Posts Tagged ‘Jopty Gerbil’

Jopty’s Recycling Center

May 1, 2011

Jopty's empty kingdom.


Jopty Gerbil is the easiest animal to take care of.  Honestly, if you want easy, get a gerbil.  They don’t have any odor, and they eat anything, ANYTHING, you can give them.  I used to buy commercial bedding for him, and one day I gave him an empty toilet paper tube to play with.  He had great fun with it and ran through it several times, then grabbed the end of it with both his adorable little paws and gnawed away at it, with a rat-tat-tat-tat noise like a tiny machine gun, or a manual typewriter if you prefer a less military comparision.

The next morning I noticed that the entire tube was gone, and I assumed that he ate it.  This seemed like a real deal to me.  Feed him cardboard (that statement alone should remind everyone to take everything I say with a grain of salt).  What an inexpensive pet!  So I gave him another tube. 

This went on a bit before I realized that he was not eating the cardboard, he was shredding it.  Shredding it into tiny, adorable shreds better than any shredder that money can buy.  He made a heap of shreds, and created a nest inside of the heap, which took me to a new train of thought…

If he shreds cardboard tubes so well, what would he do with empty paperboard boxes, like cereal boxes, or empty tea boxes, or spaghetti boxes?  He dragged the empty tea box on its side, and turned the empty tea box into a little house.  He dragged in shredded bedding from other parts of his cage and made a nest inside, after chewing a hole in the bottom for an escape hatch.  The spaghetti boxes didn’t fit flat on the bottom of the cage, for they were too long, so the spaghetti box would be propped at a diagonal, and he’d pop in the upper end and slide down the inside of the box with a *thump* at the bottom, then climb back up, still inside the box, sometimes not making it to the top and he’d slide backwards down to the bottom again, with another thump.  The little window on the spaghetti box only made it look cuter.  Sometimes he’d stop and look out the little window on the spaghetti box as if to say, “Hey, just what’s so funny?”  And if you imagine he spoke with a British accent, well, you just have to chuckle. 

So I stopped buying the special bedding for him, for there’s usually a good supply of cardboard thereabouts.  And just the other day, I had another brainfart brainstorm: what about junk mail?  I decided that colored junk mail definitely was out, because the inks and dyes could be poisonous to a little rodent, although probably not too poisonous or else they’d be in d-CON mouse bait, and I just wasn’t sure about black ink.  So I gathered some old papers that needed to be shredded, like old bills with addresses and account numbers on them, and took the plunge.

Alice: "Hmmm, Jopty, let me think about this. If you start now, you could be finished by supper."


Alice: "Jopty? JOPTY?! Are you in there? Are you all right? Answer me, boy!"

This scene of destruction took place a few days ago when I had a little time on my hands.  Every day I checked on the progress and found that Jopty had pulled some of the pages to the bottom of the cage and had been sitting on them while he piled his nest on top.  I reached in and fluffed up the pages so that he could destroy them better.

Jopty: "Wow, I'm saving the planet!"

When I clean out his cage, I just take a handful of the stuff and sprinkle it around the bushes and plants for mulch.  One gerbil, saving the planet. 

(Disclaimer:  households with small children (or big children) under the age of 6 should not have gerbils.)

Wildlife Camera, Night Four

July 18, 2010

On the way home from school yesterday, I stopped at the Home Depot and picked up a container of assorted bungee cords.  When I got home, I lowered the wildlife camera yet again in hopes of getting more ground action.

I see from the following two (sorry, only two) photos that the food level in the feeders has dropped considerably from the night before, telling me that many animals are feeding.  But hardly any photos to show for it.  I also see that I need to shift the camera more so that it captures more of the station. 

A definite work in progress…

The cat in the foreground appears to be the same large cat, probably male, with the swirly markings and white feet, that was seen on 7/15 during the the midmorning hours. There's another cat under the A-frame watering station on the right.

 I see that I need to tidy up the woods a bit.  There are still pieces of the original feeding station, made from an old blue desk, that I dismantled in the woods.  I also see the large dog crate, upended, from where I rehabbed little SoCa, who was the last cat to be trapped, spayed, and returned.

I have no clue who this cat is.

  After the dog episode the first night, I triggered the cat trap and put it next to the biggest opening where I think the dog got in.  It has not been disturbed so now I think the two dogs were just passing through. 

Trap not baited. I was just curious to see if the dog would try to wiggle in through the opening again. If he did, he'd disturb the cat trap and probably cause it to slam shut. Maybe scare the little bugger a bit and keep him away until I patch the fence. Maybe not.

And sometimes in the evening, while my little mind is adrift with homework, housework, and animal news, Jopty helps prepare dinner.

While the spaghetti cooks in the hot pot, Jopty runs the wheel which is connected to the RV battery to provide electricity for the hot pot. I wish.

Jopty: "Is it ready yet? Can I stop now?"

Jopty: "Here. I'll give you my carrot. Carrots add flavor and Vitamin C to your diet. And you'll see better! Lord knows you need the visionhelp."

Jopty Gerbil & Sylvia

March 21, 2010

Sylvia, the famous former feral, is very interested in Jopty Gerbil.  She could easily knock over his cage and play with him.  So I don’t leave her unsupervised.  I’ve caught her looking at him before with a twinkle in her eye.

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon.  The temperature was in the seventies with no rain.  After I arrived home after my Saturday classes, I decided to visit the cat station in the woods, and because it was such a nice afternoon, I left the door of the RV open to air out, forgetting about Sylvia…

After tidying up and filling the feeders at the cat station, I went into the shed to feed the animals.  There’s a new cat living in the shed.  She comes to me from a rescue organization called “Maranatha Farm”; you can read about Maranatha Farm here.  Her name is Jackie, for the one-eyed Jack, because she was found at the bottom of a trash can in the park in Savannah, having been stabbed, tortured, and maimed, namely one ear cut off and one eye gouged, when she was a kitten.  So.  Anyway, Jackie is shy and sweet, and I haven’t seen her for several days, although I know that she is okay, she’s just hiding in the shed.  So I’m in the shed, and I hear a “meaow” that I don’t recognize.  I can see Georgia, and Cali, but neither of them are talking.  Could it be?  So I meow back and get an answer.  Several times.  Yes, it’s a good thing I don’t have close neighbors.  Anyway, I’m looking around for the source of the meowing, and I realize that it’s over my head.  And there sitting in the loft is Jackie.  I drag the ladder over to the loft and climb up to greet her.  She never hides, not even with the commotion of the ladder-dragging, and lets me pet her.  I give her a can of food, and leave her to her own devices, and pat myself on the back for my good fortune as I head back to the RV.

Then I spot her.  Sylvia is on the couch next to Jopty Gerbil. 

Sylvia: "How do you feel about mixed relationships?"

Jopty: "Beam me up, Scotty!"

He can run but he can't hide. He's on the left under the shelf.

Sylvia: "Hey, Jopty, can you come out and play?"

Sylvia: "I'm a vegetarian. Honest."

Sylvia: "Look into my eyes. You're getting verrrry sleepy..."

Sylvia: "What?? You've never seen a gerbil before? It's not such a big deal."