Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'm Not Your Gerb Toy

Every once in a while Charlotte and her family escape the daily grind for a weekend or more. When this happens, my nephew Fojo asks if Husby and I can take care of his beloved pets. This is a wonderful treat for us, as we live a life that is child-free and pet-free, leaving us to only stare at the walls while the pudding cools in the refrigerator. All houses need a kid or a pet, don’t you think?

As for Fojo’s pets, well, they’re gerbils. And rambunctious little guys they are. Fojo decided to get brother gerbils, at the strong suggestion of his mother, so they wouldn’t breed all over the place. Interestingly enough, Brother I has been seen snuggling in Brother II’s nether regions on more than one occasion.

But as this is a family blog, I’ll not talk about more-than-latent tendencies of our furry friends. The thing is, Fojo just loves his pets, and while he was all for me writing a little article about them, he was somewhat concerned about having their pictures plastered all over the internets. Who can blame him? There are a lot of weirdoes out there. Fojo has the nagging feeling that if his pets’ pictures are on the world wide web, some pet-o-file will abduct the little guys and perform unspeakable acts. To honor the privacy of Fojo’s pets I’ve made sure their identities are hidden.

So, I’d like to introduce you to The Gerbs.

The live in a very cozy aquarium complete with hiding tubes, a trundle bed, and a very squeaky tread wheel. Their food is placed in a little glass ashtray which is quickly covered by all the fluff of that flakey stuff you put in a gerbil cage to soak up the pee and hide the poop. There’s also a water container attached to the side of the aquarium where the little guys suck down hydration with the help of their tiny pink tongues. They’re just adorable.

While they’re active they’re usually chewing up toilet paper tubes, grooming each other, or doing some stationary running on the wheel. They also like to dig and dig and dig. I suppose they have some king of digging instinct, and I feel sorry for them as I watch them claw against the glass walls of the aquarium thinking they will actually get somewhere. I guess they think they’re going somewhere when running on the wheel too, but that act doesn’t solicit the pity from me the way the digging does.

Husby and I are thoroughly entertained by our periodic house guests and welcome any opportunity to take on the responsibility of giving them nourishment and hydration when Fojo is away. We’d let them run loose in the house but fear they would get randy with the dust bunnies. It’s best to keep them contained.

Fojo likes to sing to his gerbils and comes up with some very creative songs. While Husby and I will talk to the pair, we feel unworthy to serenade. That should be a privilege left to their owner.

Of course gerbils are mostly nocturnal, which means Husby and I don’t miss any action while we’re away at work during the day. But every once in a while, we get to see a little nap. All creatures look precious when they sleep, don’t you think?

OK, so one of the pictures doesn't have the anonymity patch across the eyes. I simply had to show you those adorable eyelashes!

Fojo has been trying to convince me that I need a pet. After all, I’m brave enough to risk a nip to pet that soft fur. I’m not afraid of germs. I will even let animals lick me! But alas, I think I’m more cut out to be a pet sitter for the time being. Thanks, Fojo, for trusting us with your treasured friends.

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