Tag Archives: hamsters

It’s Time for Cuteness

Kid is back to college, house is a wreck, work busy, family stuff going on, so what it’s time for? Total cuteness. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did when the kid showed it to me as part of his ongoing campaign to get another hamster. I prefer mine 2-dimensional.

It’s so effing cute, you have to swear! lemonade hamster

It’s a Cute Hamster Week

Hi all, I was away this weekend visiting Sonia, my fellow U2 fan and friend extraordinaire. We had an awesome time and wondered why we had waited so long? The visit had started with us trying to see the band again. Then we realized we didn’t have to wait for Bono to croon to us for $300 a pop to see each other. Love you, Bono, but we’ll maybe catch you next time around. So instead we talked non-stop and had a lot of fun. It was a great antidote to a couple of stressful weeks, so while I’m feeling much more balanced, I had no time to polish any of the blog drafts I have. The 5-hour train ride was filled with great hopes of writing several blogs and finishing a book.

I fell asleep for the most the ride. Ah, well. Some times you just have to sleep.

Which brings us to: all I got is the cute hamsters. These are not ours, but they made me laugh.

This one just looks like Einstein and the way his hair is sticking out, he also looks harried. with a side of frantic. That’s pretty much what I’ve been feeling.

einstein hamster

This is is just about hanging in there. Have a good week!

Cute Hamster Animal Desktop Wallpaper

Birth, School, Work, Death

OK, so my reference to the Godfathers’ song from 1988, is a bit melodramatic, but what is teenage existence if not melodramatic? Plus, it’s my solemn duty to reference anything 80s, anytime I can.
My kid had a crash course in adult life this week. First he got yelled at by yours truly for not handing in assignments and a lecture about doing what you are supposed to, even if you don’t feel like it. Senioritis has reached an acute stage, and I can use that word because I work at the hospital.
A few days later, our beloved hamster, Marble, who has gotten me out of more than one blogging jam with his cuteness, decided on Wednesday that his allotted two years were up. As one friend said, Marble has moved on and will  forever be remembered with his cheeks stuffed with seeds and carrots. Even though this is hamster #3, the kid was still sad. I am too, truth be told. But we didn’t have too much time to mourn, because at the end of that day, we got word that the kid had received a local scholarship, and we’d find out details at a ceremony next week.

Thursday started with a visit to the vet for Marble’s cremation and ended with a 2-hour wait to get the kid fitted for a tux for the prom. Yes, my gaming, independent kid decided to go to the prom on his own to see what the fuss was all about. On the way to the fitting, he confessed he was nervous and wasn’t sure what he was doing. He also knew the ticket had been bought and the tux rented and there was no going back. If that’s not a “welcome to adulthood” situation, I don’t know what is.

The next day he got dressed up, looked awesome, and I drove him to the prom fashionably late. We agreed he could call me at anytime to come rescue him, and it took him a few minutes to get the courage to open the door after a brief strategy session. I then headed home and sat waiting though the next three hours like a firefighter waiting on the next call.

When I finally got the call at the end of the night, I was jubilant, or perhaps slightly delirious — it had, after all, been an intense week. I thought, “He stayed until the end, he must’ve had a good time!” Of, course, this is my kid we’re talking about, and he tends to lean more to the glass half empty way of viewing the world. I picked him up, and he proclaimed the experience, “Meh.” However, we did have a good discussion about his expectations, and that not everyone has a fabulous time at prom or in high school for that matter. I argued that the main takeaway should be him giving himself credit for facing his fear of going to prom on his own and going. He seemed to feel bad that he probably wasn’t going to have any nostalgia for his high school days, and he compared it to my nostalgia for 80s music. I explained that my love of 80s music and the memories I have of say, my friends and I hunkered down watching this new, amazing thing called MTV — 20 minutes of moon footage interspersed with the Buggles singing “Video Killed the Radio Star” — had really nothing to do with high school. Except that I was a high schooler during that time. I pointed out to him that his nostalgia would be around the video games he’s played with his friends. His spirits seemed to brightened at that idea.

