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  • The mouse

    Posted on Ascaris Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Fun Stuff The mouse

    Topic Resolution: Not a Question

    This topic contains 26 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  OscarCP 1 week, 6 days ago.

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    • #2010041 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      On Tuesday (it’s Saturday as I write this), it was cold and rainy.  Well, cold by local standards; for much of the US, a day in November would be considerably colder.

      I came home in the afternoon, and as I began to unload some stuff from the trunk of my car, I spotted a tiny dead mouse on the concrete of my driveway, only a few inches from my garage door.  I’m a sucker for animals, so it left me a bit sad, but nature is cruel.  I began to pick the little rodent up to dispose of the body, and it kicked its legs a little, making a slow motion running movement, even though it was still curled on its side.  Okay, so it was a not quite dead mouse.

      I thought that it must have been injured by a cat or a car, and I began to look for a means to end its suffering.  I found a large metal object that would do the trick, but I didn’t want to see the remains, let alone clean them up.  Before I proceeded, I decided to check the little creature to make sure it was wounded.

      The mouse was soaked to the skin and felt like an ice cube through the plastic bag I had used to pick it up.  No blood… no apparent broken bones.  Perhaps it was just hypothermic, and warming it up would help.

      I didn’t want to bring it in the house.  I don’t know that the little mouse didn’t have a disease of some sort.  Or fleas, which could easily transfer to my cat (who would think of the mouse as a potential meal).  If it recovered, it could get away and either be an unwanted pest or the first legitimate kill for my (indoor) cat.

      I got a bit of toilet paper and dried it the best I could, then wrapped it gently in a terrycloth sock.  I filled a water bottle with hot water, and put that in a small bucket, and placed the sock on top of it.  I put the bucket near my front door, sheltered from the rain by my eaves.

      I didn’t expect her to live.  I’d turned her over in the process of drying her (somewhat), and I think that I’d be able to see some telltale signs of maleness.

      A few hours later, I went out to check on her and either dispose of the body or refill the bottle with fresh hot water.  She was alive, and was sitting right side up in the sock, not on her side as she had been found (and as I left her).  She was drier than before, but still damp, her fur still rumpled.  Night was coming, and I didn’t know how she would do… so I put a frying pan over the bucket (for which I have no lid) and brought it in.

      I rinsed out a single-serving plastic cat food container and left some water in it, and put that in the bucket, and one can of cat food that still had some food left in it, but not enough to make a meal for the cat.  I gave her a long strip of toilet paper to nest and hide in too.

      I left her in there for a while, and eventually she was dry.  I could see that she had probably been in the can by the mouse prints of gravy all over the toilet paper, and she had spilled the water.  I know a healthy mouse can jump higher than you would expect, but she was still not very active.  I took a chance and put her in my bathtub, hoping that the kind of powerful jump it would take to leap out would have her back feet slide out from under her, preventing a high enough jump to get out.  I gave her some fresh toilet paper and a couple of toilet paper tubes to chew on or hide in, as well as the cat food can and the water container (refilled).

      Throughout this process, she was as tame as a pet mouse.  I could pick her up and handle her without any apparent fear on her part.  She was really cute now that she’d dried!  She was becoming more active, but still was not acting like a wild mouse should.  She moved slowly, and she should not tolerate my handling like she did.

      I left her in there overnight, and I checked first thing to make sure she was still in there, and alive.  She was, and was moving around faster now.  I know cat food is not the normal diet for mice, but I didn’t have any seeds on hand.  I tried thawing some lima beans and giving those to her, but she didn’t seem interested.

      I stopped at Petsmart and picked up a metal grating lid for a ten gallon aquarium I already had, unoccupied for more than ten years, some bedding material, a water bottle, and a small bag of seeds.  The intent had been to get her healthy and to let her go, but now I was thinking that maybe I could keep her as a pet.  She was so friendly and unafraid, and I thought that maybe her experience with me helping her would lead her to understand that I am not a threat.

