Monday, October 5, 2009
I couldn't give a rat's ...
Well, actually I can now. After spending the past winter trying to get rodents out of the house (see here and here), we suddenly have invited them in.
A couple who live down the street got a pair of gerbils for their sons. Unfortunately for them, the pair turned out to be a boy gerbil and a girl gerbil. Within short order, they had 13 gerbils. One day I was asked to come down and look at a canoe that they had to put a value on it. DD tagged along and went in to visit the gerbils and decided that we should "help them out" and take a few. I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about the idea and put it off. Granted, they were trying to give them away, but I couldn't really see us having them in the house. I'm not really much of a rodent fan - I'd rather have a more interactive pet (like a cat) and am more of a predator than prey kinda guy. DW is also not a fond fan of animals and wasn't willing to let me bring another cat in the house, so I mentioned the gerbils to her, but didn't think anything would come of it.
I was very surprised about a month and a half later when one of the couple was walking by the house as DW and I were working in the front yard. DW mentioned that we should ask if the gerbils were still available. (Huh?) Yes, they still had gerbils to give away and would we please take some? We said that yes, we'd take two. I went out later that day to a pet supply place for all the requisite rodent supplies and was frankly astonished at how expensive a pair of free gerbils could be. I put the supplies in the playroom and neither DS nor DD took any notice of them until the next morning.
When they finally noticed, they were very, very happy children. We picked the two gerbils up (Scampers, the light colored one and King, the gray one - actually father and son.) the next morning and settled them in.
The hardest part is making sure that the cage is kept clean and that the children are treating them well. It's a bit of a lesson in responsibility for them, but the lesson seems to be absorbed very, very slowly.
By the way - did I mention that gerbils are very fast? It make it very difficult to get a picture of them!
EDITED TO ADD:
As soon as I posted this, the following targeted ad appeared on my monitor along with the comment that the post was successfully published. You can't say that Google Ads aren't topical, but I still don't think that my kids would appreciate it.