The Tragic End of Mister Mousie

So I was supposed to write about taxidermy! Hi! I got caught up this week in redesigning this site and making it more blog-oriented (not to mention migrating off of the wordpress.com server and onto my own space), so the actual writing fell by the wayside. IT’S A PROCESS. Not to mention my day job having just expanded by, like, half of someone else’s job. (Someone left and we’re not replacing him, just redistributing his duties, which means a ton more work for… well, mostly me, actually, since his work overlapped with mine the most. It’s trying.)

Anyway, last Sunday, I took this taxidermy class with Morbid Anatomy in Brooklyn. It was super-duper cool, you guys. My mouse is not the most beautiful mouse in the world, but he’s acceptable for a first try. The instructor really took us through the entire process, starting with a little frozen mouse corpse and ending up with a little preserved taxidermied mouse.

I will be honest: I found the process stinky. Not necessarily in a hugely awful way, just in a wow, not getting used to this smell way. It’s the preservatives, which smell an awful lot like formaldehyde. And you know what smells gross? Formaldehyde.

That part aside, the process is fascinating and incredibly detail-oriented. Which appeals to me, because I am extremely fussy. But I also like being involved in the creation of a gigantic mess. Mouse brains and bits of tongue just everywhere.

(The mice we used, by the way, were surplus from a pet food company that supplies them for snakes to eat. So they were dead anyhow. Recycling! Although, as a person who goes all goofy around pretty much any kind of adorable mammal, I got a little sad when we had to cut out their eyes.)

I have even more admiration for the people who create really beautiful taxidermy pieces now. Because it’s really hard, you guys. It’s like sculpture and biology and some sewing and it takes a huge amount of patience and care, getting all the teeny tiny bones in the right places. Give me a face mask, though, and I’d be happy to try it again.

Pics behind the cut, because Mr. Mousie is a little grotesque.  Continue Reading →