These are gerbils. They are brothers – you can tell by the way they’re chewing corrugated cardboard together. My brother and I chewed together like that, too, when we lived together.
This is a gerbil with an intelligent look. This gerbil is having a conversation with you, probably telling you where he went to college.
This is a gerbil playing the trombone.
Don’t forget these images; they’ll be important further along in the post. They are totally not just some random weird gerbil images that came up when I googled “gerbil images”.
And now I’m getting to the point.
See how it’s on its back, not moving?
Sadly, Rocky’s gerbil Creamy died today. Considering that I deeply respect the divinity of all living things, and someday Ry might discover this post and hate me for it, I really shouldn’t be making it into a joke.
This is Creamy’s brother, Fluffy.
To be honest, this is a totally random gerbil image that I googled. Fluffy has pink eyes and back legs that don’t work any more, so he pulls himself all over the cage with his front legs and sort of flops over into their nest now instead of climbing, my point being that Creamy’s demise was not entirely unexpected, since these gerbils are like 150 years old. In gerbil years, you know.
Did I mention that Fluffy is crying? He is lonely now.
So I had this idea.
I had this idea, since despite the entirely inappropriate tone of this post I actually do care about Fluffy freaking out about being alone, that I would skin his brother and use his pelt to make a new Creamy to put in the cage with him.
If you know me well, you know I’m not necessarily kidding. And if you don’t know me well, you probably don’t want to now.
A little background: I have family members who regularly shoot, skin and eat things like squirrels and moose. This is important, and you need to remember this, because I want to be all woodsy and tough like that too. Add that to my uber-right-brain superhuman creativity and you’ve got yerself a loose canon who thinks she can taxidermy a gerbil.
Actually, this is where I got the idea:
See the little piggies? Their mommy tiger loves them. It doesn’t matter that there’s probably ninety pounds of bacon lying on top of her. They’re wrapped in baby tiger skins, so it’s all good.
What do you mean, I’ll traumatize Rocky? What could be more comforting than knowing that your mother skinned your pet gerbil, wrapped the fur around a rock or something and put it back in the cage?
(Note: Snopes says these are just tiger outifts, and that this tiger was herself nursed by a sow, making her friendly with piglets, and the idea that these are baby tiger skins is false; they live in sort of really bizarre Thai zoo that does random shit like this with tigers – but I didn’t know that before I had my big idea, and it doesn’t fit with this story, so ignore this run-on sentence.)
I had this idea that I’d search “taxidermy gerbil” for how-to tips, or if there’s no one out there sick enough to do something like that, I’d just look up “how to skin a squirrel” – close enough. Then I’d get out my best knife, shut my eyes and just fucking do it. Most importantly, Fluffy would then have something that smells like Creamy to snuggle with at night and he wouldn’t be lonely. I was absolutely sure of this. A secondhand effect would be that I would then post about it on my blog, and just sound totally natural about it, like I skin small rodents every day, and you’d think damn, she’s all woodsy and badass! If she can skin a gerbil, she probably skins fucking tigers. Or baby tigers.
Hahahahahahaha! Good one.
Instead, I made this:
But you have to admit it has the spirit of a gerbil.
I rubbed it all over Creamy’s little dead body to get his smell on it, and I put it in the gerbils’ nest.
Then we gave Creamy a proper burial in the back yard, skin and all, and I cried.
When we came back in I checked on Fluffy. He was attacking the rag. I took it out. He curled up in his nest and went to sleep, like, “Whatever”.
Are you genuinely grossed out and disturbed that I seriously considered skinning and stuffing Rocky’s pet gerbil? I am too. But I really was worried about Fluffy getting depressed. I can’t stand seeing animals all scared and confused, or seeing them suffer. I’ll go to great lengths to help them. Rocky had a baby goldfish named Pocket, and when I found out goldfish are anxious without friends, I insisted on buying not just a friend, but a thirty gallon tank and like $50 worth of plants since according to my research they also need lots of space in order to be healthy. And one time my friend in Austin, Linda, was babysitting Rocky’s polliwogs while we were out of town, and the polliwogs all died, and she buried them in her potted plant and put eight tiny handmade crosses over them, and I totally would have done the same thing. And then one time Sunny mortally wounded a possum, and it was suffering so I put it in a bag and ran it over with my car. Dude, I am KIND.
This is a litter of gerbil babies. Gah, that is so gross.