Over the years I’ve had a slew of pets including dogs, fish, hamsters, birds, salamanders, crayfish, and cats.
My first bird was a yellow parakeet with red eyes that I named Buttercup and my first hamster was a white albino teddy bear hamster (but I don’t remember it’s name). Of course, both animals matched my yellow and red bedroom décor. I loved sitting in my yellow bean bag chair in the corner of my room and letting Buttercup burrow under my hair on the back of my neck and she would make a little nest while I would read my books.
Every Saturday was cleaning day and part of the cleaning always involved cleaning up after the animals. Having a multitude of animals was a pain in the ass because I would have to not only clean the bird cage, but also the hamster cage and the fish bowl. It took forever in my eyes.
I continued having birds and hamsters even into college. In the first off campus house I lived in, I had a bedroom on the main floor and my hamster and bird came with me. In the corner of my bedroom was a square hole that led to the dirt floor basement. Thru that square hole was a round silver dryer pipe. Thinking back, I should’ve covered up those gaps left around that round pipe.
My hamster was a bit of a Houdini and I had to tape the various holes in his Habitrail cage shut in addition to putting books on top of his cage so he didn’t escape.
I had asked my roommates to please NOT play with my hamster when I wasn’t around because I just knew they wouldn’t close up the cage properly. One weekend I came home to hear the horror stories they had to share. The first story was about how they had put the hamster in his ball to run around, but they took him upstairs and didn’t watch him until they heard him bouncing down the 20 stairs to the main floor.
At that point, they decided they should probably put him back in his cage and just as I had predicted, they didn’t close the cage properly and he escaped. The only place I could think that he would go was thru the square hole to the basement.
So – I proceeded to pull the washer and dryer out of the closet in order to get to the basement door and went down into the crawl space. It was completely black down there with just a hanging lightbulb available.
I scanned the crawl space and couldn’t see any trace of my little hamster. I brought down some food and placed the bowl on the ledge, hoping that he wouldn’t starve. About 30 minutes later, I went back downstairs and the bowl was completely empty. I was convinced that I had now fed a multitude of other rodents in the area. I once again filled up the bowl with more food and waited another 30 minutes. This time when I went back down, my sweet little Houdini was filling up his cheeks. I grabbed him and the food and went back upstairs, put him away properly and proceeded to berate my roommates for not listening to me in the first place!!
That hamster lived until the spring when I was on my way home from Eau Claire. It was a HOT day and my car didn’t have any air conditioning. The hamster cage was solid plastic and didn’t get a lot of ventilation. I was worried that my hamster was going to overheat. We stopped at a gas station to get some air. Taking my little Houdini out of the cage, I went into the VERY cold air conditioned bathroom. Placing him on the cold metal shelf by the mirror proved to be a very bad choice. It must’ve been too quick of a temperature change and his little body stiffened up and he died. I think the poor thing had a heart attack from the temperature change.