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The hamster who won’t leave Fort Irwin

Submitted by on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 One Comment

hamsterThe desert’s not everyone’s mug of iced coffee, but I happen to like it. That’s why I’m on my third family in the past year – they keep leaving, but I always manage to find a way to stay.

My name is Eloise, and I’m a hamster. At least, Eloise is one of my names. I was Hammy when I work up yesterday morning. Then I moved to the new house, where Littlest Human named me Laptop. Slightly Bigger Human came home and named me Cheez-It. Later, he decided Cheez-It wasn’t girly enough and named me Eloise. Whatever. I don’t care what they call me as long as the snacks keep coming.

I’d lived in the house next to the new humans for about six months, in Teen Girl’s bedroom., after my first family moved away. Teen Girl bought me a great tricked-out cage and took fantastic care of me, except I had to share her room with a snake. There was a cat who wandered in occasionally, too. How would you like to room with two creatures that are constantly wondering how you’d taste basted in butter?

A few weeks ago, I saw huge stacks of cardboard coming in. The humans knew I love toilet-paper rolls, but I knew they weren’t bringing these boxes in for my amusement. I’d been in the Army long enough to remember this drill: It was moving time.

Teen Girl wanted to take me with her, but there was no room, what with the snake and cat and all. So her mom went next door, to a house where she knew two little boys lived, and started offering up pets.

“Would you boys like some fish?” she asked.

Other Mom grimaced. Fish creep her out.

“No? How about a hamster?”

Hmm … Other Mom thought. They don’t take up much room, they don’t have to be walked or let out to go to the bathroom. “OK,” Other Mom said.

A bit later, Teen Girl picked up my tricked-out cage and walked it over to the next house. She looked a little sad, and so was I as the questions raced through my mind. Would there be snakes and cats? Would the new humans be nice?  Would they call me a rat?

“I do not want that rat in the house,” New Dad scowled.

“Ooohh, Mommy! You got me a pet!” Littlest Human beamed. New Mom smirked. New Dad scowled again. I got to stay.

By the time Slightly Bigger Human got home a few hours later, I could hear his voice only through a dream-drenched haze. I wished he’d shut up and let me sleep. Don’t these people know I’m nocturnal?

“She’s nocturnal,” New Mom said. “That means she likes to sleep during the day and wake up at night. Kind of like your Dad before he joined the Army.”

They left me in my quiet corner after that, though I could occasionally feel tiny eyes on me in my sleep. Finally, as their bedtime neared, I was ready to party.

I knew that drill, too. Spin my wheel a bit, amuse them by getting my plump rump stuck in a tube and they’ll give me snacks. So I spun and crawled, then propped my feet up on the bars of the tricked-out cage and gazed at them with a “well, I’m waiting …” look.

It worked. Soon, spinach leaves were poking through my cage. Humans are so predictable.

I think these humans are going to be a lot louder than Teen Girl. But if  I have to put up with a little noise and interrupted sleep to get to stay at Fort Irwin, then that’s what I’ll do.

Just keep the spinach coming, folks.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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One Comment »

  • Leslie K said:

    I think Eloise will be very happy….afterall, every fur baby needs to be loved.