Three Legs Are Better Than None

By now you are probably pretty familiar with some of my (mis)adventures with pets.

But what you probably didn't know, is that my pet history is a long one. That is, if we define "pet" as "a creature that has been kept in confinement and given a name."

Under that qualifier, I have had frogs, a spider (it lived on our deck and I fed ants to it every day, idk), silkworms, like a hundred ladybugs (I named all of them), snails, a couple dogs, a psychotic cat, rats, and fish. A lot of fish. Too many fish. By the time I was eleven I had quite an impressive fish cemetery in the backyard.

But besides all of those pets, my family also has had their fair share of rodents.

After my sister’s first set of hamsters devoured their own babies and left their remains for her to discover, I thought perhaps we were done with rodents forever. 

But then somehow we ended up with four little mice.

We named them Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin - because when I was 15 I was at the peak of my nerdiness.

It wasn’t long before we discovered (through observation) that Sam and Merry were, in fact, female.

So their names became Rosie and Arwen, naturally.

As you can imagine, these mice didn’t last long since they were only bred to live long enough to get from the pet store to your lizard.

Frodo was the first to go, as I found out when I awoke to his little corpse in my face.

The next to go was Sam/Rosie. We buried them in the backyard, releasing their little mouse spirits to depart on the long journey to that Mordor in the sky. (That’s what mouse heaven is called. I bet you didn't know that.)

So my sister Annie, who was like four at the time, decided to give the remaining two mice a cute little mouse bath using a little plastic Barbie hot tub. During this mouse bath, Arwen’s back leg was somehow injured/broken, mostly likely because mice shouldn’t be bathed as if they were human. (It was really cute, though).

For a few days, Arwen went about her normal mouse business dragging her broken leg behind her like some weird second tail. This included running on her little wheel, leg thumping along behind her.

But the first real indication we had of Arwen's complete insanity was when we noticed that half of her injured leg was...missing. Not being unfamiliar to the world of rodent cannibalism, we decided to separate the two mice, assuming it was Pippin who was chewing on her leg.

But when we awoke the next morning, the rest of her leg was gone, a bloody stump in its place. 

She had eaten her own leg. The entire thing. Just gnawed right through the bone.


Shortly after this, Pippin also kicked the bucket, probably from the shock of watching his friend eat herself.

We thought for sure that three-legged Arwen would follow, but guys, true to her namesake, she would not die. She lived through hell. And by hell, I mean that she lived through her own self-induced hell. 

Because one day, we found that Arwen had a small little cut on her tail. And, following the same mouse logic as before, Arwen nibbled her tail off completely.

As if EATING HER OWN LEG wasn't enough!

At this point we all sort of wanted her to freaking die, because were just so tired of hearing the dull whacking sound her bony little leg nubbin would make on the metal bars of her wheel.