Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hamsters

Well, remember Peps, the lovable friendly little hamster?  Well, tragedy struck, and it actually struck during Calvin's play date with Natalie :(  I'm not sure what happened, but at one point Peps was somehow out of the cage, and I think she must have been dropped, because when I came in the room she was gasping for breath and I could tell she wasn't going to make it.  So I sent the kids off to play, somehow without them knowing what was going on.  And I held poor little Peps until she passed.  I was heartbroken knowing that I would have to tell Calvin.  I waited until after Michael got home, and we told him together.  Poor Calvin was devastated.  He loved Peps, and his little heart was broken having to say goodbye to her.  It was tender, teaching him  about our physical bodies and our spirits and what happens when we die, but I was so sad for my sweet boy.  He was so tender with little Peps.  He kept listening for her heartbeat, just to make sure.  He kept saying things like, "I'm just so worried that she is scared and all alone!" Calvin and I prepared a box for Peps and decorated it with some stickers and he held her one last time before placing her inside.  He talked about how cute her paws were, and he asked if he still needed to be gentle with her.  I told him I thought that would be respectful.  He said, through his sweet little tears, "Yeah.  It would show Peps that I love her little body."  It was just such a sad night for little Calvin.

He was still pretty sad in the days that followed.  He asked if we could get another hamster, but we had Ryan's birthday party, Ryan's birthday, and sick kids, and I also wanted to give him some time before jumping right in with another hamster.  After a few days, though, I took him out to get another hamster.  The PetsMart where we got Peps said they were out of that kind of hamster, so we went to another pet store.  There were 4 or so hamsters there, and none of them were friendly at all.  And from the way the pet store employee grabbed at them and was kind of rough with them, I'm not surprised!  I should have listened to my gut and not bought one, but Calvin was so excited and anxious to have another pet to love, that we picked one out anyways.  He named her Scramble.  Well, that name was very fitting, because that poor hamster was so scared that she would never hold still.  She bit Calvin pretty much any time he tried to hold her, and If we tried to take her out of the cage, she would do ANYTHING to get out of our hands or off of our arms.  A number of times she kamikaze'd off of whoever was holding her.  Luckily she was either caught by someone or landed on something soft each time.  But after a few days of this, I knew it was only a matter of time before she jumped off of Calvin and we had another hamster burial on our hands.  So, we ended up taking her back to the pet store.

Calvin was pretty sad about this, too, but I told Calvin that she was scared of our home for some reason, and maybe they would be able to find her a home where she wasn't scared.  So, I called  the PetsMart back and asked if they had any teddy bear hamsters yet.  They said they still didn't have any teddy bear hamsters.  But they did have a number of short haired teddy bear hamsters and black teddy bear hamsters.  I had no idea those weren't all the same thing!  Could have saved ourselves an entire hamster!

So, we went and Calvin got to pick out yet another hamster.  They were all sweet and friendly, a lot like Peps had been, and I was relieved!  PetsMart really does do a good job handling them and sort of pre-training them.  Anyways, Calvin picked out a black one and named her Chippy.  We also got her a bigger cage in hopes of making sure she is a happy little hamster.  I think the one we bought for him at Christmas was actually a dwarf hamster cage.

Anyways, Calvin has been really loving having Chippy in our family.  She is pretty friendly, not quite as friendly as Peps, but she's coming around.  Calvin likes to take her out and let her explore his room.  I kept telling him not to wake her up to play with him.  He wasn't listening, and a couple of days ago, she finally let him have it and gave him quite the deep hamster bite to the finger.  But he forgave her.  And hopefully he learned his lesson!  Chippy is a great climber and loves the treats that Calvin likes to give her.  She is a good little hamster, and Calvin sure is proud of her.  We cleaned out her cage today, and Chippy ran around the room in her hamster ball, and we were talking about her.  And Calvin said, "Sometimes I call her Peps.  It doesn't make me sad anymore.  It just makes me think of how much food she must be eating in heaven.  And I think maybe she is tickling and licking Heavenly Father."  He's a sweetheart, that's for sure.

So, welcome to the family, Chippy!  We hope you live a long and fulfilling hamster life!

Here are some pictures and a video of Peps, for old times' sake:







Some of the few pictures I got of Scramble:






And here's Chippy!  







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