Yes, we have gerbils. 3 of them.
God darn my sense of kindness. And Freecycle. We're both responsible.
Today I logged into my other email address, the one I keep purely for Freecycle messages , as I get about 100 a day, as well as a ludicrous amount of spam considering Yahoo claims to have a spam blocker wotsit.
Anyhow, a message came up offering 3 gerbils, a cage and food too, and explained that the lady who was offering them has a daughter who is sadly going into longterm hospital care due to illness, and can't take her pets with her.
So, wiping the tear from my eye (I'm a sucker), I gave the number a call and left a message, offering the gerbils a new home.
I went off with Mini to do the shopping ( she looked adorable today, walking alone holding my hand in her little red coat and with her denim and sequined handbag on her shoulder, which she moaned until I put the shopping list and 50p in), and when I got back, found that she'd called, as we'd been the first to offer a new home.
So, off I went again, in a cab to collect the gerbils.
Can I say now, I honestly have never owned anything but a guinea pig and several dogs in my life- I thought gerbils were small, round and furry fluffy.
I think I may have confused them with Hamsters.
Well, when I got in I told Ed that I thought we'd been given rats, but he cast a speculative eye over them and pronounced they were indeed gerbils.
Mini, was in love straight away. She thought they were mice, but after repeating to her about 30 times in a two minute period that they were gerbils, she got the idea. Although she says Gebils instead. Edward's interest was non-existent after he realised he couldn't eat them, and that I wouldn't let him chew their cage either.
She called them Un, Oo and Ee, after the Tombliboos, although other names she came up with were Mis Mouse and Teddington, and for a short period Ninky Nonk, Pinky Ponk and Ha Hoo, but the general feeling was that they were too long.
The other thing is, well, two of them are cream and so working out Un from Oo is quite a challenge-although after closely lookingat the two of them, one has a small scar on his face.
They are quite quirky though. One of the cream ones (Un) is not shy at all, whereas Ee is petrified at the moment, and has burrowed into the corner. Un and Oo like to share the water bottle. They seem to be bezzy mates.
So I have spent the afternoon looking up gerbils and how to look after them. And a mention goes to Daddacool for his informative answers on twitter too.
So, I give you Un, Oo and Ee, the newest and smallest edition to the household. God help us.