      I put her in the aquarium with all of the new stuff, and I sprinkled in some seeds.  She grabbed one in her front paws and immediately began gnawing off the husk.  I left her alone to eat in peace.  My cat had been watching her in there, but not showing any signs that he wanted to attack her… none of the chattering noise that cats often make when looking at birds outside the window or anything like that.  Still, I would not let the cat have access to her aquarium unsupervised (or without the heavy lid, which I doubt he could open).

      She continued to get better in the next couple of days, and was devouring the seeds I put in there for her to eat. The urine smell was minimal, thus proving that my thought that this was a female was correct, as male mouse urine smells absolutely awful, and is very strong.

      Today, I came to the realization that keeping her as a pet was not a good idea.  She was a wild animal, and she’d seen the big world, unlike pet mice that are born and raised in captivity and who know nothing else.  Then there was the disease thing, and the fact that she was alone, and mice prefer to be with other mice (though males may not accept other males that were introduced after they reached a certain age).

      Not long ago, I went in to see how she was doing, and she immediately hid in one of the cardboard toilet paper tubes as I approached the aquarium.  I picked the tube up on one end (the end with her tail sticking out) to encourage her to leave it, and she ran at high speed around the cage before finding a hiding place behind the other cardboard tube.  Now she was acting like a wild mouse.  She was no longer tolerant of my hand, and I didn’t want to risk being bitten.  It was time… she’d recovered from her near death experience, and it was time to say goodbye.

      I took some pictures before I scooped her into an empty peanut jar (the tall kind, made of plastic), which wasn’t easy with her springing up and trying to jump out of the aquarium (though the lid was still on except for the bit where I put my hand in with the jar).  Good.  That’s how she should be acting.

      mouse

      I took her outside and let her go, some distance from the house, with a small pile of seeds at the site.  When I opened the jar, she just sat inside of it, not seeming frightened anymore.  I had to lift the end and encourage her to leave, and when she did, she took off for the nearby brush, at a normal mouse pace, not running at a full sprint.  I wished her well and went back inside, surprisingly sad to see her go.  I mean, I could have gone to the pet shop and had a mouse at any time if I wanted one, but I really didn’t, in particular.  So why was I sad to see her go, when I sho/uld be happy that I was able to do a little insignificant act of kindness for a little, insignificant mouse?  Was it that I had already started to think of her as a pet, even though I’d only had her for four days?

      Anyway, she’s gone, and now I have a lid for my aquarium, a water bottle, two thirds of a bag of seeds, and one and a half containers of bedding material.  I could go buy a pet mouse now, and it would be a better, safer pet than the one I just bid farewell, but I don’t think I will.  I didn’t really want a pet mouse… it was just something that happened at random.  I’m glad I noticed her when I did, as I am sure she was close to death from hypothermia when I found her… she made no effort to escape my presence, to the point that I thought she was dead until I went to pick her up.  I got some nice pictures, and I will long remember my little mouse friend.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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    • #2010119 Reply

      willygirl
      AskWoody Plus

      This is the sweetest story! You really deserve some type of award, not many people I know (other than myself) would go out on a limb for a mouse. My bad day just turned a corner and left for good. 🥰

      Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

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    • #2010583 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      You are a true animaltarian. I hope you can away tick and Lyme disease free and your little friend lives a long mouse life (preferably OUTSIDE of your house). I use a no hurt trap if I have a mouse problem and release further up on my hill. Reminds me last year I found a cup I use to hold oil for my BBQ that I had left inside the BBQ all chewed up. A couple of weeks later I opened my BBQ to find a nest with a couple of younguns. I left the lid open for a couple of hours and when I came back all residents had left. NO WAY I would have brought and one of them in my house, way to much Lyme disease ( and another couple of nasty tick borne diseases) going around. I just had to get a blood test to affirm I did not get anything…

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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      • #2010628 Reply

        willygirl
        AskWoody Plus

        I hear BBQ’d ticks are a delicacy in some circles. Anyway that’s good you’re thinking in terms of humane. What works to repel mice is cotton balls with a couple drops essential peppermint oil. Put them in areas like corners inside the garage or house. That wouldn’t work for the bbq though. The peppermint does keep them away.

        Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

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        • #2011338 Reply

          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          I tried mothballs but that did not seem to work, heard it worked for deer. Eating my hosta.

