The Hamster Situation: One DOA, One On The Lam, One In Custody
t’s been a day.
The kind of day you don’t think about when your five-year-old pleads with you so winsomely for that seemingly innocuous little ball of fluff in the pet store.
The kind of day I shall work very hard not to think about in the months and months to come.
Today Jacqui’s Chinese dwarf hamster, Kai-Lan (yes, odd name for a hamster, I know, but she was Chinese after all), died.
It was a sad, sad day.
There was wailing.
And gnashing of teeth.
And, “Oh, Momeeeeeeeee!!! I don’t think I’ll never ever be happeeeeee!! Never ever againnnnnnnnnnn!!! WAHHHHHHHHH!!!”
So we did what any sensible parents would do.
We got a replacement. Post haste.
Eensy beensy problem though. Pet store was fresh out of Chinese dwarf hamsters. Instead they had some cute little robo dwarf hamsters. Would I perhaps be willing to take one of those instead?
Meh. Sure. Why not. To-may-to, ta-mah-to… dopey, sneezy, grumpy, bashful — a dwarf’s a dwarf right?
There’s a HUGE difference.
The second we opened the box was the second I began scrambling to form a plot to get the hypersonic little vermin back into the box so we could take it right back to the pet store. Unfortunately I was 0.99237986 seconds to slow in this thought process.
Where a typical six-year-old can easily hold and cuddle and fuss over a Chinese dwarf hamster, give that same child a robo dwarf hamster and they’ll be left crying over an empty pet-store box in 0.99237986 seconds flat. Robos are a lot less like hamsters and a lot more like psychotic fleas with a quadruple shot of espresso. And at least ten times as fast.
So after completely upending our five-piece sectional and scouring the family room for the better part of an afternoon, I called it quits.
But there was still the little matter of those six-year-old tears…
I called every pet store in town. None of them had any Chinese dwarf hamsters. Not a one. So I began pitching the wonderful attributes of any hamster variety I could pull up on Google that didn’t have the word “dwarf” in the middle.
It was the next best thing. There weren’t any slug/hamster sloth/hamster hybrids in existence so far as I could tell. I checked.
I finally caught her attention with a photo of a panda bear hamster. And after another 30 minutes on the phone, I located a panda bear hamster. Back at the very same pet store I started the morning at. *sigh*
Off we went to the pet store where Jacqui happily picked out her new best buddy. I paid for the little rodent and then remembered I needed to throw in some hamster food because we were almost out. Unfortunately the pet store was out too. They stuffed the bug-eyed little fluff ball in our second cardboard pet-store box of the day and we were off to one last store for hamster food.
Guess what happened while we were in the store.
I bet you can’t guess.