Cute animals on the Internet have never done anything for me. I know this might make me a psychopathic monster, at best only mimicking human behavior, but it’s the cold, hard truth. I may, however, have found my salvation in what others might find disturbing: taxidermied rodents.
These thoughtfully preserved, intricately themed creatures are strange, heartbreaking, and hilarious, which is all that I ask out of the content I consume (or anything, really). Rodents are having a moment right now, what with the relatable struggle of Pizza Rat and all, so this is a good time for these little dudes to have their blissful, taxidermied day in the sun:
Quick And The Dead Shop: Coke Overdose Party Mice
The absolute shining star of taxidermied rodents exists in this Etsy shop. Coke Overdose Party Mice is something that I will absolutely spend $149.42 on someday, and it will be displayed on a gold platter in my living room. The description says “Cocaine is obviously not included. A pinch or two of baking flour or something similar does the job just as well for these two. And don’t worry. I’m pretty sure they will never be able to tell the difference!” I want to be best friends with this woman.
The Curious 13: Carrie At The Prom
Coming to you from Pensacola, Florida, Mouse Carrie—frozen in the horror film’s bloodiest and iconic scene—would be a good gift for someone you want to send a strong message to, whether it’s of passionate love or a quiet, cool loathing. It really works either way. It’s worth mentioning that the reviews on this shop’s mice are all pretty much five stars. Runners-up include a taxidermied Marilyn Monroe, standing over an imaginary grate, and a Mr. T model. The Curious 13 also offers custom orders, with an excellent sales pitch: “Wouldn’t your mom look great as a mouse!”
Le Heart Design: Mouse Head Mount
I’ve never been a big fan of heads mounted on things, contrary to what every concept bar in America thinks, but there’s something uniquely sinister about the head of a mouse. Now seems like a good time to mention that the taxidermists featured are not mouse serial killers. Most include the disclaimer that they use either roadkill or feeder mice. Reviews of the mounted mouse heads are nothing but glowing, including phrases like “can’t wait to get another mouse to keep this one company” and “I cannot even articulate how thrilled I am with the result.”
Hoardaculture: Basketball Mouse
Nothing says “I am a sports fan” quite like displaying this little guy. This particular Blazers player has appeared in art shows and currently lives at a sporting goods office in Portland, Oregon. The Williamsburg duo behind Hoardaculture also makes a nun mouse for your Catholic friends, and this mouse that looks like Bon Iver/my next boyfriend.
Curious Circus: Séance Mouse
This wins both for most intricate and most likely to serve as a thoughtful, appreciated gift to that one aunt. It comes complete with a Ouija board, a tiny Persian rug, and potion bottles. I like to imagine that these mice might be trying to speak to ex-husbands or figuring out what really happened to JonBenét. Really lovely if you’re into witchy Victorian oddities.
Taxidermied mice probably won’t land you a gallery show, but they require a lot of technical skill and the mastery of an ancient form of preservation. Good art should make you either laugh or cry, and, more than anything, make you feel a little strange.
I’m no critic, but these little dudes certainly do all of the above.
Photo via Eric Skiff/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)