Which is good — growing up means getting your own nostalgia and appropriating anyone else that’s interesting. Long live the 80s.



Hamster in a Blanket

My friend George told me there’d be days like this. When I spoke with him 3 years ago about starting my blog, he knew me well enough to know I can get too focused on always bringing my A-game to my writing, or at least die trying. Having done social media for his fabulous knitting and crochet pattern business 10 Hours or Less, he also knew some days I’d be lucky to get out of bed and get dressed, never mind post some quality writing that will make people laugh and cry and give them a push to get their own ass out of bed. Some days a B or even B minus-game will do.

George is a wise man, and today is one of those days. So I give you Marble, the amazingly cute hamster in a blanket, because that is all I got this week. Oh, and hey, I’ve been doing this blog for 3 years — thanks for being a part of it.


Merry Kwanzachrismukkahstivus

Marble and I wish you a very Merry Kwanzachrismukkahstivus. I hope you had a good weekend celebrating whatever has meaning for you, be it stories from history, a baby in the straw, oil that doesn’t quit, feats of strength, or just being grateful for not doing anything. 

Mercifully, 2016 is coming to a close–we hope with no more taking of any icons, but don’t hold your breath. I remember a stand-up routine Steve Martin did many years ago, where he proposed this ritual to break up with someone. I’d like to perform it for 2016:

You say: I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee. And then you throw dog poop on their shoes. 💩

So there, 2016. We’re done.

Next week I’ll do my top 10 or 11 or 9 posts from the year, as the spirit moves me. Then I’ll be ready for 2017 with new words, a stout heart, a rapier wit (or maybe just the rapier–I believe flexibility is called for), some serious dance moves, and a case of wine.

We’ll find our way together. 

The Hamster’s All Right

I wrote a while back that our current hamster, Marble, needed to have surgery to remove a growth on his nether regions. Now you shouldn’t confuse this with the post I did about our previous hamster, Hamphrey, who also needed surgery in his nether regions, resulting in, sad to say, no more nether regions. I admit, many dollars later, I may be a little bit over having male hamsters at this point. 

However, Marble not only got to keep his hamster manliness intact, he’s doing fine and swaggering around, taking his antibiotics like a champ. The biopsy came back, because you know in a world where a hamster biopsy is possible, why wouldn’t you have one? A friend suggested perhaps they just throw it away and pick random things to tell you from a spinning wheel. I choose not to be that cynical. At least not at $200 a pop. Turns out it was cancerous, but they think they got it all. We’re supposed to keep an eye on him, but he’s a hamster, so there’s probably a good chance he’ll live out the rest of his 2-year life span with no more more trips to the vet. Or at least at that point I can look into hamster hospice. 

They are cute and pull at your heart strings, so what can you do? Here’s to a long hamster life Marble. 

I Would Have Gotten Away with It, if It Weren’t for that Meddling Hamster

So I published this two years ago, and I’m having deja vu. I took the new(ish) hamster, Marble, to the vet this week, and he needs to have something removed from his balls. He’s adorable, but I would like to say for the record that I’m done with male hamsters and their ball issues. And before you ask, as a number of my friends already have, my kid is waaaaay too old and attached for me to put Marble down and get a new one because it’s less expensive than surgery. Look, I get he’s a hamster and doesn’t register much in the pet kingdom, but in the kid kingdom, he is the bee’s knees. So, in honor of laying out yet another three figure amount in the name of pets, here’s the post from two years ago.

This week I joined the ranks of what I used to think of as the Crazy Pet People, but now think of more as the Concerned and Highly Responsible Pet Owners. I grew up in the time when the only reason you took your pets to vet was to end their misery, and you’d hear your parents complain about the bill for months after. I owned my last cats in 1990, way before people were spending $56 billion smackers a year on their pets. And for the record, I did NOT take them to the vet then—I became allergic and sent them to live a good friend. I like to hide my secret relief at not having to lay out serious cash on pet wellness and health care that rivals humans by secretly shaking my head at those crazy pet people, acting like their pets are people. I’ve gotten away with it too for quite a while—long enough to foster some hubris on the topic. When my son reached pet-wanting age, my and his father’s cat allergies and my incompatibility with dogs left him with a pretty short list of possibilities: fish, turtles, and small furry creatures. We started with two successive goldfish. Dorothy lasted about a year, but Baby Dorothy had some digestive issues that required a special diet. Despite the fact that I hand-fed her mashed peas, she left the mortal coil after a few months. That should have been the red flag for me. I was hand-feeding. A fish. Peas. Why? Because she was my son’s pet, and he loved her. That, I told myself, was much different from what those Crazy Pet People do.

