Sunday, December 11, 2011

We Now Own A Gerbil

Yes, us..the family that had the mouse/snake ordeal over the summer. The family who left the house for a week over the snake in the house. The family that is still mostly paranoid about being in the house where the snake and the mouse owns a rodent.

How did this happen? You wonder..

One of my Christian Unschooling friends posted on Facebook that her daughter was getting out of the gerbil business, and she had 2 gerbil cages up for grabs. Immediately upon seeing the post these are the thoughts that quickly went through my mind:

1. How generous of her!
2. Someone will really be blessed!
3. I am tempted to say that I will take them, but I don't want anything else to take care of..especially anything that needs food and water and/or pees, poops or throws-up.
4. Oh, yeah..I don't like rodents. I actually find them quite creepy.

Even so, Padawan had been asking for a small pet as a "class" pet since we began homeschooling. Last spring he wanted to get a Chameleon..but! They are expensive and high maintenance, and they are reptiles! Reptiles are even creepier than rodents!

The next thing I knew, I was asking Padawan and my husband what they thought about getting the cages. Of course, Padawan said he would love to have them, but my husband said no. Then I reiterated that the cages were free. My husband (cough, cough, can you say Fred Sanford?) who loves all things free - whether he can use them or not, said, "In that case, if you are sure they are free, then why not!" The next thing I knew, I was typing that I would take them.

What did I get myself into?! Maybe, (I thought) I can find something non-rodent to put in the cages.

But anyway, the deed was done and the cages would soon be on their way.

Padawan and I (mostly me) got busy researching gerbils, hamsters, and even (eww) mice to decide what we would get as our new pet. I was kind of partial to seeing if a hedgehog was small enough for such a cage, but quickly found out that they are illegal to own in our state.

The cages arrived last week, and I swayed Padawan into choosing a gerbil. I found out that gerbils are much cleaner than hamsters and less likely to bite, and mice were just out of the question. . The only pro I could find for a hamster over a gerbil was that it didn't have a creepy tail.

So, (because I don't drive) my husband got the pleasure of taking Padawan to pick out his new pet. They drove around to 4..yes, 4 pet stores the looking for a gerbil. I finally called around to find a store that had one- who knew gerbils would be so hard to find?! (Sorry, honey... maybe I should have thought about calling around BEFORE sending you on a wild gerbil chase).

A little later they came home with this little guy. Isn't he cute?!? And he's not creepy at all- even if the little booger did bite me!

We've been having all kinds of fun with him. Our favorite thing to do is to comment as if we know what he's thinking while we watch him play.

And Padawan said that having a gerbil as a pet makes him less paranoid about the mouse that was in the house. Win!

By the way, Padawan named him Celer - that's Latin for Speedy.

A big THANK YOU to - you know who you are!!!


  1. LOL Believe it or not, those were pretty much my thoughts exactly when Shannen wanted to get INTO the gerbil business. "Ewww. Rodents are creepy. And small rodents are extra creepy. The only thing creepier than a small rodent is a capybara, which is a giant rodent the size of a hog." In time I got fond of Robin (who looks just like Celer) and Batman II (who replaced Batman, who only survived 1 day and I thus never got attached to).

    We also liked playing the "What is the gerbil thinking?" game. Mostly our gerbils thought very scary thoughts, though. Our gerbils thought things like, "I'm going to bite through this wire and gnaw your face off in your sleep!" or "I am a ninja gerbil! See me fearlessly cling to the wire until you approach then leap at your hand and eat it off!" They weren't feral, I swear. OK, well, maybe Robin was a little bit. But Batman II was pretty cool and not necessarily inclined to pull any Hannibal Lecter stunts on us, but he was still into doing scary ninja gerbil things.

    Oh, and the reason we had two cages? When Robin met Batman II, they entered some kind of fierce deathmatch combat that involved (and I am not kidding about this) leaping at each other, locking bodies in mid-air, and attempting to bite one another to death. They had to be separated for a while until they got used to one another's scent. Just so you know in case Celer decides he needs a friend...

  2. LOL..Our gerbil mostly thinks confused and random thoughts because we keep arranging his cage and adding things to it. He was really upset when we removed the tube he slept in for a few nights and replaced it with the look-out tower. We decided to stick with one cage for now to keep it more portable.

    That's good to know about introducing them gradually in case he ever does get a friend! But I don't see that happening.


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