So after that incident where we worried about the mouse, given his lackadaisical response to his cage being partly cracked open and cleaned out, what's he been up to? Well, a fair amount of running on the wheel, certainly, and hiding in the little tube between the main floor of his cage and the small plastic bin that's his nest, when he notices one of us approaching. He seems to be aware that while he's in the tube he can see us but there's no practical way we can grab him.
A while back we got a toy for him, a Chinese finger trap stuffed with crinkled sheets of paper. That'd been in his cage for a while with his showing only mild interest in having big quantities of paper to chew or to add to his nest, but then two nights ago we noticed he had somehow pulled the entire finger trap into the plastic tube. I should make clear, this tube is a kind of C-shaped plastic ring. How he got the trap in there is a bit of a mystery, since it's not like he has leverage, and the length of the trap seems to come pretty near the longest that something could fit around the tube's corner, but there he was, squeezing just past the stuck trap.
And then the next morning the connector tube was clear. He had somehow managed to pull the entire finger trap, paper and all, up through the curl in the connector tube, up several inches, turn around again, and stuff into a nest bin that's already pretty packed full. I'd love to know how he did it. I did notice him running down and then back up the tube before I went to bed; perhaps he wasn't just scrambling nervously but was using his climbs to get the tube stuck a little bit higher up every single time?
The mouse has recovered from his start making a rotten nest (because male mice start from the assumption if they just wait around a female mouse will build one for them), and has a respectable lair built up. What he's hoping to do with the entire finger trap in there is a mystery to us, but I can't quite rule out he's trying to make the plastic bin explode.
Trivia: Cleveland's American League team wore numbers on their sleeves in a game on the 26th of June, 1916, but the numbers were too small to be read. Source: A Game Of Inches: The Story Behind The Innovations That Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris.
Currently Reading: The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life Of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom, Graham Farmelo.
PS: Reading the Comics, April 1, 2014: Name-Dropping Monkeys Edition, as there's more mathematical-themed comics lately, although not very strongly mathematical ones.