Today we found Sandy, our old Siberian dwarf hamster, had curled up in her little house and died.
Sandy was a good hamster. She’d lived a long life – over two-and-a-half years – and had been getting steadily scruffier and scrawnier and having more and more trouble climbing. Because she never stopped climbing. Even when she kept falling, and getting stuck in the bars, and we had to elderly-proof the whole cage with cardboard and toilet paper. She found a way up and would swing along the ceiling using her front paws.
She was Wump’s little pal. They were very much alike. Never slowing down, even when maybe they should. “She’s pew,” Wump said. “Just like me.”
Sandy was a very pew hamster. Right up to yesterday. Then, last night, she went and bundled up in her nest, and she went to sleep. Not too shabby, I think.
Wump, August 3rd, 2019. I still remember how happy she was, carrying Sandy home from the pet shop.
Pets are a funny thing. We love them so much. If there’s such a thing as a soul, some part of us that transcends and exceeds our stupid meat, then the things we love have a thread of it too. And when that thread is cut, it hurts. But it stays with us.
So long, little soul. Thanks for being a good friend to my daughter.
I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends.
Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages?
I am Hatboy.
Man, that sucks. My daughter’s always asking for a pet, but I don’t want to get her one to save her from this sort of inevitable hardship.
Get her a tortoise. Chances are pretty good it’ll outlive you all!
But yeah, it’s rough. Especially mice and rats and gerbils and hamsters. They live such a short time. But it feels, to me, like an important part of the human experience.
But then what do I know? I’m only a product of my upbringing, and for the eighteen years before the past two, we had no pets in the house and I was pretty content with that. We had dogs through my childhood and early adulthood, but those are off the table for us now.
I mean the dogs weren’t allowed on the table in the first place, but you know.
awww thats sad 😦 poor lil baby