The Hamster Diary

September 25, 2013: This hamster thing… I guess I haven’t been posting about our newly adopted hamsters. They kept me up all night long last night, after realizing that TWO hamsters could beget HUNDREDS more. We had no idea of their sexes, and I had to get up in the middle of the night to see how hard it would be to find homes for babies on Craigslist. Easy peasy if you’re willing to let people turn them into snake food. So today, first thing, I studied their privates hoping to put my mind at ease. The good news, I’m pretty sure they’re the same sex. I think they’re boys. I’ll be able to sleep tonight!

September 26, 2013: Why, you ask, would we adopt hamsters? You’re thinking kids, right? Nosirree Bob. It all started when we brought home sea shells from the ocean, only to discover that there were hermit crabs living inside… the full story is told in the eBook Ten Dead Mice, which is NOT a kid’s book.

September 27, 2013: We all love the hamster ball! The hamsters climbed right in once they understood its purpose. The dogs got a big kick out of watching the ball scoot around, and the humans enjoyed watching all the critters having a good time. It was a total win!

October 10, 2013: Okey dokey, the hamsters are spooking the dog. They’re doing WEIRD things. I think the hamster picked up the base of the hamster wheel, hid a chunk of food under there, and then covered it up with wood shavings. He rattled the heck out of the hamster wheel, which spooked the dog. They keep her mesmerized for hours, watching them through the glass wall of the aquarium.

October 14, 2013: Geez, what a scare. I came upstairs to feed the hamsters, and one was stretched out on the log house snoozing. I reached in to pet him, and he didn’t move. I petted him enough that he should have jumped and ran, because he doesn’t like to be touched, but no movement. He wasn’t stiff, but I honestly thought he was near-dead. So I picked him up, which they NEVER go for. Then he woke up, and now he’s running like crazy on the wheel!

October 18, 2013: Once hamsters get comfortable in their new digs, they sure do chirp a lot! But never when they are awake and active, mostly when they look like they are asleep. Once I even saw one twitching in his sleep like a dog having a squirrel dream.

October 23, 2013: You know that show, “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” I can go one better. How about, “Are you smarter than a hamster?”

Un.Freaking.Believable. Came up from dinner to discover that a hamster got loose. From a 30 gallon glass aquarium. I opened the door of the room they were in, the dog went in front of me, and we both saw the hamster running across the floor at the same time. It’s a GOOD thing our dogs are trained enough to obey me, because that hamster would have been dog food otherwise! The hamster is back in the aquarium safe and sound, but WOW. We really thought it was escape proof! Shades of the latest eBook, Ten Dead Mice.

October 26, 2013: This morning, the escape artist was missing. I could not find him anywhere in the aquarium, but the lid was in place. What the…? I looked underneath their log house, and behind the hamster wheel, but no hamster. Then I spotted him, perched on top of the water bottle, right up under the lid, trying to figure out how to lift the lid. He was almost a foot and a half up, which is why I didn’t see him. That’s how he’d gotten out, by climbing up the water bottle which is attached to a wire grate.

December 30, 2013: I discovered this morning that hamsters can wake up with hard-ons. I kid you not. I’d never seen their *junk* before. He’d been sleeping belly up, so you couldn’t miss it.

January 26, 2014: Haven’t done a hamster diary update in awhile. This morning I gave them each a big chunk of raw carrot, maybe two inches long, and a whole carrot around. Sam immediately started to eat his carrot. But Ham, he grabbed his carrot, and then kept ramming Sam with it.

At first I thought he was trying to steal Sam’s carrot, but his own carrot was getting in the way. Then I realized that his big teeth got stuck in it and he couldn’t figure out how to disengage. He ran back and forth and back and forth, and finally I helped him. Then they both sat down and shredded their carrots, leaving the shavings to eat for later.

February 7, 2014: They have now officially trained me. I kid you not. Every afternoon, when I’m concentrating the hardest on the latest book, they pick up their heavy glass food dish and drop it loudly, several times, until I give them a treat to shut them up.

