Ivan’s Hamsterification Halted
This is my stepcat:
While Matt is away, Ivan stays with me.
In the past, Ivan’s stay has produced some weird behaviour.
It must have been the hamsters.
Hamsters, in their domesticated environment, use tissue for their bedding. Each hamster had her style; AniÅŸoara had a thing for for tissue curtains on her house, CrenguÅ£Äƒ for a neatly lined nest, Valentina merely had a free-for-all disaster area going*.
After a couple of weeks with me, Ivan returned home. Then Matt discovered this:
As you can see, Ivan lined his own cat bed with paper towels. Just like the hamsters.
But the hamsterification of the cat is not over.
Ivan discovered the hamster treat bucket.
Whenever I go to the pet store, I always throw in a few hamster extras for the little ones. I’ve accumulated a bucket’s worth of little packets of “hamster ravioli” and “hamster yoghurt drops” and the like. I left the bucket out by the hamster cage and Ivan explored.
He took out one bag, chewed it open, took out one hamster treat, licked it and was horrified. He tried another one from the same bag. He spat it out. Then he picked up another bag, chewed it open and same reaction. You could almost see the despair on his face: “What the hell are these hamsters eating?”
During the night he opened one more bag and spat out the one nibblet.
At least Lucian had no problem with the regurgitated treats.
*Even Sylvia from Small Animal Rescue commented that she was one messy hamster.
Valentina was to be my last hamster for a few years. As CrenguÅ£Äƒ lay dying, I vowed to spoil Valentina into the little furry princess of my heart. After her death I would delve into the world of guinea pigs and possibly chinchillas.
The discovery of Valentina’s corpse thwarted my maternal instincts. I was not ready yet to explore the other offerings of domesticated rodentia. I needed another hamster upon which to lavish adoration. Besides, I had stockpiled too many hamster luxuries to throw away.
I remembered that Sylvia of Small Animal Rescue had a sister and a brother of Valentina’s. I planned, in my forlorn state, to take in one of the siblings and make it up to Valentina’s memory by providing this family member with the care intended for Valentina.
Sylvia, however, had already sent her family to Vancouver Island. “Do you want me to ask for them back?” she asked. Sadly I declined. Valentina’s brother and sister had already found a good home.
Instead, Matt and I examined six other hamsters. The peachies, as Sylvia called them, were removed from a little girl’s bedroom on Knight Street. For six months the child had been breeding hamsters until her mother found the original two multiplied into twenty hamsters. Suddenly a dynasty of peachies were homeless.
Aside from my growing anger at parents who stupidly allow their kids to have pets and at petshops that sell animals, I am thankful at least that I can rescue one poor hamster.
Matt chose Lucian based on his appearance and his acrobatics.
Having only ever been a short-hair hamster owner, Lucian straddles both aspects of hamster fur: some of his fur is short, while in other places he sports a certain punk look. And the morning hair is cute beyond all similes.
Then there is his boxer’s nose. A squished up snout makes him look like he’s seen one matches too many, though his amicable personality puts him far off the pugilist spectrum. More likely the nose is a result of his monkey bar antics. For example, unlike other hamsters, he does not use the front door to get into his house – he paratroops into it, dangling from cage bar to cage bar and dropping into his bedding.
So much like royalty, the inauguration of his reign needs official portraits. Matt kindly complied to my requests, above and below.
2.5 Hours of Overtime
God, I love working with history. My volunteer recruitment poster and a computer virus infection on the other computer conspired to lead me to the comic strip for 19th Century-centred museum employees. You can be sure I’ll add Daze of Our Lives to my Etc links column.
A few highlights:
Inhumane Warship (hamsters included)