Thursday, 6 November 2014

Single gerbil parenting

I came incredibly close to not owning gerbils not long after the break up. I feel terrible about it now but I honestly could not even look at them in the days after he left. They were just a horrible reminder of how foolish I'd been, sat there like an idiot thinking I was in a happy little relationship with someone with our pets. I didn't get them out to play with them, I didn't really talk to them, all I could do was make sure they had food and were watered.

I live very close to a Pets at Home shop and went in and asked them about their adoption scheme - they have a little adoption corner in their shops where they have unwanted pets for sale - that's how close I came to not having them in my life anymore.

Ser Jorah Mormont

What an idiot.

One day, after another bout of crying I looked over and they were both stood on the top level of their cage looking at me. Obviously not out of any concern, I don't know that gerbils do empathy, they were probably hoping my presence meant a pumpkin seed was coming their way, but they just looked so darn cute and gerbilly and I realised that I couldn't take it out on them. It's not their fault that they were associated with that fucktard, how could I be mad at their little gerbil faces?

Tyrion Lannister

And so I threw myself into single gerbil parenting with gusto. I went to Pets at Home and instead of giving them up for adoption, I spent a small gerbil sized fortune buying them new and exciting things for their cage. And then I set up their gerbil playpen and left them playing in it whilst I went and cleaned out their cage.

I walked back into the living room to find Tyrion Lannister looking at me from the middle of the floor, most definitely not in his playpen. With admirable calm and grace I stuck down a huge tube on the floor (poster tubes have become my new saviour and the gerbil's favourite playpen toy) and he immediately ran into it. I deposited him back in his cage and went back out to collect the clean tank.

I came back in to find him running under the armchair.

I couldn't really fathom it as they had never escaped from the playpen before. They'd made it look as if they would think about it but never actually taken the plunge. I decided to sit down and keep an eye on him.

And when I see keep an eye, I mean keep an eye.

Over the next two weeks, whenever I took my eye off the playpen for a single second - maybe to pick up a cup of tea or reply to a text - this is what I would see upon turning back to the playpen...


He was on a mission.

It turns out that single gerbil parenting is no joke. I let them play on the sofa one day like I always have done. They jump about, they have a good time but they never ever ever get off the sofa. I left them there and went to pick up the mug of tea that I had left in the kitchen. I came back to find Ser Jorah Mormont staring at me from the floor. I still have absolutely no idea how he got down there.

I actually lost count of the number of times I had escaped gerbils on my hands in the 2 weeks after the break up. The good news is that I cared about so little at that point that I didn't get stressed about it at all. But it was clear that I needed help at some points so I now have a gerbil babysitter every couple of weeks for when I need to clean the tank. Someone from work comes and sits and watches them in the playpen, knocking them back in whenever an escape is on the cards whilst I can get on and properly clean their cage.

Scaling the heights of Mount Sofa

Obviously now I don't know what I would do without them. I talk to them every morning when they get up with me and have a bit of toast (yes I am being serious) and they're there to greet me whenever I come home from work. They've even helped me choose some of my interiors...

Lounge pants - Tesco / Gerbil - Model's Own

In short they have been my little saviours, the guys I wouldn't ever want to be without and quite frankly, who needs a man when you have a little face like this looking at you?



  1. They are little cuties. The speed with which they can chew through cardboard is frankly amazing!

  2. THAT FACE. Definitely good decision to keep them. Since I now spend so much time in the flat, I'm really hoping wherever we end up living next is somewhere I can have a cat to keep me company, failing that it might have to be something gerbil-esque that can be hidden away in the event of inspections or whatever.

  3. Oh my gosh, these guys are so cute. I'm very glad you decided to keep them in the end.

  4. "I talk to them every morning when they get up with me and have a bit of toast " I read that as "have a bit of a toast" as in you get up, make a cup of tea and raise your mug to them "To you guys, thank you for always being there for me, even when I nearly gave you up. You are acesome". Pets are great.

    Also "Lounge pants - Tesco / Gerbil - Model's Own", I didn't see that first time round, just scrolled up and it made me chuckle.

  5. So glad you decided to keep them!

  6. What a heartwarming story! Such cute little monsters :)

  7. OMG I love your gerbils! I'm so glad you kept them :)

  8. My word that last photograph is cute - what an adorable little face. I have to admit, during the day I would be very lonely without my cats, I talk to them, they put up with my singing, we watch the birds together, it's awesome fun.

  9. Hey I just left you a message but then it disappeared! Hope it doesn't repeat but just wanted to say that I'm sorry, I've been totally out of the loop with exams and other such things. So sorry to hear you have been having a tough time. I hope you are okay. Big hug to you and the gerbs! xxx

  10. So glad that you kept them, they are cute little devils aren't they?

    Maria xxx


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