Alice’s Restaurant

November 15, 2006

Gerbil TV

Filed under: Day to Day Life — aliceaudrey @ 2:53 am

I suppose it’s about time I answered the question.  What is Gerbil TV?

Keep in mind that my family gave up cable TV a few years ago.  We still get broadcast, when the weather is good, and rent videos a fair amount, but we don’t do any channel surfing.

Last year we went to the pet store and got a couple of gerbils for my daughter. 

Gerbils are fun to watch.  They are sociable creatures who get along much better than hamsters.  Soon my whole family found itself standing round the cage, watching the gerbils play.  We spent more time watching gerbils than watching TV.

When we got them, the clerk assured me they were both female.  You’d think a pet store clerk would be able to tell, wouldn’t you?  Hah!

Everything was fine until about four months after we brought them home.  Then it turned out one of the gerbil was a daddy, which made the other a mommy, and we had ourselves a litter of 6 gerbils.

Like I said, gerbils are sociable creatures.  The daddy did not eat any of the babies and neither did the mommy.  Instead, we got treated to gerbil antics like box matches, friendly chases, group grooming – get your mind out of the gutter, they weren’t doing anything naughty – and gerbils who would sit on their haunches and watch TV.

We gave that litter to the pet store when we couldn’t find anyone else to give them to.  Did you know gerbils breed as soon as a litter is born?  By the time we figured out which gerbil was nursing the babies, it was already too late.  Shortly after giving away the first litter of gerbils, we were treated to another.  We decided to keep this one because they were so fun to watch.

We took these gerbils to the veterinarian to have them positively identified girls from boys.  You wouldn’t think it wouldn’t be that hard to tell, would you?  I mean, surely a veterinarian could be relied on to do a good job.

So, a few weeks later we had our third litter.  Yep, it turned out daddy was the only male in the lot.  We now have three cages of gerbils.  Every so often the gerbils will do something cute and the whole family ends up standing around the cages watching gerbil TV.



  1. OMG, Alice! 🙂 I bet they’re terribly cute.

    Comment by Lynne — November 15, 2006 @ 4:25 am

  2. LOL I’ve never had gerbils, but had a few hamsters during the course of my life. Maybe I will look into gerbils rather than hamsters the next time I decide to get a pet. They sure sound a lot nicer than hamsters.

    Comment by Cat — November 15, 2006 @ 4:37 am

  3. Yep, they are way too cute.

    We have both gerbils and a hamster. We got two brother hamsters thinking they could keep each other company. Not. Had to go back and get a second cage in a matter of weeks.

    Hmmm… there are an awful lot of cages in this house.

    Anyway the brother hamster died of pneumonia a couple of years ago. Neither hamster was nearly as much fun as the gerbils.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — November 15, 2006 @ 6:45 am

  4. You gave up cable TV, brave woman! Sounds like Gerbils are a cute alternative! I’ll have to remember this when the boys get a little older and start wanting their own pets (we already have a dog and a cat, but they are pretty much attached to my husband).

    Comment by Pam — November 15, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  5. They are great. Much lower maintenance than a dog. Just clean the cages once a week. My daughter carries them around all the time.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — November 15, 2006 @ 7:24 pm

  6. One of my favorite things to watch has always been the wildlife shows on National Geographic or Discovery. Meerkats, in particular, are the *best*. Turn off the volume, and telling the story of what’s going on with the animal families is a favorite pass-time around these parts. They’ve even made a “reality show” out of one tribe of meerkats, but in honesty, I like our version better. We’ll never be without cable, because we both need the high speed access and hub is still in journalism, but I still find that I watch very little “normal” television (always making exceptions for Veronica Mars and occasionally remembering to watch Heroes).

    Comment by captainfun — November 15, 2006 @ 7:49 pm

  7. Eep! Apparently my son’s been using my computer and left his account logged in. That’s me up there, Alice 🙂

    Comment by Chris — November 15, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  8. Meerkats are great. A lot of similarity between Meerkats and gerbils, except the gerbils can’t get into as much trouble.

    Captain fun hmmm? I like it.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — November 16, 2006 @ 6:17 am

  9. […] Filed under: Uncategorized — aliceaudrey @ 1:03 am The boy has a hamster now.  I guess Gerbil TV will have a little something […]

    Pingback by Freedom? Or Merely Escape? « Alice’s Restaurant — February 16, 2008 @ 1:03 am

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