Flash

26/3/14 18:48
benicek: (sunset)
Gerbil

Experimenting with my new flash. The ancient three-year-old gerbil was very tolerant. 
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gerbil

I bought some new ones.
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Photobucket


Just to reassure my readers that my silken friends are not neglected or dead. Rather they are besieged. Lying low, literally. The child likes them a lot. That's the problem. If I remove them from the protection of their bunker she squeals with delight and approaches ineluctably, hands poised like a crab's claws, bellowing "HELLO GERBILS!" with painful volume, forcing them to flatten their ears against their heads. Generally, therefore, these days they get played with after she's gone to bed, in the company of far less dangerous interested older children or Italian doctors.
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Went to the pet shop (or as I like to think of it, the 'slave market', hehe) today armed with an appropriately sized, ventilated box, but was disappointed. They had a nice trio of females and a pair of robust males, but they were over a year old. That's one third their lifespan. I can't understand why they bother stocking such mature specimens. Do you get a 33% discount?
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Gerbils generally turn up their noses at cooked vegetables. They seem to mistrust plants that have been interfered with and softened in this manner. Maybe they suspect them of being rotten. So, I thought they certainly wouldn't like boiled green beans, but I was wrong.....

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God, I thought my old gerbil was dying earlier today. But she wasn't. She was just basking in the sun with her face pressed against the glass of her vivarium.
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The Guardian website today carried a story about the current mouse plague in China, complete with links to Chinese news sites covering the event. Apparently floods have driven millions of mice into surrounding farmland, creating a biblical pest problem. There's some great footage here of people filling bags with live mice, as if they were a liquid. But there are also some still pictures of the alleged mice here. I say 'alleged' because when I clicked on that link I couldn't believe my eyes. Scroll down and look at the 4th picture, and the three below it. Now, I may not be the sharpest tool in the box but I do know my rodents. Those are not mice and they're not rats, those are Mongolian gerbils, exactly the same species as can be found in any British or American pet shop, and which you can see here being used as my default icon.

Mouse plague indeed. Pah!
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From time to time I like to give my Livejournal avatar a rest, let her out from the little box in the corner of my screen and allow her to run about the table a bit.

CURIOUS FACT: My wife's brother-in-law is unable to visit us because he is too afraid to enter a room which he knows contains a small rodent. Ironically, I know for a fact that his own house is crawling with mice, it's just that he never sees them.


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My mother-in-law has been having great difficulties with small things. She's highly skilled at comforting the baby and sending her off to sleep; no problem there. No, it's the two gerbils she has to share a room with that cause her aggravation. Their furious digging and chewing was driving her wild last night. Periodically we would hear her calling out in Czech "I'm going to kill you!" This morning she complained that grown men like me shouldn't keep little animals as pets. I pointed out that many grown adults (including her) keep silly little dogs and cats as pets and I see no great difference between these and my pocket sized friends. She doesn't like their names either. I call them 'number one' and 'number two'. She's renamed them Amanda and Betsy.

Mother-in-Law was looking through some pictures on our computer just now and I noticed something amusing. She can't use a mouse. I mean she understands the principle, but cannot actually move it accurately enough to make the cursor go where she wants. She tries to move it using her whole arm, like the gear stick of a car. Haha.
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Our friend Roman (see previous entry) has a much better camera than me and, at my request, was trying to capture my little friends last night. I am delighted with the results. The wife was unimpressed. She said "we already have one million pictures of gerbils". This just isn't true and is typical of the sort of hysterical remarks I have to put up with on a daily basis. We can't have more than a hundred at the most.
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