We returned home recently to find this adorable poster was recently taped to the telegraph pole in our street. I don't know if Toffee ever turned up, but the poster didn't last overnight rainfall and slipped to the ground, it's felt-tipped message running into illegibility.
Apparently, the man in this story used to work somewhere in our office. I can't decide if his project is a bit of quirky English eccentricism, or the work of a mentally ill local with access to a camcorder.
One of our remaining two gerbils, Dermot, died yesterday. We had noticed flecks of blood in his tank over the last few weeks, and some kind of injury to his ear. I guess he was catching it on something. Judging by the state of his tank tonight, he re-opened his injury to a fatal extent earlier in the day.
This brings the number of gerbils remaining to one, down from a maximum of twenty-two that we had when we lived in the flat in Crossgates. Kaplinski is fine.
we nearly lost another gerbil, the very moment we got back into the house. it all happened so quickly. i was wondering out loud why there was a load of fluff on the living room floor, just as gemma opened the back door. molly immediately came in, as if she had been waiting for us to return. i turned and noticed paddy sniffing around my bag.
swift action ensued, with molly being unceremonially forced our through the bars of the security gate. i moved the bags into the hall, and we both set about attempting to entice our elderly escapee from under the sofa. the tried and tested method of tapping an approximate replication of a gerbil mating call worked, and we soon had him in the safety of his tank. it seems as through on of the plastic plugs had simply fallen out, and paddy had flung himself off of the five-foot high bookshelf (hopefully onto the sofa).
on friday morning, gemma came down stairs to find that molly, a neighbour's cat who we allow into the house (the cat, not the neighbour), had sneaked in when i went out to work. she had sawdust on her nose, an indication that she had been 'bothering' the gerbils. this is not normally possible for her to do, as the gerbils live in large glass tanks which sit atop our bookshelf. there is no ledge available for molly to climb to, and it is too high to jump. however, on friday, i had got the tanks down and put them on the kitchen table, so gemma could clean them out.
upon inspection, gemma discovered that either oblio or arrow, who are brothers, had died. we actually think he died a few days ago, but we didn't notice as he was hidden under the wooden tunnel. in addition, although molly couldn't get into the tanks, she succeeded in scaring max, brother of paddy (and at four years old pretty elderly in gerbil terms), into having some kind of stroke. he died on friday night. both have now been buried at the allotment, near the pumpkin patch. they will be missed.
right now, we have too many gerbils. as well as the five adults, we are stuck with a litter of six, that we cannot seem to shift, and another litter of six that are about a week away from being ready to go to the pet Shop. but that is a problem - all the pet shops in east leeds seem to be full.
so gemma placed an ad on the interweb. she got the following reply (reproduced with no alteration):
Good Day, Am Mr James Innocent .I am an Uk specialist based in Africa, i saw your ad on the internet site and i will like to buy your (Pet) for a client of mine who is about establishing a veterinary center for animal treatment.I will like to know the present condition and also the current pics(if avaliable)and the age of it,also re-affirming your asking price. Hoping to hear from you soon. Best regards, Mr James Innocent
now then. now. then. lets just slow down there, james. lets not be too hasty. sounds a bit dodgy to me; i feel i should be wary. oh, i see, your surname is innocent. i have nothing to fear from you. and you are a specialist, to boot. it doesn't matter what you specialise in, i'm sure it's all above board.
what's that, you wish to buy our (pet) for a friend? surely there is a pet store near-by? why would you need to buy a pet for a veterinary center for animal treatment - vets fix poorly animals, our non-specific pet(s) are fine thanks. also,even if we weren't offering them for free, we would be asking a lot less than the shipping would cost.
mmm, on reflect, we'll pass on your kind, legitimate offer. maybe one of the other people you cc'd will be more trusting.
the surviving six gerbils that were born shortly after christmas went off to their new temporary accommodation at pets at home, where they will be sold as pairs. we did this earlier than we might otherwise have, because we noticed serafina was fattening up again. and, some time this afternoon, at least six further pups appeared.