He was just an ordinary mouse, nothing special. He lived, very briefly, 237 years ago, in the laboratory of a great chemist, Joseph Priestley.
There were lots of mice in Priestley's lab. He had made his reputation as one of the first scientists to identify oxygen. He studied mice to figure out what happens inside animals as they breathe. This meant he regularly opened them to examine lungs, veins, arteries, to see that blood changed color when it moved through lungs. And since tuberculosis -- or "consumption" -- was the scourge of that era, lung research seemed like a valuable thing to do.
But animals didn't last long in Priestley's lab, especially mice.
his lab assistant wrote a poem and jammed it between the bars of one of the cages.For here forlorn and sad I sit
within the wiry grate
And tremble @ the approaching morn
Which brings impending fate
The well taught philosophic mind
To ALL compassion gives
Cast's round the world an equal eye
And feels for all that lives
Source : Early Animal Rights Poem Discovered: A Mouse's Plea (NPR)
, with more pictures and info
A day doesn't go by that I don't think of the cow who's tissue is in my heart. I haven't eaten meat, of ANY sort, even before the surgery, for at least a decade and now I know I never will. I hope s/he knows how much I appreciate the sacrifice, and I hope s/he was treated with kindness especially in the last days of life.