February 18, 2014: The hamsters were adopted from a pet store that specialized in snakes and other reptiles. After I’d picked them out of the litter, the owner of the pet store refused to get the hamsters out and box them up for me, stating that every time he stuck his hand in, they bit him. This man who’s all about handling snakes was afraid of getting bit by a baby hamster. We’ve had the hamsters now for about six months, and they’ve never once attempted to bite me. I’ve handled them, even when they were eating, and they’ve never attacked me. So I wonder, what does this guy do to get himself bit? Bad aura?

April 20, 2014: How do you give a hamster a bath? I know you really want to know this. Get a half a paper towel sopping wet, and then pick him up and sort of roll him around in the wet paper towel in your hand. I do this after I’ve emptied out the aquarium, and have already wiped down the floor really well with wet paper towels. The floor needs to be clean before you bathe the hamsters, as they aren’t bright enough to stay out of their own muck.

June 8, 2014: Hamster pee: A hamster is guaranteed to pee as soon as you have everything out of his home, down to the bare floor, and you’re trying to wipe down the bare floor with wet paper towels. A hamster will pee on your just-cleaned floor *every single time*.

July 13, 2014: I believe that hamsters miss us when we aren’t around. When we went on vacation, and came back, they were lethargic. I thought perhaps they’d overeaten and made themselves ill. Last week, however, my husband’s family came to visit us for a week. The hamsters were cleaned, fed, and watered on schedule, but nobody was in the office with them. Normally I’m in here five days a week. They don’t get a lot of time out of the aquarium, but just my being nearby must mean something. By the end of a week of being alone in the office, they were lethargic, just as when we’d gone on vacation for three days. I’d come in to check on them, or feed them, and when they should have been taking turns on the hamster wheel, they were sleeping — no matter what time of day. Now I’m back in the office, and they are all perked up and active again.

August 12, 2014: Getting a late start today in working on the newest book, which is Star Borne 3. My first task of the day — a sex scene. And what happens? The stupid hamsters start fussing with each other, trying to steal food and get pissy. Yup. I’m totally in the mood to write a sex scene! You shoulda heard the nasty warning one of ’em got! Mama is Big, Bad, and FURIOUS.

August 26, 2014: I walked past Dakota, and stopped to say, “You’re a beautiful dog!” I walked past Sierra, and told her, “You’re a beautiful dog!” I walked past the hamsters and sneered, “You’re a couple of dirty rats.”

I was rather annoyed at them for fighting over carrots, even though I’d put two good-sized baby carrots in for them. They can’t just each take a damned carrot and eat it. One cheeks the whole thing and then attacks the other and steals his. After blowing me off several times trying to chastise him, he finally got put in jail. I put him in the hamster ball in the empty bathtub, without his carrot. He got nicer after that, LOL! And the other hamster got to eat in peace.

December 13, 2014: They squeak in their sleep, and twitch as if dreaming. So even our tiniest critters seem to dream. They, or at least one of them, decided that the sandbox was a good place to pee, and he is very meticulous about it. He sits in the same spot every time which stays clean, and pees on the other side. We use a glass pie dish for the sandbox, with ordinary play sand in it.

January 3, 2015: The poor little things caught mites, and it’s probably my fault. They couldn’t break into the walnuts and other shelled nuts that I put in for them last Christmas, so I gave the nuts to the squirrels and gave the hamsters a pine cone from outside, so that they could have something new and different with a puzzle to the pine nuts. But I think the pine cone gave them mites because soon after they were scratching like crazy. Had to do some internet research on curing hamster mites. Lo and behold, I had the ingredients for both of the suggested remedies. I chose the prescription remedy of Ivermectin, which we already had in liquid. I rubbed a teensy amount between their shoulder blades with a Q-tip and I think it did the trick. Cross your fingers, because it’s too soon to be certain, and I think it needs to be repeated two times. Will have to look it up again.

Update: I did repeat the treatment two times, ten days apart, and it did the trick.

March 11, 2015: If you won’t eat the stale cookie, neither will your hamster. We opened a box of ginger snaps that had been in the back of the pantry, forgotten. They were still sealed, but when I bit into one, it was awful. Inedible. Yucky. Blech! I had a whole just-opened box of these horrid cookies that I wasn’t going to eat, and I wondered, would the hamsters consider them a treat? The answer: Hell No!

Check out these totally kid-friendly eBooks, for kids 3 to 8 years old. They are first-reader picture books.

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