Hello Everyone and Welcome to the First Installment of The Pet Corner!
The Pet Corner covers the know-hows for taking care of pets within the wizarding world every other Thursday. A different pet will be chosen for every installment ranging from those students can have at Hogwarts (ie. mouse, cat, etc) to the wild, and sometimes elusive, advanced creatures (ie. hippogriff, dragons?) as the topic. Because we all know animals come in different species/breeds, the pet guide will also be specific to the species/breed of the chosen pet. In this installment, I will be giving the basic pet guide to one of the most common pets for first-years at Hogwarts... the House Mouse!
Now, although the house mouse may be common, it is actually a very special creature within itself. Not all creatures can live inside a wizard's home!
House mice typically live within walls of both wizard and muggle homes, easily squeezing through small holes that may occur in older buildings. They typically live in small to big groups depending on the level of infestation or amount of generations within the home. One female house mouse can birth up to 14 baby mice and have 5-10 litters per year! That's a lot of house mice! On a positive note, potential pet owners will be glad to know that there will never be a shortage of house mice to have as a loyal friend.
The house mouse comes in a wide variety of colors from black as night to white as snow with every shade of brown and grey in between for those color picky pet owners. Rodents, in general, are popular targets for classes such as Transfiguration so owning a house mouse might even be beneficial to your Hogwarts learning. They are low-priced and low-maintenance, perfect for those who want a loyal friend but just don’t have the Galleons or pet experience. These small companions can be bought on WoP in the Magical Menagerie at Diagon Alley.
Did you know that the bare tails of the house mice are not just for cuteness? The tail actually helps regulate the house mouse's body temperature with house mice living in warmer regions having longer tails and those in the colder regions having shorter tails. This is because the blood flow to the tail can be controlled by the mouse so that its body heat can be lowered by up to 10 degrees Celsius!
How to Take Care of Them
House mice are omnivores, meaning they can eat both meat and plant. However, they seem to have a tendency to like eating plant greens rather than meat. Cheese is a delicacy to house mice and if you wish to reward your house mouse or just make it happy, give the little guy a piece of delicious cheese. You can buy your house mouse's favorite cheese snack or regular feed at the Magical Menagerie.
Giving your new friend a mouse cage with a wheel for exercising when you are too busy with your homework is the best choice for its new home. A cage allows the house mouse to be protected during travel or from potential predators while giving it a good place to sleep (although you should taking it out once in a while so the mouse won't get lonely). You can purchase this ideal home at the Magical Menagerie.
MICE ARE NOT RATS! In fact, rats are known to be a key predator of mice so keep your little house mouse away from any rats nearby and a close eye whenever you know there are wild rats around. Unfortunately, there are many other animals that eat house mice such as the hundreds of owls sitting in the owlery and the cat your roommate might have. So make sure to keep a careful eye on your mouse whenever it is out of its cage.
What is it Like Having One as a Pet?
I, myself, am a proud owner of an adorable grey house mouse named Wilbur. She was my first pet when I was just starting out in Hogwarts as a first year. Since my family didn't own any pets prior my coming to Hogwarts, I didn't have any sort of pet caring experience and was afraid to adopt a creature whose care was too advanced for me. Luckily after a bit of research, I realized that the house mouse would be the perfect starting pet for an experience lacking person like me. Since then, Wilbur has always been there for me from the happy days of hanging out with my friends to the stress packed exam days of cramming nonstop, giving me comforting squeaks and heartwarming cuddles. Of course, she also has a bottomless stomach but as long as I keep some food on me her hunger mysteriously disappears. Recently, I have also adopted another mouse, a wood mouse this time, and Wilbur is extremely sociable with him, often playing food-keep-away with the wood mouse.
Thank you for reading this installment of The Pet Corner! If you wish for me to mention a specific pet, please comment below or owl me and remember to write down the specific species if applicable.
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