A Newfoundland woman with a phobia of rodents nursed a wild mouse back to health in her home this week, and said said she'd do it all over again.
"It was just sitting there by the gate, it was Old Christmas Day, it was almost dead," said Ellen MacPherson of Conception Bay South. "I mean, what are you going to do? I'd do the same for a person."
MacPherson said she spotted the mouse in her driveway on Jan. 6, and initially thought it was dead.
She picked it up to dispose of it, and then, "The little tiny paws on it just flickered."
MacPherson brought the mouse indoors, and put it in a plastic container with airholes, a facecloth for bedding, and some water and birdseed. She said the mouse was still very feeble, so she tried feeding it drops of water with a syringe, to no avail.
"I phoned my husband and he was like, 'You're not well.' He hates mice."
I phoned my husband and he was like, 'You're not well.' - Ellen MacPherson
MacPherson was prepared for the worst, but for two days she tried to feed and hydrate the animal, but the mouse showed little response.
Bread helped revive mouse
Then, said MacPherson, she tried offering the mouse some different food.
"I put in a bit of bread, grain bread, and it just went crazy over it. It just stared eating and eating and sitting up, really lively," she said.
"I went to take the top off the container and the little bugger just jumped out and ran across the floor," MacPherson continued.
"And it started to squeak and I said 'Oh my God, the cat is going to get it.' And the dogs were going mad."
Time to set it free
MacPherson said by this time, she had named the mouse Christmas, because she had found it on Old Christmas Day. She was also getting attached to the little creature.
"I was going to keep her and my husband said, 'Ellen, you have to let it go. It's a wild creature.' And I thought, 'Yeah, it's not like a tame mouse.'"
MacPherson took some photos of Christmas the mouse, then she and her husband released the little critter back into the wild.
"We let him go over by the base of a tree with the facecloth and the breadcrumbs," said MacPherson.
"I'm hoping he made it."
Hates to see animals suffer
MacPherson, an animal lover who owns two dogs and a cat, admitted she hates to see animals suffer even to the point of rescuing a white rat her dogs were playing with on a nearby trail 15 years ago.
"I've got a friggin' white rat up in my arms. Oh my God, what am I at?" recounted MacPherson.
MacPherson wound up keeping the rat as a pet for 16 months. "It was the cutest little pet I ever had in my life."