, and he will be comforted to be able to smell/see you nearby amid all the road noise and strange smells.

Plus, if the mobile mousehouse is up front with you it will be easier for you to make sure mousie is in a comfortable temperature, and for you to check how he's doing from time to time - especially if you need to check on him in a hurry, like if you hear something clunk when you're making a turn or braking.

In that regard, be sure to figure out how to secure the mousehouse in place, and to secure anything you decide to put inside or to use lightweight/soft objects.  Don't want any injuries if stuff tumbles.

You can keep the mobile mousehouse contents to a fair minimum.  Mousies like to sleep during the day, so he might just zonk for much of the road time to Colorado anyway.

I have some advice on accommodations too, but even though I had this thing all typed up down to the last paragraph I hit my backspace key and deleted everything except the first sentence.  And now I have to hurry out of this building before the night alarm activates, and I have no computer service at my house.  So I'll continue this novel tomorrow, OK?

* * * * * * * * * *

Continued the next day ...

When I was planning to take little April on a one-night-away road trip, I didn't just look for a pet-friendly place to stay. I looked for a non-chain motel, preferably one of those places where the mom-n-pop owners really run the place and know what goes on there.

The first place I tried, I spoke to them by phone to make sure they didn't mind a mouse, in an enclosure, staying there -- because I was going to have to drive further on to see some friends from my past in concert, and leave April on her own for a few hours, and I did not want somebody coming in to work on the climate control or to drop off more towels and have a freak-out over a wee white mousie! Once we agreed there were no objections to a mouse, I also made sure they hadn't done any pest spraying, weren't planning to do any pest spraying, and had no sonic repellers. I didn't want April breathing in chemicals that, even though "safe" for human exposure, could irritate her breathing or even be toxic, and I didn't want her to endure a stay in a place bombarded with a continuous ultrasonic blast. All clear on that too.

The stay went very well. At check-in I introduced myself and said mousie April was out in the car asleep, and the lady motel owner wanted to see her. April went shy and wasn't keen on making a new friend, but was pronounced to be quite adorable nonetheless. After unloading the car and getting ready to head out for the show, I set April up with some low lighting in the room and the television tuned to a movie station, since that would be close to a normal evening for her. I propped the little travel tank up stably by wrapping it around three sides with the bed sheets (leaving the side facing the telly unobstructed), then put the sweatshirt I had been wearing all day on top of the propping-up sheets, so April could smell me close by in this strange place even when I was in another town. I saw the show, visited briefly with the folks from my past, and then drove back up the two-lane to the motel. April was just fine, watching "The Great Escape".

Well, that's how it all worked out for me, and for April, with a level of pre-trip preparation I was able to squeeze in and was comfortable with. A bit over a year later I began making a plan to take Miss April with me on a two-night road trip ... but she began to ail and I forgot all about vacation. April went to Mousie Heaven two weeks later, and there was no vacation. No Shakespeare Festival. No birthday. I was in mourning.

Of course with your little mousie fellow over two years already, there is a risk that he will not handle travel well. But if you think things out before you leave, you can make the transit safe and comfortable for him. And he will at least be with his family, which is what he really wants.

(P.S. Your message uses "y'all", so maybe you are in the south part of the U.S. east coast, but if you are in the north and will be taking I-80 to Colorado, and need a place to stay in Ohio, the motel where April and I overnighted was the Old Orchard in Fremont. There was also a 24-hour Tim Horton's in downtown Fremont -- handy if you need a hot cocoa and an apple fritter before hitting the road early in the morning!)


Last edited by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 8:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I finished up what time did not allow last night.)

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♥️ Zephyr ♥️ Coco ♥️ Bobby ♥️ Noche ♥️ Paiva ♥️ April ♥️
I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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Re: Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by ontheroad on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 9:55 am

@MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop wrote:The Creek Valley Critters YouTube page has a video titled "Travelling with Mice - Getting Ready to Go".  Watch that first.

If you never take your mousie out anywhere, I'd set up the travel mousehouse and take him for some practice trips, just around where you live, so the actual journey won't be such a strange experience.  And I'd ride him up front with you, out of the path of hot or cold air blowing from the vents.  He may like to nibble you, but you are his family, and he will be comforted to be able to smell/see you nearby amid all the road noise and strange smells.

