The Humble Mouse and the Silver Screen: Famous Mice We Know

The Humble Mouse and the Silver Screen: Famous Mice We Know

Hello and welcome back to Le Rat des Villes! I am continued to be in awe over the wonderful and engaging responses that are left each time I create a new discussion. I found it quite interesting that while there is still a huge percentile of society that think that mice are gross and scary things; our popular culture actually reflects something else.

Through the years, we have seen many a famous mouse grace the screens of theaters and even our television sets. One of them even hired a luxury car in a nice location such as Zurich (! So I decided to come up with a list of famous mice throughout the history of our popular culture!


One of the more classical parts of any kid’s Saturday mornings, Tom and Jerry has aired for several decades now. You may know Jerry as many different things. In some episodes he is a caring and intelligent mouse just trying to live in his little haven. In others, he acts more like the pesky behavior that mice are known for.

This cartoon is to be noted for its rather violent scenes where knives, pots, and even guns are used to try to best each other. Personally, I liked the episode where Tom was an opera singer and poor Jerry lived in the stage and was just trying to get some shut eye. That scene where Jerry licks a lemon much to Tom’s discomfort will live on in my fond memory.

Mighty Mouse

This might be a little old for those who were not born in the 90’s. Mighty mouse was a very popular character and he even had his own show. He was a superman of sorts with his ability to fly, super strength, and propensity of save the day. It was a fairly straightforward cartoon which taught kids right from wrong. So it was the kind of cartoon that you would not mind showing your child.

In certain parts of the world, he experienced massive popularity and I even remember seeing his name and brand associated with chocolate at one point. They were these brown round pills and they tasted a lot like Ovaltine.

Mickey Mouse

Of course, everyone in the world knows who this character is. He is the main character and flagship mascot of a multi billion dollar conglomerate. Mickey Mouse, along with Minnie, has long ruled at the top of the mouse representation food chain.  Not only are they the stars of several movies and TV shows, but they also have massive representation in other products as well.

Many an adult actually carries a love for Minnie and Mickey Mouse. In fact, they even make them a part of their everyday life like home decoration or even car accessories.

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These are some that I managed to remember without resorting to Google because I didn’t want to cheat. There are certainly quite a number of them but I know that isn’t the entirety. Despite the negative connotations that are usually tied to mice, we sure like to incorporate them into our culture.

Do you guys remember any other famous mice that have been part of our popular culture? And on another note, did anyone of you ever rent a BMW in London from Apex Luxury Car Hire? I’m going on a trip there soon and they have the best reviews so far 🙂

The Society of Mice and Men: Why Your Pocket Companion Needs Socializing

The Society of Mice and Men: Why Your Pocket Companion Needs Socializing

Hello and welcome back to my blog! I am certainly glad that you guys seemed to be glued and highly interested in what I’m going to be writing about next. I’m ecstatic to find that there are so many of my readers are truly interested in the humble mouse and caring for it like I do my dear Mercedes. For those who aren’t quite aware of it, there are A LOT of people out there that have mice as personal pets and not just have them because it was a school project.

There are actual mice breeders that are dedicated to finding breeds that can survive for pretty long. Mice are adaptable creatures. It doesn’t take long for them to start shaping their behavior in a way that best fits their survival. So if you have a pet mouse, you will know that are not naturally affectionate creatures. While they are social, they do not necessarily show their affection in the same way that we do.

However, your pet mouse will have adapted to you and understands that its master responds well to affection. Over time and especially if you treat your mouse companion well, it will pick up your cues so it won’t try to run or bite if you want to hold it in your hands. Instead, the mouse will try to burrow itself deeper in your hand’s grasp. A sort of cuddle, if you will! This exchange is not only beneficial for the pet owner but also for the pet itself.

You heard that right. Social interactions are pretty good and actually pretty darn important for a mouse. In fact, it is ideal that when you purchase a mouse, you get females and usually in a group or in twos. That way, they can stay together without breeding or killing each other because they get territorial.

Despite this nature, mice need interaction. Here are a few reasons why:

It makes them less anxious

Mice are not creatures that do well on their own. When adults are by themselves, they get angst-ridden and ferocious.  When young mice are left by themselves, they do not pick up proper social cues for them to determine acceptable behavior. Yes, mice are much like people in terms of behavior. This is one of the reasons why they are best to use in behavioral experiments.

It makes them live longer

Social mice are happier. When mice are happy, they tend to live longer. While mice have an average lifespan of about three years, most of them do not reach that age because of several outside factors. Mostly, it is because they feel lonely.

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Mice need to socialize with either their owner or other mice. Nothing was put on this planet to grow up alone at least that is what I think of it whenever I pet Mercedes. When I first got her she was still pretty small so she was not very good with socialization. I needed to wait a while and just be patient until she grew up enough to understand what it was that was needed of her.

Why do you think mice need to be socialized?

Research for All: What Has Animal Experimentation Yielded For Us?

