Dog eat dog, to get by, hope you like gerbil genocide.

The blogger I’ve come to call “Water Girl” has inspired me to write about this with her many posts about her past pets. From the one about the cat in the tupperware, to the one yesterday about inbred cats and bunnies which brought me to this.

Growing up I almost always had pets. I often had a dog or two, and in between the void was filled with fish or gerbils. Or in one case, a metric shitload of gerbils. Or, more specifically, a metric shitload of inbred genocidal gerbils.

One day years ago, I was given two gerbils. Brother and sister. Their cage was downstairs and every day I’d come give them food, make sure their water bottle had plenty of water, and maybe give them the cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll to play in and chew up. One Christmas morning I came downstairs to give them food and there were two little pink erasers hanging out with brother and sister gerbil. Upon closer inspection, those were not pink erasers; they were babies. In the end, there were five babies in the litter. Before long we moved them to their own cage, which we happened to have on hand from past pets of the rodent family. Unbelievably brother and sister were not done fucking. No, they had 5 more babies not long after that, as if they were trying to replace the ones we’d removed. There wasn’t anything wrong with the gerbils on the surface, as one might expect inbred gerbils to show. Instead they preferred to eat eachother.

We hadn’t bought a 3rd cage for the new babies. They grew a bit, and eventually we had 12 fairly normal-sized gerbils. One day after school I came home and found the cage with brother and sister (who I guess were better referred to as mommy and daddy by now) littered with gerbil parts. Every gerbil in that cage was dead, with the gerbils who were the last ones alive being the ones most intact.

Shocked, I looked at the other cage to see that those gerbils were still alive and well. I fed them and left them to their own devices. A scant few days later, those gerbils met the same fate as their brothers, sisters, and parents. Little gerbil legs, heads, and tails were strewn about the cage like they’d rained down from above. In the words of Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible, “They’re dead! They’re all dead!”

The cages were emptied and thrown away. I never owned a gerbil again.

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