Plus, if the mobile mousehouse is up front with you it will be easier for you to make sure mousie is in a comfortable temperature, and for you to check how he's doing from time to time - especially if you need to check on him in a hurry, like if you hear something clunk when you're making a turn or braking.

In that regard, be sure to figure out how to secure the mousehouse in place, and to secure anything you decide to put inside or to use lightweight/soft objects.  Don't want any injuries if stuff tumbles.

You can keep the mobile mousehouse contents to a fair minimum.  Mousies like to sleep during the day, so he might just zonk for much of the road time to Colorado anyway.

I have some advice on accommodations too, but even though I had this thing all typed up down to the last paragraph I hit my backspace key and deleted everything except the first sentence.  And now I have to hurry out of this building before the night alarm activates, and I have no computer service at my house.  So I'll continue this novel tomorrow, OK?

* * * * * * * * * *

Continued the next day ...

When I was planning to take little April on a one-night-away road trip, I didn't just look for a pet-friendly place to stay.  I looked for a non-chain motel, preferably one of those places where the mom-n-pop owners really run the place and know what goes on there.

The first place I tried, I spoke to them by phone to make sure they didn't mind a mouse, in an enclosure, staying there -- because I was going to have to drive further on to see some friends from my past in concert, and leave April on her own for a few hours, and I did not want somebody coming in to work on the climate control or to drop off more towels and have a freak-out over a wee white mousie!  Once we agreed there were no objections to a mouse, I also made sure they hadn't done any pest spraying, weren't planning to do any pest spraying, and had no sonic repellers.  I didn't want April breathing in chemicals that, even though "safe" for human exposure, could irritate her breathing or even be toxic, and I didn't want her to endure a stay in a place bombarded with a continuous ultrasonic blast.  All clear on that too.

The stay went very well.  At check-in I introduced myself and said mousie April was out in the car asleep, and the lady motel owner wanted to see her.  April went shy and wasn't keen on making a new friend, but was pronounced to be quite adorable nonetheless.  After unloading the car and getting ready to head out for the show, I set April up with some low lighting in the room and the television tuned to a movie station, since that would be close to a normal evening for her.  I propped the little travel tank up stably by wrapping it around three sides with the bed sheets (leaving the side facing the telly unobstructed), then put the sweatshirt I had been wearing all day on top of the propping-up sheets, so April could smell me close by in this strange place even when I was in another town.  I saw the show, visited briefly with the folks from my past, and then drove back up the two-lane to the motel.  April was just fine, watching "The Great Escape".

Well, that's how it all worked out for me, and for April, with a level of pre-trip preparation I was able to squeeze in and was comfortable with.  A bit over a year later I began making a plan to take Miss April with me on a two-night road trip ... but she began to ail and I forgot all about vacation.  April went to Mousie Heaven two weeks later, and there was no vacation.  No Shakespeare Festival.  No birthday.  I was in mourning.

Of course with your little mousie fellow over two years already, there is a risk that he will not handle travel well.  But if you think things out before you leave, you can make the transit safe and comfortable for him.  And he will at least be with his family, which is what he really wants.

(P.S.  Your message uses "y'all", so maybe you are in the south part of the U.S. east coast, but if you are in the north and will be taking I-80 to Colorado, and need a place to stay in Ohio, the motel where April and I overnighted was the Old Orchard in Fremont.  There was also a 24-hour Tim Horton's in downtown Fremont -- handy if you need a hot cocoa and an apple fritter before hitting the road early in the morning!)

Thank you so, so much for your thoughtful reply! I'm sorry it took me so long to respond, very busy with packing and such, but I really appreciate it. I went ahead and bought a travel carry container that could ride up front with me per your advice. However my parents are really trying to get me to rehome him, they think it's going to be too stressful driving cross country with the fluctuations in temperature, going in and out of hotels, etc, and then living at their house for a few months before moving to my new place. They seem to think he is more likely to die from that stress than from the stress of being rehomed. I don't really know what to do, I of course would prefer to bring him with me, and also feel like, well wouldn't he rather die in my company than in someone else's, and how would I know that someone else would be a good owner, but at the same time, I don't want him to experience the anxiety and strife of moving around so much. He and I aren't very close, we don't spend a lot of time interacting, but he definitely does respond to my voice and seems to come out to play when I'm in the same room, so I know he loves me in whatever sense. I'm not sure what's the best thing to do for him.

