Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Death of a Gerbil (totally not my fault, though.)

It’s been a tough week for critters here at Casa Kimberly. I don’t know what minor god we’ve angered, but we’ve lost three fish and a gerbil to mysterious causes.

AC didn’t bat an eyelash over the death of the fish. Way too many have passed through our tank over the years for floating fish to bother her. But the death of Curious the Gerbil hit her hard.

DG and I were folding laundry and AC was supposed to be cleaning the gerbil cage. We hear “Mom! Dad! Curious isn’t moving and I think he’s dead!” (This is only barely understandable through the tears, mind you.) Sure enough, Curious wasn’t moving and DG pronounced him dead a few minutes later.

Perky, the other gerbil, wasn’t in the least bit fazed. He was busy running on his wheel.

Now, I’m feeling a little guilty because (as you are all aware), I don’t particularly care for the rodents living in my home. But the tears and anguish from AC did break my heart. The wails of “He was so young!” though, had me burying my face in AC’s hair so she couldn’t see me laughing.

Bad Mom.

Curious (June 09-Aug 09) was laid to rest in our backyard Sunday afternoon in a tissue box with three mourners present. We then, in the Southern tradition, went back to the house for something to eat. Fifteen minutes later, AC and DG were headed to the pet store to get a new gerbil.

We mourn deeply, but quickly, it seems.

Chews, the new gerbil, looks a lot like Curious and seems to be settling in well. I just hope whatever minor deity we’ve angered is over his snit and will let the pets in our house live for a while. Or that he goes back to killing the fish. Death of a fish I can handle. Death of a gerbil is much more difficult because it breaks my heart to see AC so upset. I’m just glad PetSmart is open on Sundays and has plenty of gerbils.

(Now, just to be contrary, I’m going to randomly throw the word Sex into this blog post, because I want to see how many hits we get this week from people searching for the terms “gerbils” and “sex.” Those stats will probably depress and disgust me, but since we seem to get a lot of hits from people searching for “goats” and “sex,” I figure we’ll toss another animal into the mix just to confuse them. Because I’m ornery like that. :-).)

Now, someone explain to me why fish get flushed but gerbils get burials…


Don't forget!
Author Kathie DeNosky will be here tomorrow!


Playground Monitor said...

This brings back memories of the baby chipmunk #2 son found in the yard and brought home. It had been wounded by one of the cats and died shortly thereafter. I remember #2 son sobbing and saying, "He was just a baby!" I think I had to stifle some laughter too.

LOL on the gerbil sex. It'll be interesting to see the results.

PM's Mother said...

Oh, the memories of PM, her sister and a friend burying a dead bird in a vacant lot across the street from her Grandmother's home -- the funeral was complete with a hymn book.

Jean said...

Sex and gerbils, huh? I'm going to help out here and mention "tube". I know. I'm disgusting.

So sorry about AC's gerbil. Grief is hard, no matter what the cause or the age. I hope she doesn't have to feel it again for a long time.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

"He was so young" had me darn near spewing coffee all over my computer. Kids are priceless. And they have good hearts. Poor AC. :-/


Playground Monitor said...

Of course we had a hymn book. And PC had food after the gerbil's funeral. We ARE from the South after all.

Smarty Pants said...

You can't tell me that Curious's passing had nothing to do with being serenaded, full blast, with Miley Cyrus songs. That could kill anyone.

:: snicker ::

Gerbil sex. Poor gerbils. :)

Maven Beverly Barton said...

This brought back memories of a dark and stormy night ages ago when our daughter's pet hamster, Nibbles, died suddenly. He had lived longer than any hamster was supposed to live, so I wasn't surprised when he died. But this broke my little girl's heart and she insisted her father bury Nibbles immediately. Being a good father, my husband dug a hole in the backyard and buried Nibbles (in a tissue box) during a fierce thunderstorm. A little girl's tears can make her daddy do just about anything she wants him to do.

Maven Linda said...

Because fish are cold-blooded, and flushing just seems right. But we don't flush snakes or turtles . . . I don't think. A turtle's shell could make flushing a problem. Don't know about snakes. Anyone ever flushed a snake?

How long are gerbils supposed to live, anyway? I'm with you; it's a rat, and a minute is too long, but do they live for YEARS????

Liza said...

So sorry for AC. Must say the "he was so young" line made me chuckle. We only had dogs and cats as pets growing up and we always had funerals when our pets died. I'm pretty sure there were some "he was so young" cries when we had kittens die. Of course, being from the South, there was always food after.

Problem Child said...

AC hosted another funeral yesterday for the neighbor kids. This time, there were hats involved. And communion with tortilla chips.

I don't know the exact cause of death, but all five Playkids could be a place to start (if I really cared, I mean).

Nibbles, Chews, Curious, Perky -- adjectives and verbs. Hmm, no rodents named Howard?

Snake flushing... supposedly if you flush baby alligators they live in the sewers and grow to man-eating sizes.

One day, I'll have my mom tell you the story of the puppy that died...

Smarty Pants said...

No dead puppy stories! I can take dead rodents, but I have my limits.

Instigator said...

Okay, somehow I feel guilty for laughing at this post (and the subsequent comments). However, my first thought was, "Oh crap! What did my kids do to that gerbil?"

Snakes are one thing I will not let in my house. If I had my way they wouldn't be allowed on my property but unforatuntely I haven't figured out a way to police that (seeing as we have over 5 acres, half of it wooded). So I can't comment on flushing.

One of the benefits of living on a farm is that the death of a pet kinda loses it's impact. I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing but when I don't have to deal with a multitude of tears at the loss of a chicken or baby goat it seems good. However, I have a feeling the reaction would be different for the guinea pigs, cats and dog.


Angel said...

Oh my! Totally inappropriate of me to laugh, but I did anyway. Kids can be so funny at the most inappropriate times. It seems even funnier because they are so very sincere. Gotta love it.


catslady said...

I'm afraid we even buried the fish in this house :) My one daughter and I are such softies lol. Sex and gerbils - roflmao.

Playground Monitor said...

I was merely chuckling until I read about communion with tortilla chips. Then it became a full-blown belly laugh. That's just too cute.

Anonymous said...

Threatening your friends with the dead puppy story is cold....really cold.

PC's Mom