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2011456 Reply

            willygirl
            AskWoody Plus

            @wavy, you could put the cotton balls with peppermint oil inside the bbq when not using it, say like in the winter with a cover. That would deter the mice.

            Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

            • #2013100 Reply

              wavy
              AskWoody Plus

              And I could also spray the cotton balls with insecticide so if the occasional nose deaf mouse decided to use them for nest materials they would be tick free! And why wouldn’t I be using the BBQ in the winter 🙂

              🍻

              Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2010653 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Ticks aren’t common here, and there’s never been a recorded case of Lyme disease contracted within the state, so that’s fortunate.  Fleas, perhaps, but not usually ticks. I watched her quite a bit, and she wasn’t scratching.

        I knew it was a bit of a risk, but I had to consider….  Some people let their cats outside to do cat things, including hunting (and possibly eating what they kill), and then they come in and get up close with people.  My first cat was that way when I met him (in my first apartment, while I was moving in… he decided he was going to move in too, since his previous humans were not treating him in the manner he deserved).  I made him an indoor cat for his own health and safety, but there was always that bit of guilt that I was his jailer as well as his protector.

        Other people are unfortunate enough to have mice as household pests, and they’re not that cute anymore.  I did think about how that same mouse I thought of as a potential pet would have been vermin if she had been in a slightly different location.

        I washed my hands each time I touched the mouse or anything she had touched, and I cleaned the tub with isopropyl alcohol before I used it again.  Of course I threw away the disposable stuff.  It’s better than having a mouse run across the surfaces in your house without you knowing about it, which surely happens to a ton of people.  Maybe even me, though I have never seen (or smelled) any evidence of mice in the house.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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        • #2010665 Reply

          willygirl
          AskWoody Plus

          Cats adjust to their environment. Give them a window and a couple of spiders for the hunt, a scratch post, good food and a shoe string, they’re yours for life.

          Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

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    • #2010706 Reply

      ScotchJohn
      AskWoody Plus

      And I thought this was a computing forum!

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      • #2010728 Reply

        tonyl
        AskWoody Lounger

        Whatever made you think that?

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      • #2010861 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        We’re outside that particular box here!

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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      • #2013498 Reply

        The Surfing Pensioner
        AskWoody Plus

        I visited this topic in the naive expectation you were all talking about computer mice……………………………Oh, well, my mistake………………

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    • #2011074 Reply

      willygirl
      AskWoody Plus

      Think in terms of mouse, being the subject – the warm and wiggly versus mechanical wiggly.

      And I thought this was a computing forum!

      Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

    • #2011339 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      I made him an indoor cat for his own health and safety, but there was always that bit of guilt that I was his jailer as well as his protector.

      Yeah I do not understand how some folk keep big dogs in a 1 or 2 bedroom condo only taking them out for 4 or 5 minutes at a time to do doggy doo .

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      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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    • #2013120 Reply

      MW
      AskWoody Plus

      Other people are unfortunate enough to have mice as household pests, and they’re not that cute anymore. I did think about how that same mouse I thought of as a potential pet would have been vermin if she had been in a slightly different location.

      I’m gonna have to be that person, on the other end of the spectrum.  When I see a mouse the first want to do is kill that vermin.

      Before anyone decides to pass judgment on me, walk a mile in my shoes.  Experience the  destruction those things are capable of.  Open up your pantry and find chewed open food containers and droppings everywhere.

      Everywhere they go they leave droppings, and they get everywhere.  The silverware drawer, your dresser drawers.   Inside the stove top, in my toaster (I’m not making that up), disgusting.

      They have destroyed and damaged valuable family heirlooms.  Damaged equipment in the garage.

      Anywhere there is a hole the size of an American/Canadian quarter dollar, a mouse can get in and out with ease. They can scale anything they can get a grip on like a squirrel up a tree, and are excellent jumpers.

      They are nasty destructive disease carrying rodents and need to be treated as such.

      I had to change apartments because of mice.

      I’m an animal lover big time.  When the mice stay out in the fields and woods and do their thing, all is good, but stay out of my home.

