Every Thursday afternoon, I facilitate a treatment group for inmates who are serving life sentences. There are currently eight members in the group, and we always sit in a circle. Today, the inmate seated directly across from me was talking when I noticed some movement along the top of his shoulder. The movement came from a small lump that had been prominently sitting under his shirt, above his shoulder, for some time since he’d entered the room and group had started. He kept talking, but I’d stopped paying attention because I was focused on what was starting to poke out of his shirt collar, along his neck. It was a little pointy face, covered in white and brown fur.
“Uh, Mr. P–,” I said, openly staring and pointing a finger at his shoulder. “What is that?”
“Oh, that,” he said. He reached into his shirt collar and gently pushed back down what was clearly a small animal. “That’s just my mouse.”