Friday, July 22, 2016


So there are hamsters. Two of them, officially Phodopus Roborovskii, also known as desert hamsters. Imagine your thumb, fur covered, with four legs, a twitchy nose and beady black eyes. They were spectacularly active in the pet store but I think they’re either tired or scared right now. Or perhaps they resent still being nameless.

The little creatures came into my house because Arielle saw me grinning at them like an eight-year-old with a new bike when we stopped at Petco. She decided, there and then, that she should buy the two as I have been sort of mopey lately, and it’s hard to remain mopey when these little creatures are doing their thing, which comprises running very fast in a wheel—and I mean fast; you can’t see their legs—staring at you with a frankly curious expression, or waving their butts around.

My house now contains four living beings, if you count me and Junkie the cat who knew something was up and was clawing the front tire of my car this morning.  The newest roommates have a multicolored living space that took a little while to assemble since the instructions, though in English, read like Urdu. It’s a colorful cage-like box with tubes and platforms and a water bottle and exercise wheel. If I were very, very small, it might be a neat place to live.

Animals are not new here. There have been two garden snakes that came in one summer; the aforementioned cat; a rescue Greyhound; a mutt named Elvis; mice, both caged and free-range; an injured praying mantis; a stinkbug named Sisyphus; a cockatoo with disgusting sanitary habits; a really mean one-foot long lizard;  one mourning dove that had been hit by a car; a grackle with a broken leg; and lots and lots of fish in the outdoor pond. Oh, and a possum, but he (she?) was here only one day. And a bat. No, two bats. And an injured wolf spider I kept in a terrarium for an entire winter. And a raccoon that got trapped in my garbage can, but that probably doesn’t count.

The point is I have shared my home with two-, four-,  and multiple-legged animals over the years, but these two little beasts are somehow special. Last night I got up five times to check on them. Today I have been texting Arielle incessantly for advice. Ack! I can’t find them! Yikes! One seems listless! What do I do now? Luckily, Arielle has two guinea pig of her own and and a history of taking care of small animals. Her texts are reassuring. This is good. I tend to overreact.

So we’re looking for name suggestions. Any ideas?  




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