1. •
    When I was ten years old, I was given a couple of gerbils by my mom's loser boyfriend, Matt.
  2. •
    I don't know why he gave me gerbils. I think it had been my birthday. But we had never discussed gerbils before in any way.
  3. •
    But yeah, Matt walked in one day and had a ten gallon fish tank with two gerbils in it. It also had wood shavings, an inverted water bottle, gerbil food, a gerbil wheel, etc. Everything I'd need!
  4. •
    Which was fine! I was glad and thankful. I named one of the gerbils Gerbily. And the other one I named Pépe.
  5. •
    The only trouble was that we already had two cats. The cats were named Kitten and Q-Tip.
  6. •
    He was named Q-Tip because he was almost completely black but had a wee little bit of white at the terminus of his tail.
  7. •
    Q-Tip realllllly wanted the gerbils. He would sit near them all day long, mesmerized.
  8. •
    I put the gerbils in my room on top of a five-shelf bookcase, which I thought would be out of Q-Tip's reach.
  9. •
    But oh no. Ole Q-Tip kept trying to spring-jump up there from my bed; I had to stack all this stuff around the gerbil tank so there was no where for Q-Tip to land if he ever figured out how to jump that high.
  10. •
    I also was scared to leave the gerbils home alone with Q-Tip because I did not trust him to not try to make a meal out of the gerbils. So whenever I left, I'd be sure to shoo Q-Tip out of my room and shut the door.
  11. •
    Over time, my two gerbils had sex with each other and reproduced and eventually there were like a dozen gerbils in there. They would constantly fight over who got to use the gerbil wheel. They fought so much that NO GERBIL ended up being able to use the gerbil wheel. I loved my gerbils.
  12. •
    (This was too many gerbils for such a small space and I was overcrowding them. But that is not part of the story and anyway give me a break I was ten, okay?)
  13. •
    One day my mom, my brother and I all went to see a movie. It might have been THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
  14. •
    Somehow, I forgot to close my bedroom door.
  15. •
    When we came back home and I went into my room, the gerbil tank was overturned on the floor and wood shavings and broken glass was everywhere!
  16. •
    I was so upset! I looked and looked and looked around my room for my beloved gerbils, but I could not find them.
  17. •
    I searched in the hallway, in the closets. My mom's room. The kitchen. EVERYWHERE. No gerbils. No sign of them at all. I also could not find Q-Tip.
  18. •
    As a last resort, I went down into our cold, dank, unfinished basement. All that was really down there was the laundry room, the cat litter boxes and a corner of the basement my mom had set up as a sort of playroom for me and my bro.
  19. •
    I searched the basement and eventually went over to the playroom area. Mo was there, laying on this little rag rug that was on the floor. He looked fat. And satisfied.
  20. •
    Also on the floor was one of my vinyl record sleeves...the FLASH GORDON movie soundtrack.
  21. •
    And on top of the record sleeve was a smear of blood. And one gerbil tail. And one gerbil foot.
  22. •
  23. •
  24. •
    The End
  25. •
    P.S. This is not an allegory about life. It is actually literally a story about how my cat ate all twelve of my pet gerbils.
  26. •
    P.P.S. Whenever I re-watch FLASH GORDON on my Apple TV, it makes me think of gerbils.
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