So, I contacted the previous owner and said I'd take him, even though that meant I had to pay for the privilege of taking on a pet they didn't even want anymore. A good friend of mine agreed to have him as her children were asking for a pet and I knew she'd make sure he had a lovely new life.
On Friday I met the previous owners at the train station to collect him. I was handed a cage with a few bits and pieces stacked in the corner. "I've put him in a take-away box to transport him" I was told. I looked again. Right in the corner of the cage was the tiniest, flattest box I had ever seen in my life. It wasn't a takeaway box like you're probably imagining, it was probably just an inch high.
My sister was with me and we hurried to the car park, both of us certain that he must be dead after being in that box for well over an hour. When we got to the car I sent Sam off to pay for the ticket so she didn't have to see, I was convinced I'd open the box and find out I'd paid for a broken cage and a dead mouse.
The second I peeled back the corner of the box he jumped out like he was fleeing for his life. He ran around the cage madly, searching for food. We gave him some of his mouse food but had no water with us, assuming he'd have had some for the journey. It had been raining as we carried the cage through the streets and the mouse was so thirsty that he licked the drops of rainwater from the plastic cage.
I get angry when I read stories in the papers about people mistreating animals, but what a lot of people seem to forget is that ignorance is just as bad as neglect. People can walk into a pet shop and buy a pet mouse or hamster without any information or guidance on how to look after one, most people don't bother to buy a book or do any research.
One day would like to open my own rehoming centre and make a real difference like I hope I have to the mouse. He now has so many toys; a wheel which he loves to run in and a ball so he can chase around the carpet. He has cardboard tubes to play in and a big nesting box which he loves curling up in and going to sleep. Soon he will get something even more important - a family who loves him.