Bruce the hamster died last week. The only thing good that came from Bruce is I learned how to spell hamster. I always thought it was hampster. Spelling, just another thing I suck at. I bought him for Joe's 11th birthday last September. Not because I like rodents...in case you missed that, but out of that odd parent guilt others so easily avoid, yet I fall prey to every 8-10 years. I-wanna-pet-guilt.
Again, the mom who lacks judgement and has virtually no foresight, pulled out her debit card and brought home a rodent with a fancy cage, chews, food and even an exercise ball. Guess how many times Bruce rolled in it? Once.
Otherwise he was home bound (a nice way of saying, 'trapped') in the fancy cage Joe never wanted to clean. And as with most things that come into contact with me, Bruce slowly became more and more neurotic.
When we first brought him home, he ran around, played hide-and-seek and spun in his wheel for hours. After only a few short weeks here he began acting odd..spending more and more time crammed into the little compartment. Eventually he brought all his stuffing up. He'd carry as much as possible to the very top and stuff the tube so full, he couldn't move or breath...and you know what happens when you can't breathe. Bruce does too...now...anyway.
I'd made it very clear prior to adopting him, I'd provide food and shelter, but no housekeeping. I'd put in my time with our last caged rodent, Casey, who I bought for Mya when she was 10. Casey was purchased out of mom's just-had-a-baby-which-means-less-time-for-you-guilt. On our way home from the hospital, we stopped at the pet store. Casey rolled around a few more times than Bruce, but it wasn't long before he became a recluse never again to see outside glass walls.
Back then I had more energy, so instead of fighting her to clean it, I did it myself. That's when I learned cleaning rodents cages, much like ex husbands and snow, make me wanna say, "fuck," a lot. Cleaning it was so awful, I'd cry, and it wasn't just cuz the urine stinging my eyes.. I swore to myself I'd never again buy an animal that had to be kept in an enclosed space, including fish.
Mya paid about as much attention to Casey as Joe did Bruce. No, I take that back...at least Joe noticed Bruce was dead. When Casey died, I didn't tell her. The day she found out she started to cry, but I said, "You're not allowed to." Yep, I actually told her she couldn't cry. She looked up, startled, with a puzzled expression until I explained he'd already been dead almost a year.
Joe cried right away and all day. He was so sad, I let him stay home from school. Bruce's final resting place is a Glad sandwich bag box. We dug a hole, made a tombstone, had a ceremony and said a prayer. I thought that was the end, but then Joe went online and discovered hamsters hibernate, so we dug him back up just to check...I held my breath...crossed my fingers, said another prayer and..
photos from google
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