Vorsprung durch technik

Gerbils, eh? Funny little creatures; very skittish. Tend to stare a lot. (This morning, because our central heating is broken, they are shivering a lot.) Sadly, gerbils tend to get cooped up in cages that are far too small for the blighters. Sure, they’re small. But they were designed to run rampant across the Mongolian steps, man.

Enter my girlfriend’s latest creation, which I have dubbed Gerbopolis (‘Hamsterdam’ has been vetoed for biological reasons that I regard as, frankly, picky):

It’s almost a metre tall, and would comfortably fit a child chimney sweep (without brushes).

Residents? Two. First, Coffee. Here we see him in his natural condition, i.e. planning an elaborate escape. Oh, sure, he’ll erase his sand diagrams with a sweep of the tail when Britta or I turn up with treats, but someone was whistling the theme to the Great Escape last night, and it wasn’t me. Distinctive behaviour: stroking his moustache like a silent-era movie villain.

Next up is Erich. Britta selected his name – the German form of ‘Eric’ – simply for the humour of listening to my pronunciation. Eric is the engineer; the explorer; the one with the huge eyelashes. Distinctive behaviour: He regularly enters panic-induced catatonia if surprised – by, for example, his whiskers. Here we seen him on holiday in our desert biome:

What’s that you say? You want more cute pictures? Bah! …Alright. Here’s Coffee and Erich last year, waiting for Britta to shout ‘Go!’ at the start of a psychology experiment.

And here they are chatting to one another. I didn’t catch all of it, apart from something that sounded like ‘…shoring at the end of Harry’. Who knows what that can mean.

Published by

Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

6 thoughts on “Vorsprung durch technik”

  1. Nice looking cage, but let me tell you about our guinea pigs …

    We have three hutches – one big one for overnight sleepovers, a smaller infirmary and another one in the laundry for when it’s too hot or cold outside.

    That’s just their overnight accommodation. Our back garden has about 120 sq feet of lawn (the rest is paved), and approximately 108sq feet of this lawn is fenced off with shoulder-high cat-proof galvanised steel mesh topped with two varieties of shade cloth. Inside this run is guinea-pig heaven, with various hidey holes, lots of grass to munch, and plenty of water feeders and food dishes strategically placed so they don’t have to walk too far for their refreshments. (I tell you, I’ve considered moving in with them.)

    Every day the guinea pigs are transferred from the cages to the lawn, and every night they’re moved back again before encroaching darkness frightens them.

    So, how many guinea pigs enjoy this pampering? Two.

    My kids have had guinea pigs for 7 or 8 years now, so they’re old hands at all this.

  2. Sorry to hear that, Roland… Well, at least you gave the chap a good life. Pity they have such short little lives…

  3. Ooh, I bet they would, Tom. If they could get past the cat-repellent measures that Coffee and Erich have constructed…

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