We really wanted pets but unfortunately, living in rented accommodation in a 2nd floor flat kind of rules out a lot of pets.
We both have a fondness for degus and always end up in front of their cage when we visit Pets at Home (which is more often than we probably should admit) but when we looked at the cage that we would need we had to decide against it because we just don't have room for a cage that size.
So we considered hamsters for a while, as a possibility to get a fur fix.
But the trouble is, I had a hamster when I was little and I hated it. She was mean and she was bitey and really the best part I liked about looking after her was cleaning her cage.
One day, whilst peering in at the hamsters and laughing at the guinea pigs and being scared of the rabbits* I looked up and saw a little face peering back at me. There he was, sat up on hind legs like a tiny little meerkat, bright little black eyes and tiny little paws.
I didn't know anything about them and I don't know anyone who has them, but after talking to the lovely lady I realised this was the pet for us. They are friendly and like to be handled, they're diurnal, so they're up when you're up. They want nothing more than to be your friend and just hang out.
Being good little renters I insisted that we follow the rules and ask permission from our letting agent before getting the gerbils. I'll be honest - I was getting gerbils regardless of whether I was 'allowed' to or not, but if I can follow the rules then I will do.
I don't think I've ever felt less ridiculous than being a 30 year old woman asking permission to have two gerbils in my flat but such is life and let's not dwell on that...permission was granted, although we had to sign and send back what we have come to call as the Gerbil Addendum which said;
"NOTWITHSTANDING the provisions of clause 3.67 the Landlord agrees that the Tenant may
keep a two gerbils in the Property PROVIDED it is kept caged and FURTHER the tenant will
indemnify the Landlord against any damage caused by the said gerbils to the Property and its
Just ever so slightly OTT.
Anyway, it was duly signed and returned and we promptly went out and got ourselves two lovely gerbils.
Ser Jorah Mormont
For those not in the know those names are the names of characters from Game of Thrones which is awesome. They are two of my favourite characters in it. If you've read further than Book Three, Part Two then please don't tell me anything I might not want to hear about these characters - George R R Martin has a tendency to kill off characters that you don't expect to die.
So there they are - Tyrion Lannister and Ser Jorah Mormont - the two greatest gerbils that there ever was.
*Yeah rabbits scare me. Get over it. They are too big and you can't tell what they're thinking.