It is my sad news to report that one of Mini's beloved Gerbils, known as Gerbillie Ee (after the Tombliboo from Night Garden), has died today. Or it may have been yesterday, as I didn't spot it climbing up the cage then.
This is the same Gerbil who decided to do a run round the house, rendering me stuck on the stairs for three hours until Elder found it hiding behind the washing basket in the kitchen.
We first got the three of them in late 2009, and to be fair I'm not one to cuddle the things, I just clean their cage regularly (and they've had 4 cages after eating through 3 of the previous ones).
However, Mini is rather attached to them. They were from Freecycle, but were also a compromise as Elder wanted a Dog, and Mini wanted a cat, but I'm allergic to cats and worried about a dog as Littlest was just 1 at the time and I thought it'd be a nightmare!
So, now, she knows something is amiss in the house. I have tried to explain to her that the Gerbil has gone to sleep, was poorly, had gone to a place that gerbils go when they're old where they get lots of carrots and fruit and get to run around without a cage.
She says "OK then". So I think, great, she's got it, my clever little girly.
But then she adds "when is he coming back then?".
Help is needed people. She isn't upset at all, but she does seem to think her gerbil will be back in the morning. As I write, she and Littlest are running round the living room, shouting "Eee, Eeeeeee where are you?".
We have promised her a new gerbil, whch she can call Kwarzy (she's moved along since the naming of the original 3 from Night Garden to Octonauts, by way of Waybuloo and ZingZillahs amongst others).
So, what do you advise?
Pets, eh. Whose idea was that?
Oh, yeah. Kinda mine!