August 12, 2009 - April 19, 2011
We lost a cherished member of our family today. We first got her in August, 2009 as a reward for LittleDude and his good behavior. We brought her home and learned that gerbils, while they can live singly, prefer to be in pairs. The next day we picked up our second gerbil in the hopes that having the two would extend their lifespans.
The two gerbils had very different personalities. Our brown one, Ginger, was always the nester. When their cages were cleaned out, she was the one who would spend hours building their new nest. Miranda, on the other hand, was the active one. She would run and run and run. We'd put her in the gerbil ball in the foyer, and before long we'd have to search the house for her. She especially loved running the length from the breakfast room to the utility room -- boy, could she get up some speed!
Over this past weekend, Ginger fell ill. She's still hanging on, but the vet gave her a poor chance of survival. We'd been fighting so hard for her life—hand feeding her special food, trying to convince her to drink water, administering antibiotics by teeny-tiny syringe—it came as a complete shock to me when LittleDude informed me we'd lost Miranda. He handed her to me with shaking hands, her tiny body still warm, but unmoving. I'm still in shock.
While these small animals, who very quickly became a large part of our family, were technically LittleDude's, I was the one who cared for them. Who fed them, watered them, and cleaned their cages. Miranda's death has been absolutely devastating.
Rest in peace, Little Girl. We miss you already.