I once had a gerbil named Jeffrey and we all called him Jeffy. He was an albino gerbil who had the run of the house. You couldn't help but love the little guy because he was so fun to have around. He was a sweet boy. Smart and I mean smart. He was so smart that he knew how to get out of his tank and leave it. I've awoken to hearing him run around his tank in the middle of the night and climbing up on his water bottle, trying to get out. This goofy boy knew how to squeeze himself out and didn't care if the height of the tank was far off the ground. He'd make to the floor and run around as if he owned the house. You would think a gerbil wouldn't be so smart, but they are. They are capable of learning quickly, especially when you're not home to stop them from leaving the tank. Jeffy decided that during the day when everyone was away, he'd climb out of his tank and go exploring around the house. At which time, Dollie, the only dog we had at the time, followed him into the master bedroom. He hid in the closest and Dollie lay there, watching him. This little sweetheart waited until someone came and got him. When my Mom and Dad came home, they weren't sure what was in the closet because of Dollie. So they opened the closest door and to their surprise was the silly gerbil, standing on his hind legs, looking at them. Apparently, Jeffy had braved through the house, all the while, keeping Dollie on her toes? Who knows? He was all right. But he sure loved to tell his "mate" Peanut all about his adventure to her. Jeffy was so bright that he would actually be the only gerbil allowed free roam. If he got himself under the washer or dryer, he'd come out for peanut butter. He always had to have peanut butter as a treat! He loved it. Jeffy was a great father and Peanut was a great mother. I went to breeding gerbils for the local pet store in exchange for food, bedding, toys, and sometimes, they'd give me money. The babies were handled daily so they were always hand-trained and used to people. I even babysat Peanut's litter while she got free time from them. She would often check on them, then run around. They'd always fall asleep in my hands. So, they were used to my scent and warmth. It was something nice. The downside with Peanut was? She bit me all the time. Jeffy lived longer than any gerbil around. He lived for six to seven years and Peanut lived for five years. They were given a lot of enrichment, love, and food blocks, seeds, and yogurt treats. Even wood blocks to chew on for their teeth since they grow. You won't find another couple of cute gerbils like Jeffy and Peanut.
Ralph, Charles, Lily, and Belle
After their deaths, I went ahead and got two new gerbils. Well, what happened to two turned into four.
What started out as two young baby gerbils that were mis-sexed. They were both brother and sister. I split them up when I found out that they were both brother and sister. A week after I got the boys, I got two girls. I was prepared for litters and had a slew of gerbils. I was giving one of the litters to a new pet store and the local pet store. But all that changed when we moved. Charles, Belle, Ralph, and Lily were such sweet gerbils that I used Charles as a main character of a story. I haven't used any of the other gerbils for a character of a story. It hadn't really occurred to me to do that.
I also had an Ellie who was Charles and Belle's daughter. Unfortunately, the gerbils became ill from my new home and shortly passed away from exposure to cold temperatures and a hidden mold problem that killed all of my small animals.