When I brought home our third cat last year, I made a solemn promise to my husband that this was the Last Animal Ever. I would not bring any more animals to the house. Not even a tiny little hamster.
I’m ashamed to confess that I just broke that promise.
This afternoon when I was in the pet zoo, counting baby bunnies, someone I didn’t know came in with a shoebox. The following conversation took place:
Man: “Do you want a hamster, maybe?”
Me: “Er… What?”
Man: “My son got a hamster at a birthday party. We don’t want to keep it. I was going to release it into the fields.”
Me: “No! Don’t do that…”
Man: “I don’t agree with keeping animals in cages.”
Me: “Right. But if you release him, he will die. Cats will catch him.”
Man: “That’s why I’m asking if you want him.”
Me: “Oh. Well. Okay, then.”
So, now I am the proud owner of an adorable, cream coloured baby Syrian hamster, named Hamsterdam by my children.
We once had Russian dwarf hamsters in the pet zoo, and then we also got a few Syrians (anonymously dropped off by someone), but sadly, it was not a success. They escaped and disappeared. I decided hamsters should only live inside. So, Hamsterdam now lives in the old hamster cage in my sons’ room. The kids are ecstatically happy. It’s impossible for them to keep their hands out of the cage. I had to tape the door shut so the poor thing could get some rest.
I am forcefully reminded of when I was a kid and my brother had Syrian hamsters. It was crazy. They were vicious. They were always fighting and killing each other. Then they had millions of babies and we had hamsters coming out of our ears.
Only later on, I learned that Syrian hamsters should always live alone. I am very happy that this little one is by himself. No fights, no babies. The only problem is that this cage is for dwarf hamsters and he will grow out of it at some point.
But by then, we will all be so attached to him that my husband will voluntarily build him a fantastic hamster paradise.
I think. 😉