Sunday night I went to Wal-Mart and made a collage of pictures of Lilly. We hung it on the wall over the empty table and cried together.
I felt like the pictures of Lilly brought some closure and that we had had enough of the tears and long faces. We all missed the gerbil antics and silliness. Our house was empty without it. Today it was time to find a new gerbil friend.
I told the kids that if they finished their school work and cleaned up the house we could go gerbil shopping today. An amazing thing happened then: smiles and laughter returned. By 3:00 we were ready to go.
We were hoping to find a pair of female gerbils that were litter mates because gerbils are social creatures and are healthier when kept in pairs as long as they aren't strangers. To our great delight the pet store had just put out a new litter of gerbils for sale that morning. Four females shared a cage and we had our pick. The kids picked one light brown gerbil who was the most curious and active and one black gerbil who was more shy. They named the brown one Misty and the black one Holly.
They were all giggles and excitement as Misty and Holly ventured into their new cage and explored their surroundings.
Liana, who was being held in the basement, pawed impatiently at the basement door. When we finally let her up it didn't take her long to discover that the gerbil cage was full of excitement and friendship once again. She was delighted.
All is well once more in the Eby household. The gerbil cage is busy and adorable. The cat is entertained and fulfilled. The girls are smiling and laughing. Here's to many more years with Misty and Holly.