What this friendly mouse lacks in limbs, she makes up for in charm. Essentially a pear with a mouse head and tail, this tea pet represents the Rat/Mouse 鼠 in the Chinese Twelve Animals system familiar to us from the Chinese Zodiac. This tea pet invokes the shrewdness, charisma, and dozens of other associations belonging to this sign. The tall profile and natural curvature of this chubby mouse makes it especially satisfying to pour tea onto.
Tea Pets 茶寵 (Chá Chǒng) are small figurines, usually made of unglazed stoneware (such as the kind teapots are made from), in the shape of animals, people, gods, mythical beasts, plants, fungi - pretty much anything at all. Their sole purpose is to be a recipient of waste water and waste tea produced over the course of the tea service from heating and rinsing the wares and leaves. Over time, they develop a patina of tea oils the way that tea pots do. This process of "raising" as it is called allows them to develop a dark, shiny lustre, with each tea pet taking on its own look and personality over time with use. They also serve a votive function - the pouring of tea over the figure calls in the "spirit" of whatever that figure represents. A good tea pet looks best when in use - ie when enjoying a stream of hot tea being poured over it.