How dumb is this idea? (subway, mouse, cat)

I have long admired the subway mice. Their fortitude, their sprightly maneuvers across the third rail, their adorable grey griminess. My sister and I, and later my husband and I, always looked for the mice at Park Street while waiting for a train. More often than not we saw some and were entertained.

Several years ago I had the notion I wanted to live-trap one and make it a pet. The biggest roadblock was trying to figure out how to get a live-trap down near the tracks and back up again once I had caught a mouse.

Weeeeeelllllll… I recently discovered that the mice at Alewife are absolutely fearless little things, and cavort brazenly around the benches at bus berth 6. Past 8pm or so the place is just lousy with T mice. So I now have easy access to a location where I could live-trap a T mouse.

What are the cons here?
How long do subway mice usually live?
Will my cat be entertained by the mouse, or catch some horrible disease from it?
After living in captivity for awhile will it no longer be subway-track colored?

I’m sure both you and your cat will come down with some sort of horrible disease. On the other hand, I’m sure it’s a very sturdy mouse. With sturdy mouse-teeth!

Mice bite. Hard. However, my eldest daughter had aquarium tanks with mice several times in her growing up, and some tamed down remarkably, and others remained feral. They live a year or two. Our cats spent hours watching them, but never managed to get into the aquarium, since we had locking lids.
As to subway-colored, I must admit I’ve never seen a subway, let alone know what color it is.

Could it be considered cruel to take a free range T mouse away from its hardscrabble garbage-eating but wide open life and put him in a warm cage with lots to eat but no room to roam? Will he pine for the fjords?

With my luck I’d trap a pregnant one.

Those are rats, probably Norway rats, not mice.

The ones that carry plague?!

Park Street and Alewife are both on the red line, so those particular mice are red. But Park Street is also on the green line, so with some judicious trapping, Motorgirl could get a nice Christmas theme going.

Look at all the cool space-age technology we could buy for it!

I haven’t seen mice in the Boston subway stations, but I have seen rats, so I suspect Telemark is correct.
Boston rats, by the way, are tough and resourceful and remarkably fearless. If you try to devise a trap, they will probably find a way to take the bait and trap you.

If you seriously try to catch a subway mouse (or rat), I suspect that the T people will not look kindly on it, and will dissuade you and possibly even arrest you (for what, I don’t know).
My own worry would be that the creatures will be carrying some disease and/or parasites. the worst case would be rabies, but it needn’t be that bad. we took in a cute cuddly kitten that had been born of a stray, and reaped a fabulous dividend of fleas. If you bring in wild livestock, be prepared to bomb your house.

Some carry this disease.

Defintely mice. I have seen rats, but the rodents I have my eye on are only about an inch and a half long, not including their (furry, not hairless) tails.

The rats I enountered when I lived in the Fenway were not to be messed with. They wouldn’t even scurry away when you walked past them on the sidewalk. I am not tangling with a rat, for sure.

I think I can trap one by pretending to wait for the bus, with the live trap under the bench. They run over people’s shoes while they are sitting there, so if I go at the right time I might be able to catch one in about 5 minutes.

In all seriousness, these are the kinds of things I am wondering and worrying about. I am not sure if I am brave enough to handle a T mouse to give it a flea dip or deliver a worm pill. (Luckily, rabies is extremely rare in mice.)

A neighbor gave us a mouse in one of these. The box in the top doubles as a carrier but a mouse is too light to get the wheel to swivel. We currently have a longhaired teddybear hamster in one of these; he was getting stuck in the tubes in that other one.

This is what I’d be worried about.

Get yourself a pet mouse from the pet store - much safer!

Here’s an idea, if you really must have a mouse or rat for a pet. Find a nearby medical lab that uses rats. A friend of mine got her pets from there (“extras” or “surplus”), and since they were already used to humans, they made better pets than a wild subway rat probably would. Probably healthier, too.

Mice from a pet shop are cheap, bred in clean conditions, are more likely to be used to being handled by humans, and often end up as snake food. Bringing a potentially diseased wild mouse into your home just seems like such a bad idea. Yuck.

I have to agree, a pet store or lab is a much better source.

I am surprised that you see so many, though. I don’t think I’ve seen one in years.

I sense a Disney movie lurking somewhere in here.

ETA: You should write a screenplay!

I can see the mouse jumping over her head back onto the tracks in slow motion, a la Free Willy.

I’m sure if you dig deep you can manage to scrounge together the dollar that mice cost at any pet store.