Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hamster Dance?

It's going to sound absolutely terrible. I don't even know if I should admit it or not. I'll probably have the good parents hounding me at the door. Oh ok, I'll tell you!

My DD's hamster died yesterday. We've had him with us for 8 months and as far as I'm concerned it has been 8 months too long. I was surprised to hear he had died, but at the same time I was really happy! I know, bad, bad mother!

But you have to hear it from my side before you judge, really you do! She got her first hamster a couple of years ago for Christmas. I've never had a hamster but she really wanted one. We put her off for some time and finally we surprised her with one for Christmas. It all seemed to be going fine, she picked out an adorable little hamster who she named Dorothy.

Dorothy was a real 'hit' in our house. I even loved that little rat. Then one day my daughter started screaming bloody murder. I hightailed it up the stairs to see what on earth had happened. There my DD was sitting holding little Dorothy and crying her eyes out. "Mom, mom something is wrong with Dorothy! Something red is on her stomach, I think she's bleeding." Well dear friends rest assured, that wasn't blood sticking up in the air from 'Dorothy's' little tummy for all the world to see. Yes that's right, our beloved Dorothy was a 'HE', and was in the process of 'running one up the flag pole' just to see if anyone would salute!

At first she was absolutely horrified that she had been calling 'him' Dorothy all this time. After a short time we convinced her that this would have no lasting psychological affect and all would be well. He was aptly re-named 'Romeo'.

Unfortunately Sweet Romeo only lived 11 months. When the time came that he passed away peacefully in his sleep we again dealt with our distraught DD. A little private ceremony in the back yard would suffice. A coffin was chosen from our own private collection, a wonderful Royal Bank' Check box, decorated in blue and white of recycled cardboard construction. Romeo, forever the environmental activist, would certainly have approved. A few murmured prayers and a shallow grave dug were all that was required to bid fair Romeo adieu.

The plan was always that this would be the last. After our Drako the guinea pig fiasco (who knew those blessed little bast- rodents could live so durned long?!) However, somehow I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.......nosiree! I decided that DD was so upset that the only reasonable answer to her overwhelming grief was that she needed another hamster. Yes, I did say that I decided that. I thought that up all by my little ol' self.

So DH and I stopped after work one day and picked out another hamster. We made sure to get one that was a different color as we didn't want to try to replace 'Romeo' in that way. I thought a new hamster would cheer her up.

As it turned out, we not only managed to pick out one that didn't look at all like the legendary Romeo, but we also managed to find the most 'evil' hamster in the store. From the first time she held him until he died he was a biter. She could never take him out of his cage without fears of being bitten. He didn't enjoy snuggling and he never became part of the family. Just a few days ago she was trying to find him a new home. She wanted to find him a happy home - she just felt like he didn't like her, even though we tried to explain endlessly that some hamsters are just that way and that in general, rodents with the small cluster of nerve cells that serve as their brain are largely emotional sociopaths.

I bought this hamster with full knowledge of the little things that annoyed me - the smell(dang that is NasTy), the mess - ohhhhhhh the mess. I was tired of finding little hamster poos all over the place.

So when this devil dear hamster left us to go to that big hamster cage in the sky, I wasn't the least bit saddened. I was happy and overjoyed that this was the final small animal pet we'd ever have to take care of again. After two hamsters with DD and a guinea pig with DS that seemed to have the life span of a cat, and a bunny that won us over completely - it was finally the end to the small pets in our TeaMouse home. So maybe I did a little jig(alone of course) and had a little smile on my face. After all who could blame me after the pet zoo we've had run through our little home in the past 18 years.

I am not insensitive to others feelings. I made sure to treat DD with kid gloves. Certainly, even though she didn't have the same connection to this hamster it still hurt, and maybe more because it reminded her of what she had with Romeo and how she still missed him. Jasper still had a little ceremony to say goodbye the box (good ol' cardboard again...tried and true for all your rodent burial needs) prayers were murmured, tears were shed and hugs were given out freely. And if a little grin was shared between DH and myself when we were sure no one was looking, well no one needs to know about that do they?

Farewell little Pets, it was not always fun, but in each of your own small ways you became a part of our family, if only for a little while.

Here's to Shakespeare(our beloved bunny), Drako(the everlasting guinea pig), Romeo(the sweetheart of all hamsters) and finally Jasper(although a big grump, he still managed to become a part of our family's story and his grouchy endeavors are sure to become as legendary as any of the others antics). May you all rest in peace while we get used to how our home was supposed to smell all along.

I don't know if this Blog will Blow Your Dress up or Not - but check This Eclectic Life out for more great posts for the current 'This Blog Blows my Dress up Contest'! The prize is a $25 Amazong Gift Certificate. The judge is Matty from Running on Empty, the winner of the last contest. Why not pop on over and see what the contest is all about, there are always some great funny posts to lighten the day!



  1. LOL! Girl, I feel your pain...we did the rodents as pets AND later had a python. If we had done them at the same time, we wouldn't have had to feed them. Good one! Thanks for being on the ball!

  2. I am happy to post about it - odd the kinds of things that I find!

  3. You are too funny! I have a hamster named Hyacinth and she is a jewel...I think I would feel the same way as you though if she were a demon! lol!!

  4. No, you are not alone- we have a lovebird entry Mar 9th) that we are waiting to go toes up; even my tender-hearted son looks hopeful when it is quiet around her cage :P

  5. I read this post with pleasure and really had to smile all the time, it made me think of my son's guinea pig who was the boss in our house and even feared by our cat and dog when he menaced them with his little teeth and growled. He was so cute and affectionate that when we had to burry him (in a shoebox) we all were very sad !

  6. We drew the line at rodents having to be the size of bunnies or larger. Funny, the kids ended up with reptiles smaller,... hey wait a minute, how did that happen. Anyway, we have a pet grave yard (not like the movie) which also holds other animals that have met their demise in our yard. One rock says 'here lies a bird...'. There is always a nice box.

  7. I remember my son and his hamsters too. They were running around the house more than they were in the cage. Creepy. No more hamsters now. Great read. Have a great weekend. :)

  8. We too had our share of those solemn backyard ceremonies in honor of the passing of dearly departed pets. (There were birds, turtles, fish, mice, gerbils, and lest I forget lightning bugs.)

    I like to think that the flowers do so well in the bed because of all the nutrients we put into the earth. Why buy all that expensive plant food anyway?

    In the end we graduated to larger long-lived pets like cats and dogs.

  9. I guess learning about male animals that way is less scary than a male dog on your leg.

    We only had two solemn ceremonies, that was enough for me.

    Congrats on your third place in Shelly's contest!