Tiniest Orphaned Mouse Baby Loves Her Bathtime
She's so tiny they're using a Q-TIP 😍❤️️🐭🛁
The first time Rebecca Stoneback held Bean in her hands, she could see that the little mouse was cold, wet and hungry.
She vowed then that the baby white-footed deer mouse would never feel that way again.
“My father found Bean next to my parents’ mailbox at the end of their driveway in a rainstorm,” Stoneback told The Dodo. “He waited and watched to see if Bean's mother would return. Sadly, she never did.”
Stoneback warmed the mouse in the palm of her hand and fed her from a small paintbrush dipped in milk replacer. Then, Bean received what would soon become her favorite part of the day — her bath.
“Bean received her first bath as soon as she was warmed up and hydrated,” Stoneback said. “One of the most important things you can do when you find an injured, sick or orphaned animal is to check for fly eggs and immediately remove them.”
Every couple of hours, Bean and Stoneback went through the same routine: Bean would drink her meal from a paintbrush and, like any baby, the messy eater would need a bath afterward.
“I would use a Q-tip dipped in warm water to gently wipe the formula off,” Stoneback said. “Afterwards, I would wrap her up in a tiny towel like a little burrito to dry her off and keep her warm. When she was completely dry I would gently fluff her hair with a mascara spoolie.”
All of these steps prevented Bean’s fur from becoming matted and protected her fragile skin. Bean seemed to enjoy the bonding time and would drift off happily, with a full belly.
The constant bathing taught Bean how to groom herself, and as the little mouse grew she stopped needing her mom's help after every meal.
Unfortunately, by the time Bean was finally big enough to be released, the temperature had dropped. With no den, food store or family to rely on, Bean wouldn't survive the winter months on her own.
To keep Bean occupied, Stoneback has transformed the mouse's habitat into a natural environment. She stocks it with fresh moss, pine needles, a pine cone, birch bark, rose hips, apple twigs, acorns and forest soil so that Bean can forage for her own food and build nests. All the activity keeps the once-sickly baby fit and happy.
Stoneback wasn't sure if Bean would make it through the first few days, and she couldn't be more proud to watch her thrive.
"Bean has made her home with me and loves to frolic around the house," Stoneback said. “She's happy, healthy and living her best little mouse life."