      I will not use poison to deal with an infestation.  I don’t want predators who may later eat one of those mice getting harmed.  I’ve seen plenty of wildlife perish because of the poison in the mice they ate.  Foxes, outdoor cats, owls, hawks, even snakes.  I use the old fashion spring trap, it’s a quick clean kill.

       

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      • #2013320 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I’m gonna have to be that person, on the other end of the spectrum. When I see a mouse the first want to do is kill that vermin. Before anyone decides to pass judgment on me, walk a mile in my shoes. Experience the destruction those things are capable of. Open up your pantry and find chewed open food containers and droppings everywhere.

        If mice had done that to me, I would have considered that to be a declaration of war, so to speak, by them, against me.  That wasn’t the case here, though; I was not at war with this, or any, rodent.  I found her outside, where she belongs, and I have never seen a single mouse dropping inside.

        I’m no mouse expert… is the species that I found an example of one that invades houses?  Is that universal among mice, or mouse-like rodents like voles, or do some species generally stay outside?  I don’t know.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

      • #2013500 Reply

        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        Was going to stay out of this but hey, my dog brought me a present a few days ago. A still alive, wiggling rat. I whacked it and burned it. No love lost here on those rodents!

    • #2013124 Reply

      MW
      AskWoody Plus

      What works to repel mice is cotton balls with a couple drops essential peppermint oil. Put them in areas like corners inside the garage or house. That wouldn’t work for the bbq though. The peppermint does keep them away.

      I cannot share that opinion.  I tried the Peppermint oil thing.  All I will say is that it did not deter mice for me.  I had so much of this stuff under the cabinets where they were getting in that the apartment smelled like a candy cane factory.

      I also had old school spring traps under the sink.  One evening I hear the trap get sprung.  The mouse had literally crawled over the cotton ball soaked in the oil to get to the peanut butter on the trap.

      As I was carrying the mouse and trap to the dumpster, I gave it a sniff, the thing reaked of peppermint.

      Epic fail in my experience.

      W7 & W8.1 - Group W (since April 2017)
      Mac Sierra & Mojave - Group A
      Mint Cinnamon - Group A

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      • #2013136 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        As I was carrying the mouse and trap to the dumpster, I gave it a sniff, the thing reaked of peppermint.

        There are something like 500 species of mice in the world, right…? Some of them like to eat very different things. I remember mint-loving mice from my childhood too.

        Oh well, that’s one problem I don’t have now – but the cats seem to think that my kids should learn to hunt properly…

      • #2013386 Reply

        willygirl
        AskWoody Plus

        Sorry you had that experience. We’ve always had luck keeping them away from inside the garage and under the hood of the cars by placing the peppermint cotton balls in areas where the mice frequent. These are deer mice in this part of the country.

        Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

    • #2013378 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      The containment traps work for me with a bit of peanut butter, and my battered Karma stays a little cleaner..

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2013501 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      My apartment is in a building next to a US Parks Service’s Natural reserve, with first grow forest surrounding some nice little meadows. A deer live there, as well as the obligatory squirrels, raccoons, etc. Once upon a time, during a period when conditions were right for it, there was was a population explosion of country mice. Lack of appropriate housing made them first take notice, then evaluate its possibilities and, after some consideration, finally decide to take advantage of this conveniently located building and proceed to invade it. The building manager distributed both glue traps and also spring-loaded snap ones.

      Now, I must confess to something that none of my female acquaintances can be accused of: I find mice adorable. Also: I am not particularly squeamish. As a child, I spent my long summer school vacations out in the country and, to make myself useful and learn something new, I helped by killing some chicken and rabbits — the latter I also skinned (to be made into tasty meals by my many-gifted aunt Alba), and helped butchering a few pigs, assisting also in the sausage-making that followed.

      But I must say that I find the manner of killing mice with those traps really disturbing. Those chicken, rabbits and even the pigs, never saw it coming, their killings, however briefly terrifying to them, were swift, precise and quick. Those traps, the glue ones always, the snap ones often, bring lingering and painful death. Unfortunately, cute or not, mice breed like… well, mice, and also chew on books and documents, live fecal pellets all over and, generally speaking, are not great room mates. Still, the picking up and disposing of those traps after they did what they were meant to do is not among my most cherished recollections.

