Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hamsters - Born to be Wild

Orlando, our first dwarf hamster, flung himself off all surfaces with wild abandon and loved the feeling of our slick table so much that he'd slide himself across it on his stomach. His sudden early and inexplicable death (or, given his love of an adrenalin-fueled lifestyle, maybe not so surprising) threw my younger daughter and me into a short but intense period of mourning.

Theo, our second dwarf hamster, was happiest when we let her run down the hall and explore every room in the house (except the kitchen, where hamsters tend to hide under large, heavy appliances and stuff themselves silly with crumbs) - she lived to be almost 2 1/2 years old, truly ancient for a hamster.

And Valentine, our newest baby dwarf hamster, escaped from his cage mere days after we brought him home. Although usually escaped hamsters make themselves known by scuttling like hairy cockroaches across the middle of the floor while I'm drinking my morning coffee, Valentine didn't make an appearance. After nearly a week, we figured he was a goner.

But wait! This morning, faint but wild scritching noises behind the washing machine alerted us to his presence. Although I couldn't budge the washing machine, I managed to haul out the dryer enough for my younger daughter to climb behind it - and there Valentine was, standing on his hind legs as if begging to be rescued.

We're so glad to have him back! He's the most sociable hamster we've had yet, and as crammed with personality as all the others. It's no wonder that the Humphrey and Freddy books are so popular - hamsters really do have a sassy yet sweet style all their own. Don't believe me? Check out my favorite new graphic novel for younger readers - Colleen Venable's Hamster and Cheese, book 1 of the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series.


  1. Great news! Did Val survive on a diet ofdryer dust and crumbs?

  2. I am crazy in love with Guinea PI! I can't wait for the next book coming out in the fall. I've handed it out several times at the library and the kids adore Sasspants, the guinea pig.

  3. He not only survived but ran away AGAIN last night. This time we knew where to find him. Now his cage is bristling with zip ties and clips in an effort to keep him in. We should change his name to Houdini.

  4. I'm waiting for Cynthia Lord's Hot Rod Hamster to be on our OSA list! Lots of hamster love out there.

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