Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Which The Gerbil Makes A Late Night Excursion

It was just past four in the morning when Jeremy abruptly sat up, flipped on the lights in our bedroom and nudged my shoulder. 

"The gerbil's out again," he said.
"Mmmrmrghblargh," I replied, and shoved my buried my head in my pillow.  I am very eloquent at four in the morning.
"Did you hear me?  The gerbil's out again.  You catch one cat and I'll catch the other."

After determining that I was not having a very odd, realistic dream possibly brought on by gerbil escape-related post traumatic stress syndrome, I stumbled out of bed, shoved a towel under the hallway door and lurched over to our small sitting room area in the bedroom, where Jeremy (who is rather ridiculously chipper at four in the morning) already had one cat corralled and was busy trying to keep the second from getting underneath our arm chair.  After we threw the cats into the laundry room and I put my contacts in so I could actually see, Jer got out the flashlight, we peered underneath the magazine rack and sure enough, Leelee's little beady eyes stared back at me for the second time in as many weeks. 

Leelee apparently has a death wish.

Leelee probably would have succeeded in his second Death-By-Cat suicide attempt if not for three things.  The first is that our cats are kind of dumb, and also (thanks to indoor living and a generally hygienic house) are not used to chasing small rodents.  The second is that we have laminate floors in our bedroom which easily pick up and magnify not only the sound of our cats banging around the house but also the scrabbling sound of a gerbil desperately flinging himself across the floor at high speeds and, due to not getting particularly good traction, making a heck of a lot more noise than he'd make on carpet.  The third reason is that Jeremy is a light sleeper and he picked up on the fact that something in the room was making a noise our cats couldn't possibly duplicate, which woke him up.

I quickly snuck into Connor's room to make sure there was only one gerbil missing.  Not only was Cranston (who is apparently either the dumber or much more intelligent gerbil, depending on how you look at it) still firmly ensconced in the cage, but the latch was still firmly shut.  I have no idea how Leelee got out, but I took off the cushy second story of their aquarium and put on the old top back on.  Then I stuck a brass bookend on top of the lid.  Hopefully that will solve the problem.  I walked back into the bedroom, grabbed a trashcan, and prepared to do battle.

Thankfully Leelee was much easier to catch this time--possibly since he had just spent fifteen minutes or so engaged in the extreme sport of Cat Baiting and was considerably winded as a result.  I popped him into the trashcan, brought him back into Connor's room and dumped him back in the cage, where he turned around, glared at me resentfully for ending his fun, and then charged over to his water bottle to rehydrate and to plot his next round of shenanigans. 

I went back to bed.  And if Leelee gets out again at four in the morning I hope that the space under that magazine rack is comfy.  He's on his own at least until the sun is up.



Tom said...

The same thing we do every night Pinky...

Try to take over the world!

Alicia said...

If you're using a plastic cage, they can chew right through it. We use an aquarium with a mesh lid.

The only time we had an escapee was when one leaped off my sister's hand. Instead of chasing it, we blocked off exits, laid a trail of sunflower seeds with a cup and waited. Didn't take long for him to find the seeds, then find the cup, and get curious and climb right in. I then blocked the open end of the cup and returned him to his aquarium. It was pretty easy to do.

Of course we don't have cats...

Does Connor get to watch all of this? I think he'd get a kick out of it :)

Blog Directory