Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Great Hamster Debra of Sleepy Cat Designs

A hamster? Me? Yep, I got my first hamster at age 34!! My niece, who was 11, had gotten 2 hamsters and they did not get along. As a result, she was having trouble dealing with them and their stressful shenanigans, so she and her mother (my sister) talked me into taking Goldie who was a cute little thing, but not very friendly.

My cat, Chelsea, was mesmerized by this little creature, though, and so she proved to be good entertainment for my kitty. Of course, I had Goldie in a cat-proof cage, but that didn’t keep Chelsea from climbing up on whatever cabinet or table I had Goldie sitting on and watching her for hours. I found Goldie very entertaining as well!

Goldie lived a very happy existence in her little habitat, running in her exercise wheel and tearing up everything I put in her container, keeping those tiny sharp teeth as sharp as possible.

When I tried to gently hold and pet her, she would have none of it, freezing up into a stiff little ball. She did try to bite me a few times but didn’t really hurt me. And she did get away from me a couple times and had a grand time running all over my apartment. That was quite interesting as Chelsea followed her everywhere and yet never tried to harm her! I am not sure she knew what she would do with her if she did catch her! Chelsea had never seen a mouse and so this “thing” running around everywhere was more like a wind-up toy to chase! I caught her without too much difficulty, mostly because I lived in a small space and there were not too many places to hide.

As far as daily life, Goldie stayed very busy. You see, Goldie was on a mission…she had one aim in life and that was to get out of that cage. She did everything she could think of to escape.

This photo was taken of her sneaking out while I was cleaning her cage one day and had my back turned for a split second!

And this photo is of Chelsea sitting very still while watching this interesting little critter!
I had Goldie for about two years. She was a lot of fun to watch and not too hard to take care of as far as keeping her habitat clean.

Goldie never had any health problems that I knew of, until the day I found her lying in her cage, no longer breathing, but still very warm. In fact, just a few seconds before that she had seemed fine as I walked through the kitchen and passed her cage. I was sad to see her lying there, so still and lifeless, when just a minute before she had been so full of vim and vigor, running in her wheel the way she loved to do.

A few weeks after Goldie’s death, I talked to Chelsea’s vet about Goldie and how she died so suddenly, and she said that Goldie probably died of sudden cardiac arrest due to old age!! Seems hamsters have a normal life span of approximately 2 years. So, Goldie had indeed lived a long and full life as a hamster, and it was just that her little heart gave out due to advanced age. I felt sorry for her, but I was glad she lived about as long as most hamsters do.

Even though she was not very friendly, she seemed happy and always looked alert and healthy and ate very well; and she surely had a lot of fun trying to escape! So I think she had a good life! I know my Chelsea enjoyed watching her immensely and missed her very much for several days, going to the area where the cage usually sat, over and over, looking for her funny little friend.

I am not sure why I never had a hamster when I was my niece’s age, but maybe it was because we always had dogs and cats and plenty of them! As an adult, having a hamster was a unique experience, and it gave me and my niece something else to talk about and discuss at length. For that, I was very grateful. Goldie was a cute, furry, tiny creature which to me was another of God’s amazing creations, and I enjoyed having her as a pet.

It’s amazing to me how many small creatures there are that we can have as pets. For children, hamsters are often a good first pet…for me as an adult, it was quite an enjoyable experience.

By: Debra of Sleepy Cat Designs, an online shop full of cute things for people who love cats, as well as comfortable fabric safety collars for cats. Debra is participating in the CFA Guild promotion to highlight National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month in October, with a 10% gift donation for each purchase during the last week of October to be made to the Close-to-Home Animal Rescue organization in Ohio. Many guild members are participating; just click here for more info and to get the coupon code!

1 comment:

Creative Critters said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing Goldie's story- sounds like she has the ideal life for a hamster. And I bet she enhanced your kitty's life as well! A hamster was my first pet when I was about your niece's age, and my brother and I each had a few hamsters when we were young. It was a great experience, and I remember how much fun we had playing with Josie, one of the few hamsters we actually shared (the others were either "mine" or "his"). Hamsters are interesting and fun pets, and are wonderful for teaching kids the responsibilities of pet ownership. :-)