Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love, total BFFness, and Loss: The Tale of Spike the Gerbil

When I was twelve I had a gerbil named Spike. Spike was no ordinary gerbil, he was a gerbil of integrity and love. Spike and I formed a bond that I believed could never be broken, not even by all of the sexy girlfriend gerbils that I imagined Spike would someday have (he was totally a studly gerbil).

I never thought that a gerbil could be so much fun; he would chew on empty toilet paper rolls and I would watch, he would scamper across my hands and I would watch, sometimes he would even be sleeping and there I’d be, like a stalker with my pants down in the middle of the night holding only a camera and a switchblade, watching. Ah, memories. 

Spike’s entrance into my life was completely unexpected, or, I guess as unexpected as it can be to have what you thought were two female gerbils get pregnant and have babies. So, pretty unexpected. I noticed that one of the gerbils, Mocha Latte (most creative name ever, right?), had chubbed up a bit, so we bought her a wheel so she could get busy getting back into shape because no one likes a lazy gerbil. Turns out she already got busy a few weeks earlier, and one morning I could hear my sister yelling about how there were tiny pink worms in our gerbils’ cage. Those worms were six very wrinkly baby gerbils. My parents were SO stoked. 

I soon zeroed in on a cute, black baby gerbil who I knew would be the most kick-ass little gerbil ever, so therefore I named him Spike because of the name’s apparent awesomeness. I wish I had named him Spike after Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I wasn't that cool yet, I was just pretty unoriginal, I mean I named my bird Tweety and my fish Fishy.

Spike and I were BFF for a few weeks and I continued to love him and the little white stripes on his back that made him look like a skunk. Everything changed so quickly. One day I went to go watch Spike chew on things but when I got to his cage I couldn’t find him anywhere. I looked inside his little wooden house, under the cedar shavings, on the floor of the room and everywhere in between. I couldn’t find my furry friend.

That’s when I noticed the tail. A black tail with a white tip was sticking out from underneath the food dish; it took every ounce of courage I had to lift that bowl up. My life would never be the same.

Spike was dead. And not only was he dead, he was completely flat. 

The food dish, a source of happiness for many, became the source of all that was evil for my twelve year old self. It flattened my best friend.

From that point on I think rage must have clouded my memories of that day because I don’t remember what happened to the food dish, only that it ended up mutilated and in pieces in the garbage later on. My parents were slightly concerned.

The next day I went to gaze at the empty place where Spike once slept in his cage and almost immediately fell in love with another baby gerbil whom I subsequently named Spike.


1 comment:

  1. Those circumstances are awfully suspicious. Food bowls are usually fairly motionless creatures and even when crushing things rarely have the motivation to reduce them to pancakes. I'd reopen the case if I were you.