Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Which I Make A Horrible Discovery (WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE EATING BREAKFAST)

Okay, so that was pretty horrific.

We just finished up a lovely dinner with some friends of ours, and I went in to check up on the gerbils.  We had a vet appointment scheduled for tomorrow, and I was hoping the fuzzy critter would hold out until then, but things hadn't been looking too good earlier in the day.  When I went in, I was prepared to find the little guy gone.

What I was not prepared for was that the little guy was gone and the other gerbil was eating him.

Yes, I looked into the cage and was presented with a grisly Donner Party reenactment in gerbil form-- Lili, with a bloodstained muzzle, standing over the body of Teke, which he'd dragged to a corner of the cage.  Evidently he hadn't been too long at it because the dead gerbil was totally recognizable as a gerbil except that a good portion of his upper chest cavity was missing.  The only reason I didn't start shrieking at the top of my lungs was that Connor was sleeping and I definitely did NOT want him to wake up and see this.

I ended up picking up the ex-gerbil with about ten layers of paper towels, taking him outside in the rain (it being an appropriately stormy night), and burying him in the backyard.  Then I put a huge rock over the area so that there wasn't any chance some passing woodland animal would dig him up and eat him again.  I've been traumatized enough as it is, and picking up gerbil parts out of my lawn might just be what pushes me over the edge. 

So now we are not only out one gerbil, whose demise is probably directly my fault due to that whole water bottle thing, but I am also now totally creeped out by the remaining gerbil.  I mean sure, I read up on it and apparently this is natural gerbil behavior-- something about them disposing of bodies because they don't want to have predators attracted to the nest-- but despite that Lili now gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Other than the whole cannabilism thing he's perfectly healthy (though that may not be the case any more if Teke had something contagious), but he's also pretty anti-people, which is sort of fine with me right now.  They say that gerbils are social creatures and really need to be kept in pairs, but I think that Lili is destined to be a solitary gerbil.  I'm not sure I'd trust his reaction to a new "friend." 

I need a cup of tea.

~Jess

17 comments:

Mary said...

Eeeeagh!

Kristin said...

Not a good post to read over breakfast!

AragonaRanch said...

LOL - I agree about the breakfast thing =)

Julia O'C said...

You have a ZOMBIE GERBIL!!! Ask Jeremy what to do. Aren't all Army personnel are all trained in dealing with zombies?

leah said...

Egads!

There's a traumatizing memory for you... one pet eating the other! I'm sort of glad that we only have two cats at the moment (I'm pretty sure our cats wouldn't eat each other)...

I have a copy of the Zombie Survival Guide if you need any tips on avoiding the Zombie Gerbil.

Tom said...

HELLO CLARICE.

He wanted to eat his liver with a fine chianti and some fava beans.

Jess said...

Should have had a warning with this one. Almost got sick over my breakfast reading this one. Ew!

J. said...

ick, we had a similar thing happens once. I iwll spare you the details but let's just say it was not something as mall as a gerbil.

Anonymous said...

Put a little vodka in the tea. It helps.

Jess said...

Okay-- warning added. No reading while eating breakfast. Lunch is up for debate, and dinner is right out.

Julia, if he was a zombie gerbil wouldn't he have gone for the brai-- okay I'm not even finishing that sentence. What I saw was bad enough.

Hannibal might be a pretty good new name for Lili, actually. We'll consider it.

~Jess

Julia said...

YIKES!!! I've heard plenty of pet stories, but that is the most ... extreme. Well, at least you don't have to worry about Lili's protein intake. I wouldn't look too closely at the gerbil poop for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Gerbils are like rats in that if there is no water they will eat each other. Now food they don't eat each other for. I worked at a pet store and noticed this so I researched it. SOmething about they need the liquid so they just turn into canibals on the weak and sicker ones. Kinda disgusting!

Anonymous said...

Gerbils are like rats in that if there is no water they will eat each other. Now food they don't eat each other for. I worked at a pet store and noticed this so I researched it. SOmething about they need the liquid so they just turn into canibals on the weak and sicker ones. Kinda disgusting!

Lin said...

We had a hamster who was eating her dead babies. Yeah...nice to have around for the kids, eh?

Laura said...

It came as a surprise to me to learn, some years ago, how many cute rodents eat their dear-departeds. Prairie dogs, chipmunks... I often see the little p-dogs out in the road, competing with magpies for the remains of their erstwhile running buddies. Really, I think you ought to overcome your cold feelings toward the so-far surviving gerbil. At most, you might think of him as "highly unsentimental."

xraevision said...

Oh my!!! Are you sleeping with one eye open now?!! Adopting a dog is looking better every day, isn't it? Wow . . . Sorry:-(

txmoabite said...

Nice history reference... :)

 
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