September 27, 2005

If It's Not One Thing It's a Hamster

As I hinted at below, Coco has escaped, again. She has learned yet another means to freedom. Once she stopped trying to chew through the six intricately-braided bread twisties George used to fasten her front door, meaning that I have to now remove her water bottle to feed her by dumping the pellets and seeds in the hole at the top, she began looking for another way out.

Well she's gotten better than ever at dislodging the little petting box at the top of the cage where she sleeps. Now she can pop the top, which she did twice the other day, the second time during which she disappeared.

I came home today and George said he had seen her come out from under the stove 3 times. One time he even tried to catch her, but then backed off. He doesn't have a fondness for getting bitten, even though I assure him she doesn't bite. Never mind.

The point is, once again, she's eating well from the scraps the ants have missed - AKA crapping at will throughout my house.

And that's not even the bad hamster news.

The bad hamster news has to do with an idea I had after I spent TWO HOURS with George cleaning and scouring three hamster cages (one for the mom, one for the dad, one for the two brothers). The idea was, BOYS SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE TOGETHER. So I put the dad hamster in with the two brothers. In a big cage. With two food dishes. And two wheels to run on.

What's to fight about?

How happy was I to have one less cage to clean.

We thought they were going to make it. Then the noise started--a horrible grunting and gnashing noise that had me dropping the dust cloth and running back into the living room, lickety quick like Mayor Nagin says, and the first thing I see is the blood coloring their blonde hair AND the white wire cage I had just spent a half hour bleaching.

The dad and one of the boys were going at it.

Somehow, don't ask me how, I scooped the dad hamster up with a piece of wood--don't get that hamster blood on me!--and put him back in his cage.

That's when I noticed how bad brown-head (that's what we call the baby hamster we don't call Runt.) looked. If you've never seen blood dripping from the mouth of a hamster, well we can have lunch and talk about it. Because it's a pathetic scene.


I called George down, and we watched brown-head for a while. He looked like he was in shock, just curled up in the corner until he got up and started walking towards us.

He got to his food dish in time to swirl his little hamster tongue around and spit out his tooth.

That's right, his tooth.

"Holy crap--George, how many teeth do hamsters have? I mean, is this bad?"

"That old man knocked his boy's tooth out," he said in a state of marvel. "Look at that. Knocked his tooth out."

Today brown-head is doing much better. I haven't been around enough to see if he's able to eat with one of his front teeth gone, but he can still use his hamster wheel just fine.

The Dad? He's back in his luxurious landscaped cage, solo, just how he likes it.

The moral of the story: Don't get any frigging hamsters if you can help it.