Moisikin & Kin

Little Fleur
Little Bernard
Moimoi
Big Fleur and Little Fleur
Bernards
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2. Tilly butterfly kiss
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Houdini at leisure
Little Fleur
LB enjoying a pea bath
Little Bernard
Moisikin 151120
Little B
Big Bernard practising mindfulness
Moimoi
Two-Nuts Gerti
Big Fleur and Little Fleur
PI Stinky Piet Investigates
Bernards
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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: Tilly Dancing Along The Clothing Rail

“Whee!” she peeped as she catapulted her teeny-tiny body through the air.
“Oh Tilly,” said Woomyn. “You really are having a blast!”

In spring of 2021, I found a teeny-tiny mouse in the kitchen sitting on the radiator. She let me pick her up and I gave her food and water. She was very hungry and very thirsty. 

I tried to release her in the garden, but she stomped up the garden path back to the house and my heart broke at her teeny-tinyness and vulnerability. 

I put her in a cage to rest and build up some strength for a couple of days. When I went to release her, she escaped in my room! For 24 hours I watched from my bed as she ran back and forth along my clothing rail!

I caught her again very quickly as she was no good at feeding herself.

The third time I tried to release her, I carried the cage out to the garden and opened the door beneath a bush. I urged her out of bed and reluctantly she stepped over the threshold onto a leaf.

She was so light and tiny that the leaf did not even bend…

She sniffed. Looked around…

“Nope!”

…and stepped back into the cage.

I had found blood in the cage after the first two releases and it turned out that half her tail had been savaged. It eventually dropped off and healed very well. She has a tail, but not as long as her species woodmouse, or long-tailed field mouse, is famed for. She is a Not-So-Long-Tailed Fieldmouse!

Also, she is blind … hence why she had no qualms initially at me picking her up. No way would she have survived in the wild. She too now has a Forever Home with me!

There are more Tails of Tilly to come!

Title: I Threw My Heart At You

I think we have all experienced a sense of unrequited romantic love at some point … it may even be that we are loved back, but not really, not truly, not in the fulsome way that we wish to be loved and give in our love …

I was having one of those fabulous girly chats with a friend about past relationships when my friend said, “I threw my heart at him…”

This image appeared to me immediately and stuck with me for days, pressing to be manifested.

It was an interesting process as the meanings for me personally developed as I drew.

Often we can feel victimised in unrequited love, yet look at my stance – how powerful it is, in spite of the obvious pain of tearing my own heart from my breast.

Above we have a Mouse Cupid – is he going to strike for true love, or target his large eyes and leave him half-blind like King Harold?

And the Tug-o-War Mice at the bottom … they began as a mouse gang working in my favour, pulling his sexual desire towards me, but ended up taking revenge by ensuring he never get an erection ever again!

And who is in the centre? My beautiful rat Tux, whom you met on my Self-Portraits page. In death she has become my Guardian Rat. Here she gives me back a healthy, red, fulsome heart in return for the anaemic heart wrapped in barbed wire (illustrating my pain) that I have lobbed at this unworthy guy.

Title: Hickery Dickery What Makes Me Tickery

One night, I lay in bed unable to sleep. Suddenly I became aware of the racket around me … mouse and rat wheels from six cages rattaty-tattaty clattering round and round.

I saw an image of me crammed inside a grandfather clock, squeezed around the cogs and wheels, wherein ran the mice and rats.

Even though this picture does not convey the grandfather clock, it does convey a personal truth: namely that my relationships with rats, mice and animals in general is “what makes me tick”!

Title: Houdini At Leisure
 
During his days of escape, Houdini developed a taste for books on philosophy, psychology and religious studies literally by eating the books on my shelves!
 
He remains a fine gentleman, indulging in fine wines and the odd pipe of dried marigold.
 
His brother Big Bernard (amateur sumo-wrestler) teases him and calls him “feet” … to which Houdini smiles in a sardonic and slightly patronising manner saying, “I think you mean ‘effete’, brother.” Big Bernard’s nose flushes pink, “Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t!” he reposts as he sashays away, his big bum swaying with embarrassment.

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: Piet and Tilly Sitting In A Tree K.I.S.S.I.N.G

Friends are never sure if the stories I tell about my mice are “real” or in my head. Is there a difference?

Blind woodmouse Tilly and Stinky Piet have been in love since first smell/sight.

Tilly was always a-frighted by other creatures creeping up on her as she couldn’t see them. But she could always smell Piet coming, so he gave her a lovely sense of security in a big, frightening world.

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!

Naughty! Naughty! No copying, please!