I have a gerbil that I bought in a pair from a well known and well disliked (on here) pet shop. I'm the first to admit I was very silly and just went in with a view to getting a small first time pet for my children. I was offered these 2 gerbils and set up and assured that even if we don't get on with them, they only live for a maximum of 2 years.
One did indeed pass away peacefully at the 2 year mark but her sister is now 4. Luckily we love the little rodent and she's a spoilt old lady.
However she keeps trolling me, burying herself in a tunnel and then staying very quiet and still for very long periods of time until I declare to DH that she's died and get upset... then she will generally pop her head out and come and play with what I swear is a smirk on her face.
This has happened a fair few times and today she's the same, I've not seen her in a couple of days and I can see where she's buried but she's not moving and not coming out, even to a gentle tap on the tank to offer a treat.
I'm sure she's passed away but I'm squeamish and I have 2 very young children here so I'm not willing to delve my hand in and see. I am going to have to wait for DH to investigate if she's not shown her whiskers by then.
I'll be sad if she has gone but she has spent 4 years being thoroughly loved and pampered, she's completely blind <thanks for the sawdust advice PAH > but she enjoys mealworms and sunflower hearts.
I have a fish like this. We've had the fish tank a few years but have not been replacing fish as they die. There are just two left now. One of them loves to lie very still on the bottom of the tank for hours until I've peered through the glass several times looking worried. Then he'll suddenly flash into action and swim round energetically. If he can make me jump when he does this it's an added bonus for him. I'm sure they're both just laughing at me.
I dealt with her sister when she passed but it was obvious because she was in full view, I have to wait for the little 2 children to be in bed or occupied because they are very attached to her, even if she's not dead (--which she is--) then I assume the long stretches of hibernation type sleep are her slowly winding down.
I will tell them that she died of old age. We thought she'd go soon after her sister because I thought they couldn't live alone so it won't be a shock to them, they'll be sad but she's not the first pet we've lost.