      And, what is worse, mice are really cute.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

    • #2013582 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      And because of what not, I gladly add this final comment here, as it seems appropriate. A comment that is not really mine, but of a certain scribbler that once went by the name of Robert Burns:

      To a Mouse
      By Robert Burns

      On Turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough, November 1785.

      Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
      O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
      Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
      Wi’ bickerin brattle!
      I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
      Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

      I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
      Has broken Nature’s social union,
      An’ justifies that ill opinion,
      Which makes thee startle,
      At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
      An’ fellow-mortal!

      I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
      What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
      A daimen-icker in a thrave
      ’S a sma’ request:
      I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
      An’ never miss ’t!

      Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
      It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
      An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
      O’ foggage green!
      An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
      Baith snell an’ keen!

      Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
      An’ weary Winter comin fast,
      An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
      Thou thought to dwell,
      Till crash! the cruel coulter past
      Out thro’ thy cell.

      That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
      Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
      Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
      But house or hald,
      To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
      An’ cranreuch cauld!

      But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
      In proving foresight may be vain:
      The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
      Gang aft agley,
      An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
      For promis’d joy!

      Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
      The present only toucheth thee:
      But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
      On prospects drear!
      An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
      I guess an’ fear!

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

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      • #2013698 Reply

        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        At the risk of sounding non-literate ; TLDR
        But makes me wonder, will stuff written today seem as strange to someone in 200 years as the language of that poems sounds to me? Likely stranger as the growing number of folk who are NOT native English speakers out number the natively English speaking. What will the Martians sound like in a hundred years? Reminds me I will be needing a Prime subscription to watch The Expanse (with the belters accent very recognizable)
        Wikipedia:

        Amazon Prime Video picked up a fourth season, with all ten episodes set to be released on December 13, 2019.[2] On July 27, Amazon renewed The Expanse for a fifth season.[3]

        I think I have said this before but :Maybe the best Science Fiction EVER

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        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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        • #2013727 Reply

          tonyl
          AskWoody Lounger

          Well, someone had to:

          Small, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,
          Oh, what panic is in your breast!
          You need not start away so hasty
          With a hurrying scamper!
          I would be loath to run and chase you,
          With a murderous spade!

          I’m truly sorry that Man’s dominion
          Has broken Nature’s social union,
          And justifies that ill opinion
          Which makes you startled
          At me, your poor, earth-born companion
          And fellow mortal!

          I doubt not that you may steal;
          So what? Poor beast, you must live!
          An odd ear from twenty four sheaves of corn
          is a small request:
          I’ll get a blessing with the rest,
          And never miss it!

          Your tiny housie, too, is in ruin!
          Its feeble walls the winds are strewing!
          And nothing now, from which to build a new one
          Of foliage green!
          And bleak December’s winds ensuing
          Both bitter and keen!

          You saw the fields laid bare and wasted
          And weary Winter coming fast,
          And cosy here, beneath the blast,
          You thought to dwell,
          Until crash! the cruel plow passed
          Right through your cell.

          That tiny heap of leaves and stubble
          Has cost you many a weary nibble!
          Now you are turned out for your trouble
          Without house or home,
          To endure the Winter’s sleety dribble,
          and frosty cold.

          But Mousie, you are not alone
          In proving that foresight may be vain:
          The best laid schemes of mice and men
          Go oft astray
          And leave us nothing but grief and pain
          Instead of promised joy!

          Still, you are blessed, compared with me!
          Only this moment touches you:
          But oh! I backward cast my eye
          On prospects turned to sadness!
          And though forward I cannot see,
          I guess and fear!

           

          The story goes that Burns was ploughing his field when he destroyed a mouse’s nest. He felt so sorry for it (we’re like that in the UK) he composed the poem on the spot.

          One of my favourite pieces.

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        • #2013799 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Wavy: In case someone here is puzzled by the way the poem is written: Robbie Burns is the national poet of Scotland and wrote poetry in the way people spoke there. He lived in the 18th Century, and was quite a guy, as one can see for oneself here:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Burns

          And that little ditty called “Auld Lang Syne”? He also wrote that.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

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