27 September 2006

And the Gerbil Makes Eight...

So the other day, we went to the pet supply shop to get kibble for the Lesbian Rabbits. On the way there I was struck with one of my Critter Vibes. I get this every now and then - it's like this radar that tells me there's a critter who needs me. Usually it's a cat, and I either fall in love with them or bring them to the local (non-kill) cat charity boat. So on this day I thought it was rather strange I should get The Radar when we were on our way to score bunny chow.

We got into the store and I went to look at the resident rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and canaries and all looked well. They all looked happy enough. And then I saw Ramon. He was in a cage all by himself; the most despondent looking gerbil I have ever seen in my life. I don't know if you've ever seen a look of ennui on the face of a rodent, but it is a truly heartbreaking thing. He looked like he was having an existential crisis the depth of which I couldn't even fathom. I couldn't take it. I went and found a store assistant, handed over 7 euros, and then scooped Ramon into a box (because the store assistant was afraid of him). On the way home, I swear I could hear Ramon sighing in there.

But as soon as I put Ramon in his new home,(an Italian luxury cage complete with play wheel and plastic cabaƱa that used to be home to a shrew called Druifke), his mood lifted. He was so happy he didn't know what to do with himself. The rest of the family (2 rabbits and 5 cats) gathered around to stare at him. Our big fluffy cat, Papa Steve adopted him, and slept all night next to his cage.

And yes, I'm aware I've begun my descent into madness. Come back and see me about 30 years from now; I'll be the crazy old lady with a crow on my shoulder and a family of mice living in my bouffant.

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