Two fish funerals in a short time took its emotional toll on my son, and so we laid low on the pet front for a while. When the hamster request became frequent and steady, we agreed to get him a hamster for his birthday. He picked Nibbles, who was up for adoption at the pet store; his previous owner was no longer able to care for him. I was brimming with pride, both at my son’s compassionate choice, and at Nibble’s exceptional talents; he placed third in the Petco Hamster Ball Derby that year. Mostly, Nibbles was a healthy and maintenance-free hamster. At least from a vet’s perspective. He did escape from his cage numerous times, holing up under the dishwasher for 36 hours once and getting specked with black gunk after about 6 hours of roaming under the baseboards. But he was none the worse for wear. One weird episode involved us cleaning his cage during the day. Hamsters are nocturnal, so we had to wake him up to do it. He wasn’t right for three days after that—sleeping day and night, except for a few feeble attempts to walk in his wheel. He’d walked for a few minutes, then seemed confused at why he was there and retreat to his house. I lay awake listening for the sound of the wheel, and then convinced we’d killed him, I checked on him in the middle of the night. He finally perked up all on his own, and the only other help he needed was when he was very old (at age three) and we turned his cage into a one-level assisted living facility for him. But, you know, none of that was crazy, it was logical animal care.

After a few months of mourning Nibbles, my son was ready for a second hamster, and why not? Since we’d weathered one hamster’s life vet-free, the idea of it went completely out of my head. And for our first year with Hamphrey, we continued in that self-delusional fantasy. That is, until last Tuesday. My son picked up Hamphrey and said, “What’s that?” There something slightly larger than a Cocoa Puff on him, and the color was not any color a mammal should be sporting. Although I previously had not consciously defined for myself what size a weird growth needed to be for me to consider a vet, apparently it’s slightly larger than a Cocoa Puff. So there I was, making awkward calls from work, first finding a vet who treats what one vet website called “pocket pets” and then describing the problem. I was acutely aware that to people who don’t own pets, on the scale of legitimate pet issues, Hamphrey’s was just above fish digestive issues. Lucky for me the Concerned and Highly Responsible Pet Owners at the vet fell over themselves when I showed up in the waiting room with the cage. All dog owners, they oohed at Hamphrey’s well-timed,head poke out of his house, exclaimed his cuteness, and peppered me with questions about him, including his ailment.

The vet examined him thoroughly, which I was very grateful for. But it was also kind of hard to take seriously, I mean, when she looked in his eyes, ears, and even in his tiny nose, what could she possibly see in there? I was mildly amused until she started talking about surgery, the risks, and a specialist south of Boston. And there I was, in that place I’d avoided for so long. Trying to make a difficult, expensive health care decision for a small animal with a three-year life span and hold on my son’s heart. Of course I considered it, because I’m a Concerned and Highly Responsible Pet Owner. What made me hesitate was that surgery was probably just as risky as doing nothing—the anesthesia alone could kill him, and how the heck do you administer it? With a little mask? So as my mind was racing about how I would explain this all to my son, we came back to the more basic approach, trying to clean up the Cocoa Puff. So they took him off for about 10 minutes. When they returned, the Cocoa Puff was gone, there was a small wound, and I swear Hamphrey looked relieved. Seems like it was an infected cut, and not some big scary tumor. Phew. And $107 later, that is how I joined your ranks. Now if you’ll excuse me, Hamphrey needs his antibiotics, ointment applied, and a foot rub.

Photo: Marble the newish hamster in all his cuteness.