Tag Archives: pets

(yet another) gerbil update…


Today, I was standing at the swimming pool talking to my friend when my middle daughter taps me on my shoulder while I was talking.  She is my little 8 year old that continually looses her gerbils (read here and here for more gerbil updates).

She proceeds to tell me that last night (yes, last night) while showing her gerbils to my youngest daughter she forgot to close the cage door.  And, the gerbils are missing.

I am standing at the pool.  In my bathing suit. Everyone has been swimming for at least 30 minutes.  She gets out of the pool and picks this moment to let me know the gerbils have been missing since last night.

So, I told my friend what the interruption was about… we laughed (if I didn’t laugh, I would cry) and I called my husband.  He said he would go start the hunt.

I called him as we were leaving the pool and he said the cats were standing vigil at the bookcase, so most likely there was at least one gerbil under it.

When we got home we moved the bookcase out a bit and got out our two gerbil balls.  We put one ball at both ends of the bookcase.  Paprika was under there.  It took about 10 minutes of waiting and she walked in to the ball.  I deposited her back into her cage.  She seemed quite happy to be home.

(Note: we are seasoned experts on catching missing gerbils and we have found that the gerbil balls are the quickest and easiest way to return a missing gerbil to it’s cage). 

We couldn’t find Ginger.

I just sat on my daughter’s bed feeling both sad and annoyed.  And, a little deflated.  Would we find the other gerbil?

One of my cats sleeps behind the gerbil cage and she was laying there… so happy to have her entertainment back.  By this time Paprika, the rescued gerbil, was already asleep when I saw the cat moving her ears and head around.  She heard something and it was close.

I laid down on my stomach and moved some items and saw a pile of chewed wires.

The gerbil had to be close.

Then, Ginger walked out from the mess of demolished wires.  I yelled for someone to hand me a gerbil ball.  Ginger walked right into the ball and I put her back into the cage with Paprika.

I can’t believe my daughter’s timing.  It is beyond me why it struck her to let me know the gerbils were missing.. the next day while at the pool.

I can’t believe we actually found the gerbils (yet again).  And, I know we would never have found them this time (or the other times) without the help of our other pets.

We lost a video game and a DVD player today (those were the wires that were chewed) but the gerbils are back safe and sound.

Incredible (yet again).


(another) gerbil update…


Recently, I walked into my oldest daughter’s room and saw that the gerbil cage was missing. Gone. The spot that it usually sits in… was empty. The only things that remained were the weights that normally surround the cage. (Note: If you have not read my earlier gerbil post, the weights keep the cage stationary so that the cats can’t knock it over)

The gerbils were just there the night before! Where did they go?

So, my daughter says, “They were making too much noise last night. They are in my closet.” (with the door closed)

What??? How much noise can two little gerbils make?

Well, we moved the cage back into their spot, surrounded by the weights. Normally, she takes a little 1 pound weight and blocks the wheel at night to cut down on the noise from the gerbils running on the wheel. She said the weights were not enough and the gerbils still made too much noise. Hence, the move to the closet.

I made a huge fuss at her stating that the poor little gerbils didn’t want to sleep in the closet and that she needed to leave them right where they were at night... in their spot, surrounded by the weights. I am still in doubt that these two tiny little gerbils can cause so much of a racket that they could keep her awake at night. Really, I didn’t believe her.

The gerbils have remained in their spot, surrounded by the weights. She has not put them in the closet since.

Last night, we assembled a desk for her room. Then, rearranged the room and cleaned it. I was tired. I laid down in her bed and feel asleep

Then, I woke up to an enormous racket. Not a bump in the night or one random noise. It was a genuine racket.

It was the gerbils.

The wheel was blocked by the tiny weight. Their cage is not that large. I have no idea how they could make that much noise. But, they were. My daughter was right. I was wrong.

I have not admitted this to her… but, it took everything in me not to get up and walk that cage back into the closet (and close the door).

the gerbil update…


Daughter #1 begged for gerbils.  I’m not a mean mom.  I am not anti-pets.  We have 2 dogs and 2 cats.  However, I said “no” every time she asked for a gerbil.

For some unknown reason, when she asked for the 176th time, I said “yes” she could get gerbils.  She spent her own money on 2 gerbils, a cage, food, bedding etc…

Then, daughter #2 asked for gerbils for her birthday.  She is younger, but I thought… the first set of gerbils were low-maintenance, friendly and they were actually kind of cute.  “Gerbil-life” was pretty much uneventful.  Which was fine by me.

How hard could a second set of gerbils be?

I bought daughter #2 the gerbils, a cage, food, bedding, etc…

This may have been a mistake.

Daughter #2 kept leaving the cage door open (although, she will never admit this).

We have been on “Gerbil Recovery Missions” far too many times.

I recently saw my first Facebook posts when we got the gerbils:

“We are the proud owners of two gerbils!  Daughter #1 spent her own money on everything and also spent weeks convincing us to say YES”

“Our gerbil family expanded today!  Daughter #2 got gerbils for her birthday. She named them Ginger and Paprika.”

THEN, I noticed my other posts regarding the gerbils:

Gerbil Update: Violet (cat) pushed the cage off the edge of the chest last night. Now, the cage is surrounded by two 10 pound weights and a 5 pound weight. Violet is going to have to do some heavy pushing to budge the gerbil cage now that it has a “hand weight barrier” around it. I just knew those hand weights would come in handy some day!! …too bad it’s not me exercising with them!

Gerbil Update: Came home from work and was told (through tears) that Paprika was not in her cage. Was also told that door on cage was open (cat? other child?). Looked and looked for white gerbil in child’s room to no avail. When downstairs to fret to husband and noticed Hannah (dog) staring into corner. Went for closer look… there was Paprika! All gerbils are safe in cages. May have to install tiny padlocks on cage doors. Note: how did tiny gerbil make it downstairs past 2 cats and 2 dogs to be safely found?

Gerbil Update: Violet (cat) knocked new gerbil cage over. This gerbil cage was blocked in by 5 pound weights. Not heavy enough, apparently. Husband found one little gerbil in the closet. Both gerbils are safe and fine and back in their cage. Cage is completely immoveable now with 25 pound weights on both sides. If Violet can budge 25 pounds I am calling the Guinness Book of World Records. Note: this all happened at 3 am this morning.

Gerbil Update: Trying to leave for a weekend soccer tournament and was told that gerbils were missing.  Found one gerbil under the bed, returned it to cage.  Found other gerbil under the bookcase.  After 20 minutes of all known gerbil recovery techniques we finally had to move the extremely heavy bookcase to capture escapee.  Gerbils are now safe in cage.  We are late for soccer tournament.

Gerbil Update: Another escape from the same cage. Child says she did not leave the cage door open… Same child, same cage as last several escapes. With help of cats we found the gerbils quite quickly and returned them to cage. One was still in bedroom. One was behind stairs on first floor. We are getting to be experts on gerbil recovery.

I will never again describe our “gerbil-life” as uneventful.

Side Note: Think twice before you cave on the 176th request for a gerbil.