Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Gerbil Related Issues

Hmmm. What's a really bad way to wake up in the morning? 

I now know.

There I was, sleepily sipping my morning cup (read bowl, my first drink mug is huge) of coffee, when I glanced up on top of the CD cabinet. That's where we plonked the Gerbil cage after Mini decided to open the cage and stick a Barbie in and we didn't realise until I found what was left of the doll when I cleaned their cage out 2 days later.

I glanced and thought, something doesn't quite look right there. What is it?

I first of all thought that one of the German Lava wear jugs we have next to the cage had been moved. No.

Were there more CDs on the shelf than before? No.

Then I screamed and jumped on the couch, narrowly avoiding spilling my coffee and landing on a Thomas train that had been left on the seat.

The pipe which connects the bottom of the cage to the second level was MISSING. Leaving two gaping holes in the cage sides.

And, the thing is, the Gerbils are quick. When I clean them out it's all I can do to stuff handfuls of bedding in before they try and do a runner out the door.

Elder had a quick feel round the bottom in the bedding, and counted 1,2,3- they were all there. I told him to make them get their lazy butts out the hay, so I could see them.

And only two little cream heads poked out the bedding. Uhn and Ooo were still in residence. Eee was missing.

Now, the problem is that he is black. As is our carpet. So you couldn't spot him hiding behind stuff. Also, we had no idea when the pipe had fallen off, and Elder had been in the garden taking the bins out, leaving the door open long enough for a possible Gerbil escape into the garden and certain "eaten by cat" death.
Image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lockstockb

So, off I decamped to the stairs, taking the brats with me to watch TV in my bedroom.

Elder then had the unenviable task of moving over 3,000 records, a three seater sofa, stereo and computer equipment as well as huge speakers, and loads of cupboards and other furniture out the way so he could look for the Gerbil.

How could you deny that face? Easily if the bugger gets out again. Sorry Mini
2 hours passed, and Mini was getting increasingly upset about her Gerbilie. She has had them a while now, and has grown quite attached. Her sad little face was heart breaking, and she was lamenting how she liked to talk to her Gerbilies. They are nice Gerbilies, she said, quite forgetting how they had eaten her Barbie and bitten her finger on more than one occasion.

I, on the other hand, was talking about moving out my house, or getting one of the next door cats in for a McGerbil Happy Meal. Which didn't go down well with Elder ( though he laughed lots).

He moved into the kitchen, and still there was no sign of Eee anywhere. 

After 3 hours, we'd almost given up, and Elder had made a humane trap of a bucket with a water trough and food to catch him if he happened to still be in the house. By this time I was imagining the bloody thing crawling up my legs and worse, eating through wires and setting the house alight (its happened. Not to me, but it has happened).

I asked Elder had he checked the washing basket in the corner under the units in the kitchen? Its a big gap between the cupboards in the far corner of the kitchen. And its warm, and dark. Just right for escapee Gerbils.

I was right.

Bloody thing. It still tried to do one when Elder tried to grab it, running up the kitchen floor, trying to get back in the living room, so I shut the door, and got it, Elder picked him up and shoved him back in his cage.

Which I have now stuck a whole role of Electrical tape round, and half a roll of Scotch Tape for good measure. 

Chez Gerbilie now has only two floors, and sellotape and cardboard covering where the pipe used to be. They have eaten the inside of both the pipes of the cage. We've only had it since April, so I am so not impressed. You'd think they were never fed, but as well as nuts and seeds specially for them from a packet, they get fresh carrots, hay and other fruits and veg too. They are pampered, truly.

And if they get out again? 

Its McGerbil Happy Meals for Bella the Cat for sure......

*No Gerbils were harmed in the making of this post. Although I was very close to it....


  1. You are very brave! I was put off gerbils as a child when I discovered my brother's two, Ginger and Pickles, paws wrong side up one morning. And a friend recently had a torrid time when (look away now if feeling delicate...) she disposed of what she thought was a dead gerbil in her rubbish bin. 'Dead' gerbil then woke up with a start a few hours later when she disposed off the children's leftover spag bol on his head. She nearly had a heart attack.

  2. Gerbils fill me with horror! I accept they are great pets for children (I actually remember my primary school had a class Gerbil) but they look too much like mice for my liking! Sounds as though Eee had a fun adventure though and no harm done to him (it) so I guess alls well that ends well.


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