Scruffy was the smallest of the group. In spite of her diminutive size, she was active and playful and had such a personality. Of all my girls, she was the only one who would still beg to be picked up. All I had to do was stick a finger in the cage, and she'd pull herself up into my hand. I adored her.
The scruffy fur that was her namesake wasn't from poor health. It was the remnants of an allergic reaction when she was younger. They are all allergic to soy, and Scruffy lost almost all her fur to the reaction. Gentle baths and a change of diet helped most of her fur to grow back, but she had a few scars on her skin which gave her fur a constantly disheveled look that was adorable.
Of all my mice, Scruff was the only one I could count on to comfortable sit and eat a treat in a toddler's hand without misbehaving (the toddler in question was the picture of gentleness with my little Scruff), jumping off, running away, or nibbling at the toddler instead of the treat.
For some months, now, I've been aware that one of my girls is a little more aggressive. She isn't content to just eat her food out of the bowl. It has to be stolen from the other girls in the cage. Until now, it hasn't been a problem. All the other girls are her equal in size and strength and just take their food back. There have been no serious fights or real cause for me to be alarmed. But in the last few days, I've noticed her picking on Scruff a little more.
Today, I decided that I was going to move Scruff and her mama, Frankie, out of the main cage and put them in Gus's old cage, leaving the other three girls in the larger cage. I felt it would be safer for all and would avert any possible danger.
I was too late. At some point today, and I'm not sure when, Scruffy died. It wasn't illness like the other deaths. It was a little more gory, so I'll spare the details.
I love you, Scruffy.