Thursday, March 12, 2009

sasquatch chow

Beth is not the only blogger with transformative family changes to announce!

I am so very pleased to introduce you to the newest member of our family:


My boy has been begging for a rodent hamster for ages. He has this certain friend whose dad is prone to approving the accumulation of live animals while his mom is at work. This friend has a little rat-thing hamster, and when my boy met Buddy, it was covet-at-first-sight.

When the boys get together, they “play” with Buddy by putting him inside of things and hurling him around; offering him questionable things to eat; and once giving him a nice soothing bath. On that fateful bath night, my friend and I did a quick web search to discover that the bath could very well prove fatal for young Buddy, so we did the only thing responsible mothers-of-boys could possibly do: we got out the hair dryer and gave him a makeover. He lived.

We’ve capybara hamster-sat for Buddy a couple of times when our friends went out of town. These incidences were unremarkable; Buddy hung out in my boy’s room and did his thing. I can not explain just what that thing was, because I was really not interested enough to pay close attention. It did stink a little bit, but lots of things in a young boy’s room stink. Young boys are veritable stink magnets.

The thing that proved Buddy to be a total hamster asshole was that he was prone to flinging his shit out of his cage! WTF? I mean sure, it’s gross to think that he had to live in that little box where he ate and slept and pooped, sometimes simultaneously. It must have disturbed his delicate sensibilities. So he just chucked it out through the bars of his enclosure. What a hamster dick! We wound up with poo all around the desk and behind the books that had to be vacuumed up. But whatever, it was just a few days and then he was gone. Sorry for talking smack, Buddy, you are a generally nice enough fellow, and cute in a somewhat disturbing way.

So, my boy had a hankering for a jerboa hamster. You might recall that he had it on his Christmas list, but we had convinced him that Santa must have surmised that this boy's room was way too messy to accommodate another living creature. After Christmas, my boy became surprisingly diligent about keeping his room clean. As his birthday approached, he brought up the lemming hamster again. And worse, he plotted with his so-called friend to get one.

We exchanged this one for a model with fewer opportunities for pee-soaked plastic

Once we had the enclosure, we really had no choice but to put a muskrat in it. Enter Taco.

He’s kind of cute, in a beady-eyed rodent sort of way. He likes to be held, he amuses us by rolling around in a ball and leaping from high places, he does not have a heart attack and die when being stalked by sasquatch.

Most importantly, he does not fling his poo. But what he does do is run, like the wind, in his goddamned wheel, all night long. Waking my boy, who then cries at 3am with the moral conundrum of the choice between removing the wheel at the expense of his pet’s pleasure, or getting his human self some sleep. It is a weighty responsibility for the ten year old (who has a fever in these photos, can you tell?).

At first I thought the wheel was squeaky, so I put some vegetable oil on the movable parts and that was good for a night. It did take us a while to figure out why Taco’s back was all greasy. At least we didn’t give him a bath.

They say that the life expectancy of a vermin hamster is about 3 years, but no one told us how old this dude was when we brought him home. I’m hoping he is in his golden months. If this does not resolve, I can't say that I’m above staging an unfortunate wheel accident, or forgetting to shut his door under the watchful eye of sasquatch. She looks hungry


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw. Taco is so, um, furry. Hey, speaking of pets, how are Leo and Lizzie? Are those their names? Are they still alive?

Poor Sasquatch. So much to eat, so many hamster cages and lizard tanks blocking his foodsources.


Rita said...

Take the wheel out at night.

We well into our 4th year of gerbils. Seriously, yeah, they're nocturnal and would prefer to run all damn night on the squeaky wheel, but they're rodents and we're humans and we need our sleep. If they want to run the wheel so goddamned bad, they can do it during the day while we're awake and gone.

I do keep other toys for them though to put in at night when I take the wheel out. There are these hilarious edible huts you can buy at the pet shop and they keep the little beasties occupied. Empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls are taken to with the seriousness of a corporate meeting. They don't dick around. "Hey, dude, there is another giant tube fucking up our cage, you take that end and I'll take this end and let's get it demolished by sunrise, OK?"

NucMEd is Hot said...

Love the name, it makes me giggle.

I had a hamster when I was a kid, and I still don't think my mother has forgiven me for it. It stunk to high heaven and she always had to clean the cedar out of the cage.

I wasn't very helpful after the first week!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Remember the days when you were able to take reluctant hamster owner's problem off their hands by showing up at work with the rodent? Not only were you doing friends a favor, you were a hero to all the wee ones at work.

I doubt you could pull that off with Taco. how times do change.


Kat said...

I had a 3 legged hamster named Peggy when I was a kid. She was an escape artist. Hopefully, Taco, will stay put and not become a midnight snack for Sasquatch.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ellie - oh yes, Leo and Lizzie are still going strong. Interesting that we have four pets, THREE of whom are nocturnal.

Rita - will take your sage advise to the chief. without the bad words =)

Beth - key word: reluctant. this hamster owner is totally gung-ho. but I do have a plan C if A and B go awry


Anonymous said...

Um ya... they're sort of nocturnal little guys... Taco that is. Had a few in our house when I was a child. We generally played with them until they were dead. AND, those wheels were always sooo squeaky... wonder why by this time (the 21st century) they have not learned to make a squeak-free wheel. Hmmmm, sounds like the opportunity for a new patent to me.... :-))

The Blue Ridge Gal

Aunt Becky said...

I laugh because I got a hamster for my kid ages ago. Thing was such an asshole that I prayed he would bite the dust one night.

But no, he outlived pretty much every life expectancy I could find.

Lola said...

I think you like him...

Well, since the toilet paper rolls and taking out the wheel were already covered, I'm out of ideas for you. That's what we always did.

So funny that I've had hamsters and their more cranky cousins, gerbils, on my mind since talking about what I used to do to my poor Barbie dolls. I'm pretty sure with the two cats and two dogs that one would never survive here, though.