Research for All: What Has Animal Experimentation Yielded For Us?

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Once again, I would like to express my most sincere thanks for those that continue to provide me with feedback and input regarding my topics of discussion. I particularly like when people share their own tips and advice especially when it comes to the subjects of mice.

This time, I wanted to take a moment and to discuss one of the questions that were sent in to my inbox. It was a query from Nathan from Hong Kong. He had asked what sorts of “benefits” animal experimentation has yielded for humanity as he believes that there is very little that can be obtain beyond superficial things like makeup. While it is quite reprehensible that the cosmetic industry made use of animals for their testing, it should not be confused with biomedical research.

What is Biomedical Research?

This is any scientific research that is predominantly made toward the goal of furthering one’s understanding of the processes and functional capacity of living organisms especially in the face of stress or disease.

Animal testing is more of humans selfishly and thoughtlessly using animals to see how rough their chemicals are before they sell it to humans. Biomedical research like those done on animals like mice, are made with the driving force of understanding how living organism adapt or react to certain conditions. They help our understanding with what the still need to know about.

Biomedical research has accomplished quite a bit. Here are a few of them:


This particular discovery was made by Ernest Chain and Howard Florey who used mice to test their findings regarding staphylococcus bacilli—the strain that usually gives humans a wide variety of skin diseases.

Penicillin is used primarily to find infection that is caused by certain types of mold.

Blood Transfusion

It is thanks to biomedical research that we know the safe limit when transferring blood. We also know what a dangerous point for a person’s blood level is. It was Richard Lewisohn that utilized dogs in his research.

Blood transfusions save millions of live each day. Those that suffer from anemia or have to undergo significant surgery can be kept alive through proper blood transfusion.

Meningitis Vaccine

This bacterial infection has claimed the lives of millions of children back in the early years of medical research. Mice and rabbits saved the day when it was discovered that coupling the bacterial strain with a particular protein made the mice and rabbits immune to the usual infections caused by the meningitis strain.

This vaccine has reduced the number of child deaths due to meningitis by around ninety percent.

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There are so many other things that we need to thank biomedical research for. The ones I’ve mentioned above were some that I remembered off the top of my head (not to brag but I recently had a test about this so I’m pretty confident about its validity). Biomedical research will continue to reshape and change the way we do things, the medicines that we discover, and the way that we combat disease and death.

What do you think biomedical research has given us?

Nature’s Pocket Sized Wonders: How to Care for a Pet Mouse

Nature’s Pocket Sized Wonders: How to Care for a Pet Mouse

Hello there, everyone! Welcome back to Le Rat des Villes! The last article certainly packed a wallop! My inbox has been full of replies for both sides of the argumentative coin and I couldn’t be happier. I certainly appreciate the fact that people are keen on making their opinions known. This means that they are taking my discussions to heart and are willing to share their two cents on the matter.

In other news, my inbox has also been receiving several other questions about Mercedes. She is still very much alive and I have been a bit of a bad pet owner since she’s getting a little on the portly side. A mouse, despite being so utterly adorable, is still an animal and will need certain things in order to remain as healthy as they can be. That being said, I would like to share with you guys some tips and pointers that I picked up along the way about caring for a pet mouse.


If you are imagining Jerry—who is always after cheese—in your mind, it would be best to banish that thought now. It was one of the biggest shocks of my life to find out that mice are actually lactose intolerant. This means that feeding them cheese would be a very bad idea!

So what can they eat then? Usually, pet stores will have specialized food that you can buy in bulk for them. If you cannot find any, hamster food will do. If you prefer to have them eat something more organic, you can try feeding them grain, bread, and even fruit. Just be mindful of the portions. Also, be reminded that mice eat A LOT. So you need to make sure that they will always have food available for them.

As for water, I found that they can be dehydrated quite fast so it would be important to make sure that they have a drip bottle they can use.


Mice need to stay active. A lot of mice owners make the mistake of not giving them physical activities or worse, giving them a hamster wheel. Hamster wheels are good for hamsters because they don’t have any tails that they need to worry about. Mice have tails and they can be caught rather easily on hamster wheels.

When I want Mercedes to get a bit of a workout, I have her go through the maze that I built for a project. While it is no longer imperative that she finds the proper end point, she can still spend hours going around the maze and getting the workout she needs.


Mice need a nice and spacious cage, if you can afford it. Suitable space comes with proper ventilation so your mouse doesn’t die because it can’t breathe. Small quarters also make for an anxious mouse. If they are anxious, they can lose all their hair and even die.

I found it best to think of building your mouse shelter like you would think of an accommodation on a luxury vacation. It should have everything you need right there without having to go anywhere else.

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Mice, if taken cared of properly, can live to around 2 to about 3 years. Despite any wishes for them to live as long as certain breeds of dog, alas, this isn’t so. Despite their short years, they can be pretty solid companions if you treat them right. They’re affectionate and incredibly intelligent. Just remember the tips above and you’ll be sure to provide a pretty good environment for your pet mouse to grow.

