Moisikin & Kin
Title: The Arrival of Moiskin
In the beginning, I caught Moisikin several times in a humane trap. After release, she came back again and again.
I took a photo of her in the trap. This watercolour and ink painting is based upon that drawing.
How little did I suspect how important this little being and her children would become in my life.
Title: The Moisikin Duet
On New Year’s eve 2020, I rescued a woodmouse who gave birth that very night to 5 babies. I couldn’t throw them out into the wintry night, so looked after them and in the end gave them a Forever Home.
I have a special relationship with the mother, who is called Moisikin.
Her cage has glass sides and a metal grating top. When I see her, I go to the cage and sing to her through the top of the cage.
“Moiskin… I love you …. I love you… Moisikin!”
In turn, when she sees me she climbs to the highest point in the cage, stands on her back legs looking up at me, with her front paws clasped to her chest like a bosomy opera singer!
I like to think she is singing back to me.
The mice know me as Woomyn, of the species Hoomyn, which includes Moomyns (men).
Including her children beneath the stage, from left to right:
Houdini, Little Bernard, Big Fleur, Little Fleur and Big Bernard.
Title: The Rat Killer, #BatsNotRat
(Work in Progress – colour to come)
There appears to be an upswell in wild rats in our town and they have naturally been drawn to the Rat-Shri-La that I offer.
Several have moved into the layer above my room, between ceiling and corrugated metal roof. They moved in last week. Thudding of rat feet, a shushing noise above me … most likely the cardboard boxes being shifted around, “Marjorie! Which box is the kettle in for tea?!”
I wasn’t the one to call the Rat Killer, but I acknowledged it was necessary. In this case, I have to be partisan and put the health of my girls first as wild rats could infect them.
The Rat Killer arrived. I couldn’t bear to speak to him or be involved in any way – just too emotional for me. But afterwards I was told what he said:
“RATS DON’T LIVE IN HOUSES. YOU HAVE FIELD MICE AND PROBABLY BATS. RAT POO IS VERY LIKE BAT POO.”
Here, we see the Rat Killer wagging his finger, giving forth his “expert” wisdom, while behind him the house-dwelling rats pour tea and point at him. Field mice wave. And two young rats paraglide with home-made bat wings #batsnotrats
Title: Big Bernard Practising Mindfulness
As an amateur Sumo wrestler, Big Bernard know the importance of food and a disciplined mind…
Thus he balances mindfulness and diet by always keeping an eye on his favourites foods!
Title: (Roadrunner) Tilly Tastes Caramel Pudding
I introduced Tilly to caramel pudding. She was ecstatic!
Unfortunately, she doesn’t always know what is finger and what is pudding.
Last night she bit my finger to pull the pudding covered thing into her nest, but because she was standing on a plastic tub and the pudding finger was attached to a whole hoomyn body, she ended up running in reverse for several seconds not going anywhere!
It was like watching a Roadrunner cartoon. Feet a-blur… her face screwed up with the effort of wrestling with the pudding finger!
Oh Tilly! You are a silly mouse!
Title: PI Stinky Piet Finds The Cheese
During the day, Stinky Piet is an architect of the Hollywood School of Design. But by night he is a detective.
Unfortunately, his stinkiness makes it very difficult to do undercover work as people always smell him coming. So he fills his pockets with cheese which he then lobs as far as he can throw – like super-stinky-stink-bombs – to distract his targets while he finishes his secret jobs!
Title: Little Bernard Enjoying A Pea Bath
We all have that one favourite food that we enjoy so much we would like to bathe in it! There’s a reason why so many women fantasise about being covered in chocolate! …
And Little Bernard is no different. Peas, please!
Title: “Two-Nuts” Gerti
Gerti, one of my rats, is usually polite, taking one treat at a time. But one day she insisted that she was able to fit two hazelnuts in her mouth at once.
She held the second nut, and I held it too, unsure if she was going to manage it. She wiggled her jaws and patted at the nut until her upper teeth got purchase. The look of joy in her eyes was palpable!
Rats and mice, like humans, value things so much more if there’s a little struggle, a little battle won, in achieving their goals.
As a teenager I was teased for holding a pint glass in both hands like a sippy cup as my hands are too small to hold the glass in one hand. So friends dubbed me “Baby-hands” which became a spoof of a gangster name, like Jimmy “the knife” or Al “scarface” Capone, “Cadillac” Frank. So naturally, Gerti became: Two-nuts Gerti! That rat has cojones… and they’re both hazel!
Title: Tilly’s Butterfly Kisses
Tilly is my blind rescue woodmouse with a crooked half-tail. In actual fact, she is half this size in relation to my hand, although ten times this size in terms of presence and character!
Being blind, she explores the world with her nose and her whiskers. As a teeny, tiny mouse – due to a congenital condition – she is so light as to weigh nothing to me in my hand.
So when Tilly touches me with her nose, it feels like being kissed by butterflies!
Title: Juju Has Big Feet
Little Juju-Belle, is my newest rescue. She was hanging around in the passage for weeks, obviously separated from her family and alone. She is tiny, and will likely stay tiny – smaller even than Tilly!
In spite of her teeny-tininess, she has enormous back feet. Perhaps she will surprise me and grow into them, become a giant mouse! Either way, I cannot help but always see Juju wearing enormous clown shoes!
Title: Hip-Hop Juju-Belle
Juju-Belle is an incredible wheel artiste! In my experience, fancy rats and fancy mice (“fancy” is the term for bred rodents instead of wild) just run in the wheel, but rescued wild mice take this utilitarian activity to another level with flips and catapulting and style!
At night when I can’t sleep, I sit and chat to Juju as she runs in her wheel. She has learned to go from 100% top speed to stopping the wheel so it swings gently left to right – something she thoroughly enjoys. But she can also fully brake the movement with barely a step, from where she stands stock still staring at me with attitude!
Last night, she ran hell for leather and then stopped with a radical, gravity defying tilt! “What up?” she peeped at me. This girl’s got mousitude!