Mouseville* was a mouse-themed ClipArt website that looked like it lived inside a CrockPot.

A veritable church picnic of homey illustrations, the site was like burrowing into the brain of your favorite elementary school teacher and snuggling into the hippocampus. It smelled like a Yankee Candle, sounded like Engelbert Humperdinck, and I loved it.

The calling card of Mouseville, was a “mouse adoption” program (complete with personalized birth certificate!), where Miss Mouseville—the site’s benevolent, Mother Goose-like goddess—would bless a lucky few with a mouse of their very own.

72 hours into my request for a ClipArt mouse, I had heard nothing. I was going bananas.

Here lies Sarah, they would say, nine years old and dead of mouse fever. What a shame.

The next morning, I was given a mouse for my website: a boy, smiling in overalls. I named him, downloaded accessories for him, built a proper mouse world. And Mouseville was good, for a while.

But soon, it wasn’t. I wanted to go by the name Silver Moon online and join webrings about Weetzie Bat. I wanted to be brighter than a Sepia world, shinier. I didn’t want to be a mouse anymore.

Maybe I was more cat after all, anyway.

*Name changed to protect all innocent mice.

Sarah Baird is a writer and editor based in New Orleans.