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Re: Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 7:32 pm

First, banish any thoughts of "Travel = Trauma".

That can, of course, turn out to be the case. But moving yourself and two animals, you are going to have to decide to be prepared for any adventures waiting for you on the road -- or at least decide to not let any of those adventures get the best of you. Your travelling companions will pick up your vibe of confidence, and will travel more confidently themselves.

The nice thing about little mousies, travelling in their "mobile homes", is that they have the good sense to burrow if the temperature is getting a bit chilly for them, and to come out into the open if it's getting a little too warm. As long as you keep yourself aware, while driving, of what the ambient temperature is like in the front seat, little junior should be able to cope with the road work just fine. He will be surrounded by his comforting smell in his temporary lodging, and he will smell and hear you nearby. And he will probably sleep a lot.

You just have to be a little more careful when you leave the vehicle unattended with the animals inside. But that is ALWAYS the case anyway.

If you are worried about the chill, then get the little one a little fleece "sleeping bag" -- an infant-size soft winter cap, for instance -- assuming there is room in the mobile mousehouse for it. For winter, I had a bunch of little plush (faux fur - NOT felt) decorative Santa socks for April to snooze inside. With Christmas stuff back in the stores, maybe you could find a couple for real cheap at Wal*Mart or Big Lots. To prepare it for mouse use, just flip a Santa sock in-side-out, cut off the scratchy tag and any irregular fabric corners sticking out of the seam, pick off loose fuzz, give it a quick wash and dry, and then turn it back right-side-out. See if junior figures out what to do with it. That would probably include chewing out the stitching at least in the toe area, so you'd have to keep trimming loose thread off ... but REALLY it was so little work for such a good way to keep my little princess warm.

You might also consider keeping a hand towel or a pillow case up front with you, to put over parts of the mobile mousehouse to keep the inside in shade. Never let the bright sun shine relentlessly on your little albino and his precious pink eyes. Just place the fabric strategically to keep the sun out, without blocking air flow.

From what you write, and the way you write it, I get the feeling that you are attached to your little mousie more than you are saying, and mousie may be just as attached to you. You feel the responsibility to see him through his life, however much he still has ahead of him, and with all the time you have already spent with him, that makes you the best person for him to stay with. Move or no move.

From mousie's point of view, you are his source of food, housing, companionship, and comfort. You are his source of survival. You are his giant rock of stability. You are his friend, you are his family -- you are his everything. If he has a "rather", I bet he'd rather stay with you. Move or no move.

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♥️ Zephyr ♥️ Coco ♥️ Bobby ♥️ Noche ♥️ Paiva ♥️ April ♥️
I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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Re: Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by ontheroad on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 12:17 pm

I am so sad to report that yesterday I found Karamakete dead in his beloved cardboard tube. He will be missed. Thank you for taking your time to engage with me in this dialogue. Despite all our big plans, he had the final say on his next step.

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Re: Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 6:33 pm

Sad news. I think little "K" would have enjoyed a car trip, as long as you were keeping things calm and comfortable for him. But at two years he had lived a pretty long time for a mousie, and he just couldn't outrun time anymore.

When I saw you had posted in this topic, I knew what it would say. Call it a week of extrasensory perceptions - I freaked out a couple of people just in the last 24 hours with something that just wouldn't leave my mind the last few days, and then >POOF!< out of the blue, there it is! And after a month of fretting about somebody I haven't seen in years, I just found out this afternoon that he had emergency surgery late last month to have a pacemaker installed, after his heart stopped during a stress test. Whew! Maybe I should have used my special "gift" to guess some lottery numbers? But that's not how it works.

Enjoy your move, and if you get over toward Durango say hi for me. I dormed at Fort Lewis College there while I was doing some field geology coursework one fine summer.

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♥️ Zephyr ♥️ Coco ♥️ Bobby ♥️ Noche ♥️ Paiva ♥️ April ♥️
I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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Re: Driving Cross Country w. Mouse

Post by ontheroad on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 1:40 pm

You should take that on the road! I also had a feeling, as soon as I started talking to people about it, that maybe he would leave. I realized that I got him in May 2016 and I was told he was a few months old, so he might have been almost three.

I'll be in the Boulder area, but was in Durango myself a few years ago, such a fun interesting place!

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