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?
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?