Back story: Daughter loves animals and, like me, always has to have something furry in the house. She compromised with a pair of gerbils while in college. After she graduated and returned to Korea a year and a half ago the gerbils ended up with us, along with the rest of her stuff. I don’t have a problem with that, except for the fact we also have 11 gerbil-eating critters living here too. They remained in their cage shut safely in her room and I did feeding/play/care every morning and night.

The first passed last spring. It was no surprise - the rattikins were almost 6 and this is pushing it in the gerbil world. I learned this when I sleepily googled “life expectancy of gerbils” one morning after getting up early to do the morning routine. I know, I’m a horrible mother and I’m going straight to hell. Sue me.

This week I headed in before bed on Tuesday. He had food in his dish and was sleeping in the corner of his cage as he often did. I didn’t want to wake him up, so I slipped his favorite seed snack in and left. In the morning I grabbed the food, filled his dish. “Good morning little dude! Here’s breakfast! Well, you didn’t have your snack last night so you’re not getting more of that. Foods are waiting when you wa.... Oh. Wait.”

So I head downstairs to leave for work and informed The Mister. The conversation went like this:

G: We have a deceased gerbil.

M: Are you sure?

G: Positive.

M: Check a pulse?

G: Dude, dead is dead.

M: CPR?

G: Fuck you.

M: Wow, you must have made a great EMT.

G: Look. He was sleeping when I gave him seed snacks last night and he was still sleeping in the same position when I fed him this morning. I think that’s a pretty good indication of dead.

M: You fed a dead gerbil. Twice.

G: Just shut up and get a fucking shovel.