The gerbil has died. Not sure what his ailment was, but he was clearly feeling bad yesterday. There was no obvious problem. One issue might have been his teeth, but careful examination showed that his teeth were fine. They were well trimmed so he had enough wooden clothes pins to chew on to keep them worn down. Not sure what happened.
Since Nov 2010, the gerbil has been a constant companion and friend. Watching my every move, he learned to come to the cage when he heard me in the kitchen or heard the bell from the toaster since it meant that I would be giving him a treat from something I was making for myself.
He learned to run around and through packing tubes next to his cage. He seemed to like to be chased through the tubes.
CutiePetutie [spelling vary] will be missed. But I will get another baby gerbil soon and see whether he learns as much about me as Cutie did.