Princess Gerbil

Princess was the fifth of our five pets to pass away this past year.  I feel as though she has had to wait in a long cosmic line to be mourned (not that she even knows or would care – I assume she is dancing in heaven, eating sunflower seeds and such) as I am still processing the passing of the other pets.

No one died young, and none of the deaths were related.  We just had some pretty old pets (except Ebony Dog, who was only nine – I feel as though someone owes me five years of Ebony Dog time, which, of course, is not true.  Still…)  Four of the five pets who passed away were our rodents (Piggy, Princess, Fuzzy and Wuzzy), which, though they were all different ages (except Fuzzy and Wuzzy), were all very old as Small Fuzzies go.

That is all depressing background, to catch you up if you did not know and to explain my late memorial to Princess if you did know and were thinking “Hey!  Do not forget the goofy gerbil!”  Anyways, this is a HAPPY post, because she was a happy gerbil, and very silly.  I do not want you to miss out on “knowing” her!

Long Live Your Pet

Princess Gerbil

We adopted Princess Gerbil for our oldest daughter Amanda for Christmas 2007. I had always had friendly rodents as pets, so I scooped her right up to clean her home the first week we had her, without my usual veterinary guard up.  (Pet rodents at home are usually relaxed and very sweet.  Pet rodents at the veterinarian with a tummy ache or some other ailment can be super crabby and often blame me for their pain!  So I am careful to avoid the bitey parts.)  Anyways, I scooped Princess up and she chomped my hand hard!

When I came back from bandaging my hand (It was a pretty bad bite), I explained to her that she had hurt my feelings and I was only trying to clean her home.  She explained (I mean, I figured out, over the next several weeks) that being in a new place is scary and she did not know me yet and she was startled.  Also, she did not really like being held or pet.

Over the next several years, Princess and I developed a very close relationship – on her terms.   I cleaned her home in a less scary way, made sure she had snacks and toys, and kept the distance that she was comfortable with.  Just because I like snuggly pets does not mean Princess had to be one, and when I let her be herself, we became good friends.

When Princess was three years old, I taught her to ring a bell for a treat.  It was very cute when she would notice me in the room, hit her mouse-shaped toy bell and come to the door for a bit of seed or cracker.

She was the star subject of a very silly twitter conversation started by @FixItFish about gerbils wearing pants when they dance.  She was the star model for an article I wrote for, Long Live Your Pet.  (I mentioned her dancing in the article as an expression of my appreciation for @FixItFish‘s silliness.)

For over three years, Princess was a constant, cute, fun member of our little living room rodent corner.  She was the last to go.  I still have not donated her home and mousie bell to Nebraska Humane Society or gotten rid of her treats.  I am not quite ready to let her and the rodent corner go completely, but telling you about her helps.

Rest in Peace Princess Gerbil

2007 – 2011

We loved you just as you were with all your quirks and silliness, and we sure miss having you around.

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