There was a moderate amount of chaos at ours around midnight on Saturday. The Lovely Melanie was in Hatfield for the night, and I was in charge, so it never got above “moderate”. I hate to think what would have happened otherwise.
Around midnight I heard Millie get upset about something in her room. When I walked in she was apparently frightened by something that “ran across the floor,” and – more alarmingly – she could “see the eyes!”
Rat? Large spider? Snake? Ghost??? WTF??
I sat down on the bed and gave her a hug before happening to glance at the cage of Sparkle the gerbil.
The top hatch was open and Sparkle wasn’t visible.
That’s because Sparkle was ON THE LOOSE!!
Somebody – mentioning no names *cough*Millie*cough* – had left the hatch open and Sparkle had, quite naturally, climbed out and gone for a look around.
Gerbils are fast, agile and can jump like you wouldn’t believe – not to mention being small and able to squeeze into all sorts of tiny spaces; I thought we’d probably seen the last of Sparkle (until one day when a tiny gerbil corpse would turn up behind a wardrobe…)
But no, she popped out from under Millie’s wardrobe and looked curiously up at us, unaware of the consternation her freedom was causing.
After a second’s pause I dived towards her, and for the next five minutes moderate chaos reigned as I chased her around Millie’s bedroom – holding my breath every time she disappeared under some furniture.
At one point Amber popped a sleepy head round the door to see what on earth was going on.
“Sparkle’s escaped!” shouted Millie.
“Oh,” said Amber, and wandered back to bed.
I managed to catch the wayward Sparkle under a bucket at one point – a false start because I still couldn’t get her back in the cage. Luckily, at no point did she think of hiding and staying hidden, and eventually a two-handed grab nailed her and we returned her safely to the cage.
We all laughed about it the next morning, but Millie was genuinely upset last night: scared that the same thing would happen again, so a saucepan lid has been placed over the cage door. Just in case.