"One minute he was there and the next he was just gone," the visibly shaken and intermittently sobbing Nachman explained. "This is exactly the kind of thing they warned us about in gerbil class. And I laughed about it...I laughed!!!"
Heading up the team of surgeons, subspecialists and critical care veterinarians involved in Screwball Jr.'s care, which is estimated to have cost a quarter of a million dollars thus far, is small animal vascular surgeon Mort Fishman. Fishman, who was once called upon to save the life of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's Peruvian chinchilla after it was lodged between her refrigerator and wine cooler for several days, and then the cat got it, discussed the complicated procedure and the uncertain road ahead for Screwball Jr.:
"Frankly I don't know how Screwball Jr. has come out of this alive. I mean, it was a mess in there. Whole organs were either missing or unable to be identified and most of his brain was left in the vacuum cleaner. He's going to live but just what kind of gerbil he's going to be in the future remains to be seen. He may never chew or dig again, but he's a pretty special little guy."Undeterred by the desert rat's grim prognosis, Nachman believes that there is a master plan at work and is planning on writing an account of Screwball Jr.'s amazing life and miraculous recovery. He hopes that a movie may one day be in the works. Nachman denies any claims of financial motivation:
"It's not about the money. It's about inspiring people, and other gerbils, to never lose hope. It's a miracle that Screwball Jr. has survived, I just know it. So I guess Screwball Jr. is meant to do something pretty special one day or else God would have let him die wedged in that rotating brush-roll."
Nachman owns two additional pets, a dog and a parakeet, neither of which is very special at all. Nope, just regular pets.