’I used to sell gerbils to my classmates for a bargain pounds 1
each,’ Raitt explains. They were double the price in the local pet shop,
so business was brisk.
’ Basically, I had a surplus stock of overactive gerbils so I had to get
rid of them. The most successful was called Vicious Vicky. She lived for
three-and-a-half years - that’s a year longer than average. She bore
more than nine litters, producing a total of 54 young.
’During my three-year-stint in the gerbil business, I must have sold
around 300. At one point, I had 57 at the same time and trying to keep
the boys away from the girls caused me some serious grief.
’I eventually retired from the game at the age of 11, when the consumer
trend shifted towards hamsters.’