Our town is small enough that we don’t have a single pet store. We do, however, have pets. One day about two years ago, Christine and Amber were cleaning out the mouse cage when they informed me we were out of bedding. I asked if they meant we were almost out of bedding. But no, they assured me we were completely out. What did they expect me to do? The nearest pet store is 35 miles away, and I was in no position to go there right that minute. Then I thought of a local store called CAL Ranch (I have no idea what the CAL stands for). So, I went down there to see if they had any mouse bedding. They had a collection of stuff from camping gear to sprinkler system parts to cowboy/girl clothing plus a large assortment of animal paraphernalia, so I started looking in that section. I found cow colostrum (I’m not kidding), animal birthing tools, salt licks, horse tack, baby chicks, and large animal feed, but nothing for mice (with the exception of mouse traps, mouse poison, and mouse-looking toys for dogs.). So, I decided to go ask one of the cashiers. This is how the conversation went,
“Hello, do you have any pine bedding?”
“Why, yes, we do.”
“How much does it cost?”
“Ten dollars.” Ten dollars seemed a bit expensive, but what was my choice? So I said, “OK, I’ll take it.” After I paid for it, the lady said, “I’ll call someone to help you load It.” ……Load it? I need a man to help me load it? What did I just buy, and will it fit in my car? All of these questions and more were going through my mind at this point. So I followed the man outside, looking all the while like I knew what to expect, and this is what I saw: a shrink-wrapped package of pine bedding the size and weight of my six year old, with a picture of a horse on the front. It did fit into the back of my minivan, and in two years we have barely made a dent in it. I’m sure it will outlive the mice, but it’s good to know that for ten dollars you can get a lifetime supply.