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Eulogy to a Hamster
Member Name: Lilysun
Date: 09/05/12, updated on 09/05/12 (241 review reads)
Advantages: Too many to count
You may well be wondering if I have lost my marbles after reading the title of this piece. You are not alone, I frequently question my sanity and occasionally stumble across one of the aforementioned marbles staring in stupefied wonder - generally trying to figure out when exactly I lost that particular one!
Our beloved hamster 'Roxy the Rock Chic' passed away peacefully in her sleep yesterday. This gloriously entertaining furry fiend was well past the average age for a hamster, almost three and a half years old. But from our first meeting this little creature nibbled her way well and truly into our hearts; this was no ordinary hamster and I will be so bold as to say that she was more super-hero like than hamster.
The decision to get a hamster was in all honesty a compromise agreement with my daughter; she is an animal lover, a very determined one at that. After a three month barrage of 'Mom can we get a pet' and multiple explanations of 'Honey, I work full time.... pets are a very big responsibility'; well I was worn out and I relented. Much debate followed as to exactly what type of pet would fit well into our family and the conclusion was that as we would both be away from home during the day a hamster would be a good choice for us. And that was when our adventure began.
From the moment we saw this beautiful badger like creature (her colouring was black, white and cream with black slashes coming from her eyes across her cheeks like a gothic queen) we were smitten. Whilst all the other hamsters in the shop were snuggled up in their beds as their genetic make - up dictates, this little beauty was sitting at the front of her cage observing the activity on the shop floor. She was a rebel, a strong one at that, going against what is the norm for her breed. I already liked her very much indeed and my daughter was as enraptured as I.
We asked the shop attended if we could please hold the hamster and this was when the fun really began. I am trying to be diplomatic but in all honesty this shop assistant was not trained in animal handling and his actions that followed were very foolish indeed. He unceremoniously opened the top of the cage, thrust his hand in and attempted to grab this rebellious little creature; did the hamster run and hide? No she didn't and nor did she flinch, as quick as a flash this feisty hamster reared up on her bottom and growled - YES GROWLED - at the foolish shop assistant. I started to giggle helplessly and my daughter eyes as wide as saucers started to giggle too, the shop assistant blushed and the hand in the cage started to ever so gently quiver. He gulped, looked at me and asked 'you sure you want this one? She doesn't seem to have a very good temperament...', I happily said yes, this feisty hamster was growing more and more entertaining by the minute. I also knew that it was his actions that had caused the hamster to react as she did and I was pleased that she had stood up for herself.
What followed was a ten-minute stand off between man and hamster with the hamster definitely winning and my daughter and I avidly watching this very entertaining dual. I had come to the conclusion at this point that the hamster was smarter than the shop assistant and the exasperated man eventually muttered, 'you can't have the hamster if I can't get it out the cage!' After deciding that the shop assistant had been tortured enough I politely asked if he could give me some hamster food and let me try, he agreed. I put a little food in my hand and slowly lowered my hand into the 'war zone'; I was apprehensive as this was one tough hamster and I really was hoping that she would like me! We waited for fifteen minutes with my daughter and I breathing deeply and the shop assistant regularly huffing his displeasure, needless to say if I had a sock to hand it would have been unceremoniously stuffed in the foolish mans mouth. Eventually I passed the hamsters test with her deciding to sit in my hand to be lifted out of the cage, much to my daughter's and my delight and the shop assistants shock; I figure that she wanted out of the shop far away from the foolish man and perhaps smelled a bit of rebel in me too.
Roxy the Rock Chic as my daughter named her was a surprisingly entertaining and loving pet; she adored human interaction and our nightly cuddles were always a magical part of the day. She over the years has astonished us in many ways, most memorably her ability, like Houdini to escape from any type of cage; the first time this happened she went missing for four anxiety filled days and was eventually discovered under the floorboards. But as in the shop when we first met, a little offering of food and the promise of a cuddle resulted in her being captured; this escape and capture routine ultimately became part of our daily lives. No cage could outfox this intrepid hamster; her most genius discovery was jumping up and down in a tube on one of the cages until this part of the tube fell down with her safely nestled inside. Following her nightly escapades she would wait under the bookshelf for morning and whilst I had my morning cup of tea she would amble over to me feet waiting to be returned to her bed to have a well deserved sleep. The first time this happened I ended up with a burn marks on my legs as my tea went flying but with the passing of time this little morning ritual became another of our treasured moments in time.
We buried her in the garden last night in a boxed filled with dandelions (her favourite treat of all) and eyes filled with tears we said good-bye to a very unique member of our family. She will be very sorely missed and my daughter and I have decided that for us another hamster is not an option, how do you find another as exceptional as Roxy? Whilst my daughter was regaling her granny with how I had given her a very lovely velvet jewellery box to bury Roxy in and all the details of the little funeral we had, my mother began to laugh. I looked at her questioningly and a little alarmed and then she said, 'You do realise that the box is not very bio - degradable, you have mummified the hamster.' All of us started howling with laughter and in that moment our hearts started ever so slightly to heal; I like to think that had Roxy known I had inadvertently entombed her that she would have laughed too, at least that is what I told my daughter.
RIP you lovable furry fiend,
Summary: A memorial to a much loved and treasured pet
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