Friday, March 22, 2013

Dear Hamster

You were a loving pet, a good friend, an asset to the household...

Okay, you were less of an asset and more of an asshat, who made a (quite literal) stink in the corner of the living room, plain and simple.

Though I’m still sorry your time had to come. We had some good times, I suppose. Um... well... at least I think we did...

You used to pee in your cage’s tubes so it leaked all over the carpet, until I put rags underneath. Then you decided it was better to stuff the tubes full of wood chips, which meant they exploded all over the rug when I had to remove them to clean your cage. Appreciated. (Not.)

You would chew on parts of your advertised-as-indestructable cage, creating a grating noise that carried throughout the house... that was... annoying as shit. Thanks for that, too.

Back when you used to run on your wheel you’d do so with great enthusiasm, and if you garnered the attention of Shakespeare, our former cat, you’d wait until he was suitably transfixed before leaping off the wheel in his direction, successfully scaring the bejesus out of a 16lb tomcat. Rather remarkable, really.

(Actually, you’re probably the reason we stopped seeing Shakespeare’s kills arrive at the door—so perhaps I should thank you for said psychological damage.)

And you really liked to tease Moggie. Like, a lot.

One hamster about to yank the fuzz between a cat's toes in 3... 2... 1...

When in your orange ball you used to chase the cats—hey, that was fun to watch!—until we got Moghedien/Asmodean/what'sherface and you decided instead to baffle that kitten by sitting in the middle of the living room, mocking her by cleaning yourself instead of stretching your legs.

(Arguably you’re likely the reason Moggie hunts so much now, so I can probably thank you also for my new task of disposing of her one-mouse-a-day habit. By the way, I count this as canceling out Shakespeare’s reformation.)

“Disturbing” does not quite convey the depth of creepiness that swept me, when I’d every so often catch you staring at me with those beady black eyes in utter silence. (Dude: blink much?)

And then there’s the time we freaked out because you’d escaped Mr Lannis had left your cubby door open. We worried that you’d been attacked by the cats, only to discover you’d chewed a hole the size of my palm in the carpet underneath the bookshelf. And you had somehow managed to steal a pile of cat kibble three times your size right beneath the noses of two mousers.

(To be honest, that was quite impressive. Except for the carpet-hole part. For that you’ll always be a douchebag, and remembered fondly every time we move that bookshelf until the carpet is eventually replaced.)

HEY! You totally nipped less than expected, based on the pet store associate’s warning. That’s SOMETHING, right?

And you kept your piss to one corner, making it easier to scoop and replace the shavings daily. I guess that’s something—you’re trainable. Or were, at least...


 No offense, but I’m kind of glad you’re gone.

You had a good life, for a rodent, I suppose. Fed and watered regularly, plenty of chews, cage kept clean. You mostly kept to yourself and the kidlets were always supervised when handling you. Arguably you should have been put in your orange ball for more exercise, but overall I'm sure you had no complaints.

And I’m fairly certain any regret over your departure on my part is based dually on a pathological resistance to change, and the sorrow of knowing it involved the discomfort of a cancerous tumor on your part. Animal suffering—especially an animal I’m responsible for—tugs at my heart, what can I say?

(Also? Your tumor was beginning to eat your face. Not pretty. It was time.)

Well, there’s one thing I am confident that will stay with me, Hamster—and not only your horribly uncreative name (thanks to the then-five-year-old)...

That one thing, though? The one thing I will always remember, that thing that is now my duty as a parent to spread far and wide, to share the wisdom imparted to me through your life with us?

Yeah. It's the knowledge that hamsters are the worst. pet. ever.

Okay, so maybe this turned into less of an eulogy and more of a roast... um... and now I'm picturing roasting hamsters. This is just weird.

Goodbye, jerkface. You will be missed (but only a smidgen).

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