A hamster with attitude
What kind of adult goes out and buys herself a hamster?
This kind, apparently.
Last week I had the sudden urge to get a hamster. I’d like to blame the new PetSmart in town and their fancy hamster cages, the displays of adorable furry little creatures, and the related pet accoutrement, but really, it’s all my fault.
I would probably have 100 different pets of all types if I could (except for spiders, I have not embraced the spider as anything other than something to freak me out). But I hold myself back both because time, money and space would make it impractical to have so many pets, and because I really don’t want to have that “Hoarders” TV show crew end up at my house. Plus, I rent and, you know, good luck getting that deposit back.
But a hamster? That’s doable, and why not? They are cute and fun, and other than giving them a little food and water and changing out the bedding once a week, not much trouble at all.
Little did I know the hamster I selected would have a bit of an attitude.
I chose a plain brown hamster from PetSmart for one main reason. He was the last one left.
Plus, he had a little chunk of hair missing on his nose that looked suspiciously like a bite from another hamster. My heart went out to him — the poor, lonely hamster that had been bullied and then rejected by all the other hamster purchasers before me.
So I got a cool cage, some food, purple bedding (yes, it comes in purple now!) and a box with a nervous hamster inside of it.
I brought him home (I have no idea if he is actually a him, but whatever), and dubbed him Norman. It seemed like a hamsterish kind of name.
Expectedly, Norman was a bit nervous for the first few days. He scurried around his cage at night, slept most of the day away and didn’t much like being picked up.
But now after getting used to his new home and me, he’s getting quite the personality. Norman, it seems, is an individual.
He likes grapes but isn’t that excited by apples.
He likes to run on his wheel in the evenings, but has recently developed the habit of using the cage’s platform to get on top of the wheel and commence his workout routine there. Why should he run inside the wheel? That’s how all the OTHER hamsters do it, and Norman is a unique soul.
He likes to stash food everywhere but in his food dish.
He’ll sort of bite you. Not ever hard enough to hurt but enough to let you know he’s there and you’d better not squeeze him too hard.
And now he’s itching to explore outside his cage. He immediately comes to the door when I open the cage and will quickly crawl out if he’s not prevented. I got him one of those plastic ball things, so when the urge strikes, I stick him in there and let him explore to his little hamster heart’s content — until he poops inside the ball and then exploration time is over.
So that’s what I know about Norman so far. He’s fascinating to watch (as my dog will attest to), and I’m glad I got him.
Welcome to the family, Norman.