Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hamster Facts

[Note: This post was originally published on The Mrs on October 1st, 2011. Hamster left us a while ago. And I don't miss him. Not even a little bit.]

Earlier this week, The Mrs and I had a short email conversation that went like this --

me: And on a totally random note, it seems Hamster has potty trained himself to go in the corner of his cage the furthest away from his sleeping cubby. Hamsters also lift their leg to pee. Who knew?

The Mrs: Hamsters are too small to observe in the wild. You should apply for a research grant.

me: Hm. Free money. Do you think it'd take more than a couple snapshots of Hamster lifting that leg? Just saw him do it again. Same spot. I should start documenting my findings...


Yes, the preceding was an actual email exchange. No word of a lie.

I also distract her at work with talk about food. And books. And overanalyzing melodramatics. And death math and horticultural skills (not related).

Anyhow. Basically I realized I could document my hamster findings here! (You’re welcome.)

Though some of it is too boring to list. I’ll skip those parts.

Hamster Facts

1. Hamsters are jerks. He’ll sleep all day when kidlets want to play with him, make loud grating chewing sounds on the tubes of his cage when you’re reading in the evening, and sadistically chase cats about the house if put in an orange plastic sphere.

2. Hamsters love sunflower seeds. If you buy a nutritionally balanced feed mix of grains, seeds, and pellets, a hamster will pick through and eat only the sunflower seeds. And possibly stuff his mouth with everything else he can in order to spit them out on your carpet when he’s given a chance to wander outside his cage (see #1).

3. Hamsters enjoy the smell of pee. Guaranteed, 99.9% of the time you step near a hamster cage, you will smell pee. Even immediately after you’ve scrubbed that cage clean. Conclusion: They love the stench.

4. If you put a hamster in an exercise ball, he’s most likely to wander towards stairs. Or bathrooms (see #3). Or chase full grown cats (see #1).

5. Regardless of the number of chew-friendly items you put in a hamster’s cage, he will always opt to chew plastic instead.

6. If given a hollowed-out coconut to use as a cubby (and/or chew toy), a hamster will sit on top of it and stare at you, probably muttering death threats. Or exotic incantations for more sunflower seeds (see #2).

7. If given a super-cool tube to climb through, a hamster will pee inside it so the seams leak urine onto the rug (see #3. Again. And #1, as well).

8. Hamsters have a sense of humor. If running on his exercise wheel when a 15 lb cat approaches to watch the excitement, a hamster will wait until his audience is mesmerized, then leap off the wheel at the cat, scaring the bejeezus out of said feline. He will then repeat this as many times as said cat is dumb enough to approach the cage. Conclusion: sense of humor. Or they enjoy challenging the food chain. (See also #1. Yep, again.)

9. Husbands make poor hamster-sitters. If told to watch a hamster while you’re cleaning a cage, said hamster will magically find a way to get behind the bookshelf. Yes, the one anchored to the wall.

10. Cats make better hamster-sitters than husbands. If a husband neglects to snap shut a tube before you share an alcoholic beverage on the porch, you’ll both return to the living room to find your cat staring at your hamster staring at your cat, both looking guilty. (Wait. Those two aren’t quite about hamsters...)

11. Hamsters are stupid. A hamster will spend an hour arranging pine bedding for his daily snooze, working until he is completely exhausted, then opt to curl up in an empty plastic sphere because he worked so hard to get his bedding right he’s too exhausted to climb into his regular cubby.

(That’s one hamster passed out cold.)

Or, you know, maybe he miscalculated where he was shoving the pine chips, and instead of creating the perfect bed, maybe he’s “adjusted” his water bottle...

Just hope he doesn’t wake up midday looking for a drink...

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