Would you ever consider getting a mouse as a pet?

The Fine Line between Progress and Crime: When is Animal Experimentation Ethical

The Fine Line between Progress and Crime: When is Animal Experimentation Ethical

Hey there, welcome back to my blog! I had such a good response to the previous post so I really wanted to express how thankful I am for you special people who take the time to send me emails. I truly appreciate how I received some suggestions for articles and I even got some questions, too! There was one particular question that really stuck out.

It was question posed by Sarah of Wisconsin, USA. She asked: “When is animal experimentation ethical?”

The concept of experimenting on animals has always been a rather touchy subject. Whenever this topic comes up, it is always either of two things: the people who outright denounce any form of animal experimentation and those who think that it is necessary. When it comes to it, the concept of ‘ethical’ experimentation seems to be a contradiction in itself.

Unethical versus Ethical

Just what is that is considered to be unethical? Mostly, it comes down to several things like:

  • Degree of Experimentation
  • Utilization of the Results
  • Handling of Animals

I wholly agree that certain experimentation is critical for progress. This is how we find out what is safe for human consumption or even pharmaceutical discoveries. Animals like the humble mouse are favored subjects for cancer research. When it comes down to it, unethical animal testing is often the result of frivolous pursuits.

One field or industry that is often associated with unethical experimentation on animals is the cosmetic industry. There used to be big name brands that used to test their products on animals like chimps and dogs. Not only is it cruel but it doesn’t make much sense. Animals do not have the same reactions regarding cosmetic things like lipstick and other makeup. So testing them for hypoallergenic purposes does not yield anything important.

Ethical treatment of animals during experiments is often considered to be doubtful but they do occur. It is when facilities take proper care of animals by giving them enough space to move, proper meals that give them ample nutrition, and not subjecting them to experiments that causes them to experience significant pain or discomfort.

The topic of ethical experimentation is still a tad sketchy, in my honest opinion. After all, you can’t be ethical but at the same time subject something to experiments that do not have a wholly secure outcome.

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While there will always be a sort of discord regarding the topic of animal experimentation and ethics, I believe that what we should be looking at is the bigger picture. The reason why certain experimentation procedures—in the field of medicine particularly—are needed is because our laws prevent us from doing human experimentation. That, I think, is just right. That last thing that we need would be people of science using people to further their research.

Brave animals that are included in scientific research are given the burden that we cannot carry. It is through their sacrifice that we are able to unlock knowledge that provides us with better chances of living at a better quality than those before us. Do you agree?

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Doing a Mouse Centered Experiment? Succeed Better With These Two Key Factors

Doing a Mouse Centered Experiment? Succeed Better With These Two Key Factors

When you are a psychology major, one of the courses or classes that you will be exposed to is behavioral psychology. This is where you get introduced to greats like Freud and Maslow. One of the biggest projects that I ever had to come across actually was the point where the seeds of my interest were planted.

It was those very seeds which blossomed into the very blog which you are reading today. As you may imagine, this project had to do with training mice to go through a pre-made maze. It was certainly challenging, let me tell you that. Mice are intelligent—yes, they are. However, they do need to be trained in order to do what you want them to. In doing this project, there were a lot of things I realized in hindsight. Hindsight is always 20/20.

So in my journey into getting the mouse (who I named Mercedes) toward where she needed to go, I figured out a few things that would have helped me better. So in case you gust ever need to train a mouse through a maze, take these key factors that I certainly wished I learned earlier:

Have a Set Goal

One of the troubles with a maze is that there are false ends. So you need to be clear from the beginning what the end goal is. My problem was that I let my Mercedes do as she pleased and just tried to go with the point where she went the most. This ended up confusing her further, as you can imagine.

Establish Proper Punishment

One of the best ways that I found for Mercedes to learn was to dole out suitable punishment whenever she went to the wrong branch of the maze. There are many ways in which mice could be punished but you also have to consider the long term effect on the mouse. One of my classmates used water to punish her mouse. She would spray a bit of water on the mouse whenever it would go down the wrong end.

This led the mouse to associate paths where it is not sprayed with water as the correct path. This seemed well and good—at the time. On the day of presentation itself, you are not allowed to have any contact with your mouse. You are not allowed to dole out any physical punishments if they make a mistake. You can only have their reward at the end of the right path.

As you can imagine, my classmate (who could not physically spray her mouse with water) could only watch as her mouse go through the maze all lost because it perceived everything to be the correct path since it was not being splashed with water. I went feeding Mercedes bread on incorrect ends and peanut butter only in the correct path. Mercedes eventually learned how to be familiar with the scent of peanut butter.

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Training mice can be pretty tricky. However, you only need to be consistent in order to really train your mouse!  The couple of key factors above should help you out if you have a mouse to train in your future.

What other key factors do you think are needed to train mice?