New companion for OLD gerbil?
Over the past few months my 8-year-old hasn't really been taking care of her gerbils. . . sisters that she's had for about 3 years now. Instead, I have been, and yesterday I made a terrible, terrible, terrible mistake. I left the cage open. This morning the cat was walking around making her "I've got a rat" meow. I took the (still alive) gerbil from her and put it back into it's cage. It crawled into a corner and lay down and the other gerbil tried to fret over it. A little later it died. (I'm thinking that there must have been some internal bleeding.)
So, now I've got a single, old gerbil, that's probably in mourning and shock (in an awesome 30 gallon tank set-up) and a kid that isn't that interested.
The question is, should I try to find another older gerbil to keep this one company, or will this throw me into a "have a gerbil that your kid doesn't take care of forever" cycle? Should I try to find someone else with an old gerbil that would like to have this gerbil too? Or would it be better to just let this gerbil be an only gerbil for the rest of her life?
I don't want my gerbil to be miserable and lonely, but on the other hand I don't feel like a particularly wonderful pet owner (when it comes to the gerbils) either. . . And introducing another gerbil would probably be stressful for both of them.