Eating Their Own And Other Life Lessons

Feb 21, 2011 by

It is important to know one’s limits.

I must be chaperoned when entering any store with words like “camping,” “outdoor,” or “sailing.” For The Little Black Dress, it’s “shoes” and “decor.”

Throw the Sons of Thunder into the mix and you are setting yourself up for a total breakdown of willpower on a scale of Biblical proportions.

To wit, the “pet store.”

The intent was to find a “zapper” for the Dog Who Could Fly so we could kill train her. Said dog has a tendency to look right at you, smile and then run off despite how vocal you are opposing such a maneuver.

Ever go into a store with the sole intent of purchasing Product X and end up not only not getting Product X, but purchasing Products, A, B and C and other members of the alphabet instead? Yeah.

By the time The Dress and two Sons of Thunder left said pet store, we did not have the Taser. Instead, we added three members to our family. And they apparently like to eat each other.  

Specifically, The Dress brought home three Robo Dwarf Hamsters. For those into Latin, AKA Phodupus roborovskii. Or something.

And they brought home all the stuff – little cage houses, bedding, food, wheels to put them in and watch them roll around the floor, other wheels involving spinning, tunnels, food bowls, water bowls, well, just fill in the blank stuff. All for rats about the size of a golf ball.

Now The Dress informs me we had somehow, somewhere, some time,  always promised to get the Sons of Thunder rats. I do not recall this. But she assured me we had. And more importantly, there were great life lessons to be learned, lessons involving taking care of things, lessons about sharing, lessons about life, lessons about …

“You’re blowing smoke.”

And in a completely uncharacteristic move, the LBD looked right at me, said “shut up,” and walked off.

So each of the Sons has a small rat to learn all those wonderful life lessons. Those lessons apparently involve cannibalism. I say this because these precious snowflakes will eat each other. This occurs when one of said rodents is injured or if you introduce a member from another “clan.” Or at least this is what the nice lady at the pet store told us.

And even if they are of the same clan, it is imperative you keep them together. Because if they are separated for more than an hour, their BB-sized brain will “forget” they are members of the same clan and will, well, eat each other. At least this is what the eldest Son of Thunder told me, who took copious notes.

And I’m looking at the LBD with a sort of “why did we bring home pets that might eat each other?” look and she’s giving me the “speak and die” look and I just drop it. I am not stupid.

So end of story.


Because next thing I know The Dress and eldest Son are off to the pet store again. Apparently we forgot some stuff. And when they return, why, we have two more additions to our family. This time we have two gerbils. To me, they look just like the cannibals, but these rats have tails, so that’s how I can tell them apart.

Now how we got to needing to get some “stuff” to adding two gerbils is simply beyond me. It goes back to knowing your limits. And realizing the eldest Son is a master of manipulation sweetly convincing you to get just one, or two, more things. As near as I can tell, the eldest Son wanted something he could train, and apparently you can’t train the cannibals, so Eldest got the gerbils because they are trainable and the youngest Son got the cannibal that previously belonged to the Eldest Son because they are brothers/clan members and won’t eat each other because they weren’t separated for more than an hour and the middle Son is pouting because he only has one cannibal while the youngest Son has two now but there weren’t any more cannibals of the same clan at the store so we couldn’t introduce another clan because we’d have a piranha attack right before our eyes and The Dress is trying to explain this to Middle Son and it’s not working and …

My head is about to explode.

Animal shrinks will tell you to slowly introduce new pets, not to upset the karma or something. Animal shrinks make a lot of money hoodwinking helping pet owners deal with their pets.

We introduced the cannibals to the Dog Who Could Fly, and I thought said dog’s head would explode. This dog goes after squirrels like no one’s business. And we’ve just brought in five tiny little squirrels and Rat Dog is in total overload. Her little mind simply cannot handle the sensory overload.

And I am getting an intense pleasure from that fact.

The Dress is constantly having to remind the Sons to keep the cannibals’ cage door closed, because Rat Dog really wants to play. And of course the Sons forget and already – within 24 hours – the LBD has had to rescue one of the cannibals from the jaws of Rat Dog, who just wants to play.

To top it off, the cannibals like to run on their little ferris wheel-type devices. All the time. All night long. I know this because I woke up twice in the middle of the night to the sounds of these ounce-sized rats exercising. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

As I write this, the eldest Son of Thunder just walked into the study. There is a slight tear in his eye.

One of his gerbils – Tuggles I believe, isn’t moving.

And so there will be a life lesson or two after all. And a funeral to plan.








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