Ode to Bill the Mouse
By Jennifer Taylor, Animal Care Coordinator
Time passes, people pass and animals pass.
Sad times at Wild Care – Bill is gone.
Bill was a very special mouse who was brought to us about three years ago. We kept him in our reception room as an educational mouse. He was not releasable because he was totally blind in both eyes. Found alone in the middle of the ice rink parking lot in Orleans he arrived in very bad shape. We were not sure he even had eyes.
He was a true survivor and he proved to us he was enjoying life in his 10 gallon world! Despite his not being handleable, our staff, volunteers and interns all fell in love with Bill. He ran all around his habitat just as fast as any sighted mouse. He would learn quickly where new things were placed and zip over and under and thru whatever we set up.
Bills greatest adventure was when he escaped when someone was cleaning his habitat. We could not capture him. It was frightening that he was alone and vulnerable somewhere in our reception room for an entire night. We set up a “trap” which consisted of his familiar bed and fluff inside a plastic container that he could climb into from the floor. We figured he would jump in and be so happy in his own nest that he would just stay there… AND we were right! The camera showed his little unmistakable crooked-tailed Bill body going back and forth a hundred times then finally hopping into the container and no more video!
Mice do not live long -usually 2 years. So as he approached that age we all became concerned. Especially when one of his eyes filled with blood and became bright red. That was pretty freaky and lasted the rest of his life. For the last year or so all of us have been focused on him.
“How’s Bill doing?” Was the standard question from everyone for the past year. But, Bill was amazing and just kept being his speedy little mouse self- racing on his wheel, stashing his food, building his nests.
It was only the week before he died when he stopped using his wheel. There is a video of him a few days before he passed being busy bringing vegetables from his dish to under his log. He had a good life.
With all the emotional ups and downs we experience here at Wild Care there was always a bit of joy in taking a break to just watch Bill doing whatever he happened to be doing. It was always special. And if he was hiding, just knowing he was listening to you warmed your heart.
We are all missing you Bill.
My last video of Bill October 25, 2022.
Bill was named after Bill Redihan who found the mouse at the skating rink and kindly brought it to Wild Care.
We would like to thank the following people for their generous sponsorship of Bill’s care:
2022: Mary-Ann Agresti, in honor of Abby Bishop and Rick Bishop.
2021: Pam Bryson
2020: AJ Bargoli, Kate Altieri, Susan Davis and Pam Bryson