I’m guessing it’s mating time in the mousery. Bubba hasn’t been around for a day or so. This is very typical. I do worry that something might have happened to him but since he’s not the first male to disappear for a few days, I’m not pulling my hair out just yet.
He changed his feeding schedule a few days before his disappearance. Instead of eating at dusk he ate at mid day. His favourite food now is walnuts. They have everything he needs, including moisture. Wild mice don’t usually search for water, opting to get fluids from the food they eat, However, the few times I put some water down on the floor and left it there, I had a ton of mice come get a drink. I’m guessing they simply took advantage of the water being there.
Bubba has serious obstacles he must overcome to find a girlfriend. First, he has to put on more weight and get bigger, like Daddy. He also has to win fights among the males. Mice fight by standing up on their haunches, squaring off, charging, and then rolling around trying to bite their opponent. Who wins is usually the larger mouse.
I’ve seen wild mice fight over everything, food, mating, and intrafamilial conflict. One of the key behaviours they do to show excitement is tail rattling. They rattle it so hard sometimes. It’s a very quick ‘brrrrrrrrrr.’ Tail rattling doesn’t always mean fighting. It simply means they’re very excited. Little Girl, my first female, would rattle when I gave her her favourite food. Mice pick up the vibrations from the floor. It seems to be one of their keen senses, along with smell and hearing. Their eyesight isn’t very good.
Bubba notices whether my hair is up or down when I try to feed him. Since I mostly feed him with my hair up he gets very afraid if it’s down. He also notices what I’m wearing. To me this shows a high level of cognitive processing.
I can’t wait to see the little guy again.