Meet Mouse and Jetpack—or Jetpack and Mouse; It’s Hard to Tell Them Apart.

Oh, hey! Look at this. I wonder what this could be for.

empty cage

It’s familiar, but slightly different than before—and also reflecting every screen in the room.

Hmmmmm. Two boxes and a bag of lab blocks. I wonder what’s in those boxes.

mystery boxes

I wish there were audio to that photo, so you could hear all the frantic scritching and scratching that was coming from those boxes. Alex, later: “You know you just totally wrecked their world today, right?”

But what could be in there? I’ll tell you what’s NOT in there: the hairless damn rats they were selling for $14.99 each at the pet shop. So, I am a big fan of rodents, but even I am all, “So what’s the point of a hairless rat?” Let me tell you, those are some ugly motherfucking animals.


Well, I’ll show you the book that I took with me, with the page featuring the illustration of genitals dogeared so I wouldn’t accidentally end up with a boy/girl pair.

Gerbils! Finally!


Incidentally, it’s like that book was written for me. It had chapters on photographing your gerbil and how to force them to participate in crafts, like paper snowflake creation.

Without further ado, meet Mouse (on the left) and Jetpack (on the right).

Mouse and Jetpack

They’re both off-white, but one is gray off-white and one is brown off-white. If you ever get them mixed up, I will be extremely offended.

Alex was probably right about me wrecking their lives. I think they were a little traumatized by their move from the heavily populated tank at the pet store to the plush, but lonelier digs in Stimeyland. They’re currently huddled together in a house, refusing to come out.

I think you all know why Mouse is named Mouse. I thought it was funny. Actually, Jack independently came up with the name Mouse as well. As did at least one other friend of mine. So, it’s funny, but maybe not super original. Still, that’s his name.

Jetpack, however, was never going to be called Jetpack. Then, after I brought him home, and he and Mouse were frantically running around the tank destroying the neat setup that I had created for them, he climbed up on top of the little running wheel…

Jetpack, pre-flight


…and then did this:

Blast off!

This is maybe the luckiest photo I ever took. I don’t even care that it’s blurry.

And then he did it again.

After that, it was either name him Jetpack or Dipshit, and it’s easier to explain Jetpack to my kids’ teachers when these animals inevitably show up in school essays.

I’m giving the two of them a couple of days to acclimate to their new home before I start cuddling with them. They seem like they’ll be good pets, although I’m a little disappointed by their almost pathological many hours of trauma-sleeping. They should get used to the fact that they are here to entertain me, not sleep.

Rest up, gerbils, it’s getting close to snowflake season.

Welcome to the newest denizens of Stimeyland!





May they live long and prosper.

39 thoughts on “Meet Mouse and Jetpack—or Jetpack and Mouse; It’s Hard to Tell Them Apart.

  1. Great to see rodents back in Stimeyland again. We’ve missed them!

    I stared longingly at a second-hand cage in a charity shop the other day, having given ours away some years ago after announcing our retirement from any form of future rodent ownership.


    • Now that I’ve had rodents, I can’t imagine not having them in my future. They’re so fun.

  2. Those pictures are so cute and your excitement is so contagious! Almost makes me want one.
    Welcome to Team Stimey Mouse and Jetpack?

  3. They are awesome! And so cute!

    Was Jetpack trying to escape or is he just the Evil Kenevil of gerbils?

  4. Welcome!! Can’t wait for the stories.

    BTW, which do you think are uglier–hairless rats or hairless cats? Because I’m campaigning for hairless cats (well, just one) to replace our middle-elderly cats. Because, no hairballs. And so ugly they’re beautiful. (My husband says only one member of the household–himself–should be able to claim that last thing.)

    • You know, Vickie, that is a pretty tough choice. I might say that hairless dogs are the ugliest. The rats were kinda so ugly they were cute. I haven’t seen a hairless cat in real life, but I think the hairballs may be worth it.

  5. Oops, meant to say that a hairless cat would replace our current middle-elderly cats a few years after their passing, which looks like (we hope) won’t be a long time.

  6. You can force gerbils into indentured servitude? Imma need to revise my Christmas list. Snowflakes for everyone!

  7. Cute! We had gerbils too. I seem to recall they slept a fair amount during the day, but were still cute and cuddly.

  8. Oh yeah – they are also REALLY fast, and smart, so be advised. Make sure the lid to their home has a locking feature that they can’t figure out. Jetpack is already checking.

  9. I’m assuming we fold the paper snowflakes and Jetpack and Mouse chew the designs, yes? I’ll be mailing you some prefolded paper snowflakes and a self addressed stamped envelope immediately.

  10. SUPER cute! i never (ever) thought i would say this about a gerbil, but i am just a little
    bit jealous (and if you tell my daughter I said that I will totally deny it)!

    • No reason, you know, but I am curious if there is a way I could get in touch with your daughter? Not that I want to tell her anything, you know. Just information to have.

  11. I love Jetpack’s name. It’s awesome. Of course, Dipshit has quite a ring to it…but again, I see the issues in explaining that to an elementary school teacher. It could be your “pet” name for him. ;)

  12. Yay to rodents in Stimeyland! congrats! That Jetpack flight is something. Imagine how far he’d go with an ACTUAL jetpack, flying around your house. That would be cool. Sounds like a new video game premise :)

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  14. You had a mouse named Gerbil and now a gerbil named Mouse. Weird. The names, I mean. This makes me remember class gerbils from when I was a kid, 1st grade and then when I took Animal Science in 10th grade just because I like animals, basically. Also, I remember my hamsters in middle school and mice I had in sixth grade ( was gonna do an experiment with mice but they were feeder mice and one died so we switched to hamsters). The live mouse went to the other sixth grade science teacher than the one I had. Then I was a mouse owner again in high school, originally because an Animal Science project on mice. I kept my mouse and that got one to replace it. Then, my mom got tired of cleaning the cage. I may have another rodent sometime in the future. Not sure.

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