Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Arthur & Doyle
When I got to the shelter, I found two scrawny looking raggedy things, clinging to each other in a hamster cage. Gerbils are master burrowers and should really live in a tank full of shavings, but we don't really have proper accomodations for them at the shelter.
"Do you want them? Take them." James appeared at the doorway. James always tells me to take everything, so I rolled my eyes and gave my customary answer.
"No thanks." I flipped their card over. "Where did they come from? They look pretty scruffy."
"They look like crap." James concurred. "Owners left them behind in the apartment when they moved."
"Charming. And did the owners not feed them?"
"Well, no one knew they were there."
The rest of the story comes out over the next few days. These two gerbils lived in a house that also had a few pet rats. At some point, the owners decided to move, and made the oh-so-popular decision to not move their pets. The logical thing to do would be to surrender your pets to one of the five shelters in the GTA, but no. Instead, they moved out and left their animals behind, without telling anyone they were there.
In fact, no one realized they were there for over a week. Once TAS was finally called to pick them up, the situation had deteriorated. The rats were in such bad shape, they were starting to eat themselves and had to be euthanized.
Gerbils are desert animals, and they are designed to withstand a lack of food and water, so they were in better shape. However, they were thin, lethargic and their fur had seen better days. I named them Arthur and Doyle. They were gentle and friendly, and depressed.
A few days later, I was back at the shelter and talking to James again.
"Hurry up and take your gerbils." He teased.
"Honestly, I might." I admitted. "If they're not gone in a week, I might take them. I miss having gerbils."
"The vet is iffy on clearing them for adoption." He told me. "She's not sure they're healthy enough to make available."
I took them that night.
Tim Horton's cardboard coffee tray in less than an hour.
I'm sure the boys' ordeal has had some effect on them, and they may not end up living very long. It doesn't really matter to me how much time they have left. They've joined my crazy household, and here they will stay.