7th Mar 2005
Things aren't as bad as I thought they would be. The youngsters next door are now spending a lot of time out of the nest exploring their tank, but so far they are keeping the noise down. Their eyes are still closed meaning that they can't see anything, so they are like little bump-and-go toys; they waddle at top speed in one direction until something gets in the way, then they scoot off in another direction until that way is blocked, then it's off again.... it's very funny to watch.
The triplets are up to their usual tricks, especially Star who likes nothing better than sitting on the human's shoulder as he walks around the room. Marlon isn't so brave but he likes being stroked once he allows himself to be picked up. Poor Spook is in disgrace though, as he bit the human's little finger yesterday while being handled. I don't know why he did it as our human is always very gentle with us, but I don't think he'll be getting any sunflower seeds for a few days. Still, the plaster that our human put on his finger made a good chew toy for Michael, so it wasn't all bad news.
Our human had a visitor last night who also loves gerbils, so Michael and I got to run around and climb on both of them for half an hour. It was great fun, especially as our human let me use the 'climbing tubes' to get in and out of my tank. Michael isn't brave enough to climb down them yet but I love being able to run up and down them. Who said you can't teach an old gerbil new tricks?
8th Mar 2005
Much excitement this morning from our human, as young Pippin (the male pup) has opened both his eyes overnight. Even I have to admit that he looks very cute, following his dad everywhere and exploring his new brightly-coloured world.
10th Mar 2005
Both pups can now see clearly and are spending lots of time running round their tank, practicing their digging skills and putting anything they find into their mouths. Their parents leave them to get on with it and let them come and go as they please. Luckily they are still too young to enjoy toilet roll tubes, so there are plenty of those for the rest of us to play with. Michael is a bit cross that our human is taking so many photographs of the youngsters and none of him. I tried to explain that this is the human's first gerbil litter so we should let him enjoy the pups. "I can be just as cute as a pup" he said. "Just as annoying too," I told him. "Stop kicking those wood shavings onto my head and come down here to help me destroy this TP tube!"
Spook has been forgiven for biting the human but now Star is in his bad books for gnawing a hole in the sleeve of his jumper last night. Star had done his 'jumpy-up-and-down-dance' to get some out-time on our human, and had several minutes of climbing up and down his arms and around his shoulders. He was put back into the tank and the human had his arm inside playing with Spook and Marlon, but Star decided that he wasn't getting enough attention so he reached up and nibbled a great big hole in the human's sleeve!
12th Mar 2005
We're being neglected! Our human cleaned out the family's tank today, giving them lots of lovely fresh shavings and a huge pile of shredded tissue to build a cosy nest. He then did the same for the triplets, but he says we have to wait until tomorrow. At least we got a good long run-around with him on the sofa tonight, and Michael finally plucked up the courage to use the 'climbing tubes' to get out. He still won't climb back up into the tank by himself, although I tried to show him how easy it is several times. To make matters worse the pups next door love climbing up our human's arm whenever he puts his hand into their tank, and are happy to sit on his shoulder to be stroked. They can't climb back down yet though, as their claws are too short to give a good grip. They just spread their little legs and do a sort of wriggly slide most of the way, then flop off into the litter. I think they enjoy jumping off more than climbing up, especially if mum or dad is underneath to be used as a landing pad. I just hope Michael doesn't get any ideas from watching them play - he's much too big to be jumping on me!
18th Mar 2005
We got our tank cleaned out as promised last Sunday, and immediately set about trashing it. Humans don't seem to understand that we gerbils don't like a tidy tank - happiness is a great big pile of shavings in the centre with all the corners dug out, preferably with the food dish buried as a finishing touch. Kicking litter into the dish really annoys our human, so of course Michael makes a point of doing it whenever he can. We got a lovely big pile of fresh shredded tissue in our nest box, so we had to kick it all out and mix it with the shavings before making our bed the way we like it.
The pups are looking like real gerbils now that their ears have unfolded properly. They're very tame for youngsters, and climb onto the human's hand and up his arm whenever they can. They're able to climb down now too, although they much prefer to sit on his shoulder and play with his hair. They've started nibbling at food and testing out the water bottle, and have also discovered the joys of gnawing cardboard. They spend a lot of time chasing each other around their tank, wrestling each other and their poor parents, and practicing their digging. I get exhausted just watching them!