I have returned from Disney World. We had a blast. I took a million photos. I will be blogging nonstop about it once I am able to sit down and catch my breath. This will be sometime after I run my first half marathon tomorrow. God only knows how long after.
I do have something fun for you today though. A while ago I had mentioned the stamping that my gerbils do to warn each other of danger and how adorable it is. Several of you expressed interest in seeing a video of said stamping. Since then I have spent countless hours sitting quietly in front of my gerbil tanks holding up my phone ready to record whenever they became alarmed.
They never became alarmed.
So then I sat loudly in front of my gerbil tanks holding up my phone and making large arm gestures and startling whooping noises.
I think they rolled their eyes at me.
I did, however, finally manage to capture some stamping a couple of weeks ago. It’s not the best stamping, because the best stamping happens when a gerbil stands on two legs to stamp and the guy in this video was far too lazy to do that, BUT it is also extremely awesome because you get to see exactly what was alarming to the gerbil.
It’s 17 seconds long and there is sound, but it is almost entirely the soft sounds of a stamping gerbil followed by the creak of my chair.
I’ll see you later; I’ve got some hydrating and sleeping to do. And carb loading. Lots and lots (and lots) of carb loading.
Aw! Look at my happy, peaceful little gerbil friend. He is so relaxed and calm and sleepy.
Meanwhile, our predator finds time to pose, secure in the knowledge that no human or rodent will be able to pry her out of her exactly Oreo-sized stronghold wedged between the window and the gerbil tank.
* Gerbils do an excellent double stamp move to alert each other of danger. It is très adorable.
Thank you all for your efforts with the Elemental Guardian. I am now convinced that the toy does not exist and that Jack had some kind of elaborate hallucination last week wherein someone brought in a Barbie and Jack’s brain turned it into the ultimate Hero Factory toy.
I would, however, like to thank all of you for your amazing google skillz. Seriously. You are phenomenal. Jack is very lucky to have all of you on his side. I can’t quite believe all the awesome stuff you found. I have no idea how you found them.
As for the $119 Transformers toy that looked a lot like what Jack was describing, but that was NOT what he was describing, but now he wants said Transformers toy? Well, that one is on me for being dumb enough to show it to him. Also he’s not getting it.
To thank you for all your hard work typing and clicking, I will give you this photo of spooning kittens.
And then I’ll give you this other photo of the cats and gerbils during gerbil tank cleaning time.
Let’s all try to not notice that our couch is patched with brown duct tape, okay? It’s embarrassing enough without you pointing and laughing.
I hope the cats make you happy. Let me know if I can ever google something for you.
You guys. You guys. I have no words for you all. You are SOUL FILLING. My mail is such a happy part of my day nowadays. Would you like some examples as to why I love my mail so much? It’s because my mailbox overfloweth with love. And rodents. And other small furry things that are almost rodents.
That first little guy there? She’s a squirrel who came from my 7-year-old friend Katie, who made sure she was all decked out enough to join the rodent brigade. Even better than the squirrel was the note that came with her:
Is that not the nicest ever? I love that kid.
That otter in the middle comes from my old college chum. She sent this amazing note with it telling the story of the debate amongst strangers that took place in the store as to what animal exactly this was and whether it was, in fact, a rodent. Answers: otter and no.
Nonetheless, otters are one of my favorite animals and he is small and brown and fits in perfectly as a conscientious objector to Algernon’s Army.
Then there is Speedy at the end, who is really not very speedy because he is chubby and round and can’t actually move very fast. He’s like the rodent version of me. He is hilarious. Jack almost passed out laughing when he saw him.
Then there was the very wonderful card from my mother-in-law wherein she posited that Algernon had fallen in love and was off on new adventures elsewhere. Oh, and she wrote that inside a greeting card that had this on the front:
Do you want to know what else came in the mail today? A photo book about Algernon from my beautiful friend Bec. The book includes the very first post about Algernon that I ever wrote and then photo highlights of his adventures from the past two years.
Algernon’s Army is so large that I had to dedicate a shelf to it. Because I don’t have a single unused shelf in my house, I had to buy and install a shelf just for my new little friends.
The shelf is appropriately situated over one of the gerbil tanks.
I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to look over my left shoulder and see my shelf-o-love-and-rodents. You guys are amazing.
I think that is probably all of my Algernon-related news. Thank you all for continuing to be so awesome. I love you guys.
Cats vs. gerbils, but not in the “cats eviscerating gerbils” sense that you might be thinking. No, the cats are saving the eviscerating for the mice that are apparently living in our basement unbeknownst to us. Well, formerly unbeknownst. Their little corpses dangling out of our kittens’ mouths alerted us to their presence.
No, what I am trying to do is contrast group sleeping patterns.
To wit, kittens:
The cats cuddle with each other, but not quite in the same way the gerbils cuddle with each other…or rather, how they use each other as beds and to prop themselves up.
I like how the guy on top there was all, “Now I’m going to use you to prop me up to the water bottle so I don’t have to expend any effort.” Meanwhile, middle guy was very earnestly cleaning his feet with his teeth.
Come to think of it, the kittens clean their feet via mouth as well.
I’m glad I don’t have to clean my feet with my mouth.
And there you have the first in what will no doubt be a long line of cats vs. gerbil posts. We can only be so lucky.
It has obviously been far too long since I’ve posted an update to let you know how my kittens are doing. Also, in lieu of actual words coming out of my brain, I thought I might show you some cute photos. They might make you feel better. I know they make me feel better.
Seriously, Starfire does this thing where she climbs up on a lap and starts meowing, regardless of how much you’re already petting her, then shoves her face in your nose. It is awesome. There is nothing like a cuddly kitten to make you feel better.
Even the gerballs seem to have determined that the cats are harmless. For a few days, they would hide when the cats climbed on top of their tanks. Now they just kind of hang out. Sometimes they even investigate the cats right back.
Either way, they seem pretty relaxed.
The kittens, on the other hand, are anything but relaxed. I mean, sure, they sleep a lot, but they also stampede through the house in a manner that is quite possibly louder and more disruptive than when my kiddos do it. For tiny animals, their little padded feet are LOUD when they run.
My kids are always trying to find new ways to have fun with/exploit the kittens, something that Quinn quite aptly did a few days ago when he went fishing for the phone and called my mom. He told her that he was having a kitty-a-thon and wanted to know if she wanted to pledge some money.
AND SHE AGREED TO DO SO.
AND SHE ACTUALLY SENT HIM FIVE DOLLARS.
Quinn has powers.
We took our kitty-a-thon proceeds (total: $5) to the store to find a cat toy. Jack and Quinn checked out all of the toys before deciding on a mouse-shaped laser pointer, which turns out to be the best $4.75 ever spent by anybody anywhere.
The cats are powerless against it.
So, consider yourselves caught up on Team Stimey’s four-legged gang. I’m going to try to do something exciting/fun/crushingly disastrous with my kids soon so I have something to write about that isn’t covered in fur.