Pillow the Gerbil is not long for this world. How do I know this? Well, I have observed a few things about our furry little friend:
- She looks puffy. Not fluffy, puffy. Not "she's put on a little weight" puffy but "she looks swollen" puffy.
- She is not as active or active at all really.
- She looks old and haggard. Yes, this is subjective but I'm telling you - she looks world-weary.
- She smells more. You know how really old people have a particular smell? It would appear the same is true for gerbils though it's not like Kleenex and weird unguents and more like extra rodent pee.
It's also a known fact that the lifespan of a gerbil is 3 to 5 years with 5 years being crazy old, like 500 in gerbil years. By our calculations, Pillow is close to 4 years old.
Add all of this together and the writing is on the cage walls in strong gerbil urine -Pillow is going to die.
We began preparing the children for this eventuality shortly after our return from Portugal. They too noticed the changes in Pillow's behavior and appearance and so they began to talk about and accept it.
Then, we started talking about future pets and the kids wanted to know if they could get another pet. I had originally planned to get two more gerbils but Miguel said, "No offense to Pillow but I'd really like a pet I can cuddle." So, we began to talk about getting a guinea pig. I gotta tell you - I'm not a fan. They are large rodents with more pee and they have that weird hair that looks like it's been blown dry by an inattentive stylist. Fur every which way! Luisa was adamantly opposed to a guinea pig and said, "I'd rather get a cat than a guinea pig!"
We haven't had a cat for several years and we have both enjoyed our cat-free lives. Plus, Luisa is allergic to cats. So, two things happened when she said she'd rather get a cat:
- I understood how much she hated guinea pigs.
- I knew that we were going to get a cat.
We started talking tentatively about getting a kitten but made no promises to the children. I figured that we would start looking in the spring when kittens are as plentiful as tulips.
Then, one night, our friend Sara called and said, "I have this kitten that needs a home..." The next day, Luisa suggested I visit the kitten and I did and the kitten was cute but had medium length hair so I told Sara that we couldn't take it because it would be worse for Luisa's allergies. I drove home and Luisa texted me and said, "Did you visit the kitten? Do you have a picture?" I did have a picture and sent it to her. She texted back, "Maybe we should get it."
Luisa and the kids arrived home and we told them about the kitten and Luisa suggested we all go visit the kitten. I knew right then that we were getting the kitten. And we did.
Isn't she adorable? What? You can't tell from that picture? Well, welcome to my new life as kitten owner. This life is filled with a lot of movement and scratches on my legs and tugs on the lap top cord when I'm trying to write and nibbles on my toes as I try to have coffee in the morning.
But, I must admit our lives are now filled with a lot of cuteness and kitten cuddles and purring.
The kids now have a pet they can cuddle.
Welcome to the family Momo.