in my experience, gerbils are generally personable, clean, and innocuous. they don't smell, (dry desert physiology minimizes their excretions), or make undue amounts of noise. (a little late-night scratching notwithstanding). their diets are simple (e.g. they can live quite happily on nothing but cheerios) yet tolerant of a wide variety of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. etc. etc. they can be left for days (even weeks) at a time with nothing but their water bottle and a suitably-sized pile of non-perishable foodstuffs, or they can enjoy daily attentions.
some people will see a father's indulgence of his daughter in their appearance here at shangri-lowell. (can't say they'd be wrong). others, of course, will prefer to chalk it all up to idiocy, and wrestle mightily with their rodent aversions. (of course, i'd say they just don't get the little fuzzballs, but what, really, do i know). for myself, i'm rather looking forward to sharing my space with cohabitants sans agendas, who are pleased for what they get, and never complaining for its quantity or quality, and who aren't inclined to feel bothered if i should roll in during the next morning after a night out (or a week away). extra kudos to them that they'll never compete with me for my beer or resist in the least repeated showings of last week's boston legal in order to maximize enjoyment of all of shatner's best lines.
big question in my mind is only whether this should stay an all-bachelor pad, or whether i should go for more of a harem motif, because we can all agree that a breeding program is wholly inappropriate with the circumstances here, for everybody concerned.