OMG the hamster escaped!

A hamster is jailed in their cage.

I had a pet hamster growing up. Put them into those balls and they will run for hours, exploring the house. Also a dog and a cat. Our family was bad at names. We had a dog named Tippy because of the white tip at the end of her tail. And Grey the cat. You guessed it. Grey’s mother was named Fluffy. Shall I go on?

To a hamster, the caged life must be great. All the food you want, an exercise wheel. You sleep. You eat. You drink. You poop. Plenty to do, provided you like to live behind bars everyday of your life. That is if your hamster is caged in the modern rodent cages that one can purchase from a local pet shop. Or from Pet Smart at the mall. Both of my kids have had lots of pets over the years. It started with Guinea Pigs.

I had just separated and moved into a three bedroom apartment. The kids called me one day crying. Their Montessori needed to re-home two Guinea Pigs from a student who had them but as she got older, developed allergies. My lease didn’t allow pets but I said that I would ask the landlord. Oddly enough, he didn’t have a problem with Guinea Pigs. I guess it was because they live in a cage. So the kids got the two Guinea pigs, renamed them Super Guinea and Brownie. I don’t remember what their original names were. Over the next three years, they were the only two pets in our new home. Then over time…

Along came several goldfish and then tropical fish. We still have three goldfish that my son won at a street carnival two years ago. They share the tank with a five year old tropical fish and get along just fine…

And the seven or so parakeets. They had great bird names…

And the lizards. We loved to watch them eat live crickets…

And two dogs over the six years that we have called the place home. The dogs arrived after I bought the place from my landlord. Abby died after two years and after a year, we had to get Jewel. Both were pound puppies…Jewel is currently lying on the back of the sofa over my left shoulder as I write this.

The kids got very creative with Pet names over the years. How else can you get Ruby from a horse that is actually named Think of Chocolate?

Ruby the horse has her own place about 5 miles from our house. If she could, I am sure that my daughter would love to have her living in the back yard.

Over the years, these pets taught my kids about the circle of life. How to take care of something that cannot take care of itself. All things live, until they die. The backyard has become a pet cemetery of sorts. Nondescript graves, a nondescript funeral. Flushing the goldfish down the toilet is not how we send a family pet like whitie the goldfish into the ever after. If the mean guy who lives two houses down wants to report that to the homeowners association, I don’t care.

This morning I went into my son’s room to check on Johnnie, my son’s pet hamster. He has had Johnnie for almost two years now. Gave him fresh food and checked the cage. It was empty! There was no Johnnie. He escaped.

Johnnie the hamster. Not his real picture. Could not find one but this is what we are going to put on his wanted sign.

The last time that I saw Johnnie was a couple of days ago. I went to my son’s room to check on him. He was fine but needed water. I refilled his water container. Pretty sure he was there when I replaced the water bottle. Checked today, provided him food and there was no hamster. No sign as to how he got out. My son swears that he was there yesterday. What to do now?

My daughter had a hamster several years ago. He managed to escape from his cage. This kids like to hold them and play with them. Hamster fell out of her hands and ran off. Took us about 24 hours to recapture him in my daughter’s closet. Hope to do the same with Johnnie.

But he is missing. So I checked the internet on how to recover a lost hamster. I set his cage in the middle of my son’s room with the door open. Hopefully he will get hungry, or thirsty, spy the cage and craw inside. Visit for awhile and hopefully I can trap him.

The trap in my son’s room…hopefully Johnnie will get home sick!

Came across many interesting articles about hamsters, and other animals. Found a particularly interesting article entitled “Do Hamsters like music” at https://hutchandcage.com/do-hamsters-like-music/. From the article, the hamsters are like my kids. They love classical music. The article says that all animals like classical music. Of late I have been listening to Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man. Jewel isn’t too keen on it. Mozart or Beethoven? The article didn’t specify….Hamsters get stressed out to Metal or Rock music. The article suggests that music can be beneficial to hamsters. Too bad my children cannot benefit from listening to Pearl Jam (or RUSH; but they are OK with the Beatles and REM).

So if the cage trick does not work, I guess that I will resort to music.

Think I need to rethink the whole concept of getting chickens and rabbits and goats for the kids at the stables. Son wants a snake. I told him he can get a snake when he has his own place. Daughter would like lots of farmland so that she can take in any and every animal that does not have a home.

Dogs

Since I have had to set up my own household, the kids and I have adopted two dogs. Both animals were from our local county animal shelter. The first was Abby (photo on the right). The second and most recent is Jewel (photo on the left).

They are part of our family.

Abby was a long hair mixed bread who was an older dog. The adoption papers suggested that she was perhaps 10 years old, and came to our local shelter after living in the Taos area. Set in her ways, she would always great me at the door when I came home, often sitting there looking outside through a window that was floor height.

She immediately fit into the family, but was not the kind of dog who liked to wrestle with son. Even though he picked her out of all of the dogs at the pound, she was my dog. When she wanted something, it was me that she would always visit. Short walks were fine, but she certainly would let you know when it was time to go home. I think that is a trait that she learned from my kids. We had Abby for a little over two years before she passed away from a seizure. We have a lock of her hair, a paw print and her cremated remains in a picture box in the dining room of the house.

At her passing, I wrote a little poem. It went like this:

Rest In Peace my four-legged friend.
Our time together, albeit brief, has come to an end.
I rescued you from the pound,
You rescued me from being lost.
Together our love and friendship grew.
I already miss your wagging tail, and your growls of joy when you roll on my pile of dirty clothes.
Your barking when you would greet me at the door,
was evermore poetic with the kids in tow.
My loss of joy makes this pain so acute.
It will exhaust me with each passing day I am sure,
But in the end, we will meet once again.

Some months passed before we got another dog. Her name is Jewel. A pit bull terrier, she equally had a troubled life. Abused and injured before she was two years old, I can only describe her as a very lovable ball of pure energy. Just looking at her chasing her tail wears me out.

She also likes to look out the window next to the door. And she loves long walks that allow me to really get a workout. She also is my dog even though the kids picked her at the pound.

In my life, I have only had four other dogsthat I called part of my family. They had less interesting names: Tinkle, Tippy, Buffy and Dash. Dash was the family dog after I got married. She was the dog who was around when the kids were born. A golden retriever, Dash was a great dog. The other dogs are from my childhood years growing up in Pennsylvania.

Dogs are just great. They are family.