The second hamster died. We don’t know when. It’s been quiet all week. Finally E. went to investigate the silence, not the least because GM. has arrived home unexpectedly and wanted his bedroom back. We don’t know which hamster has died (you may need a minute to think about that) because we had two and they were distinguished by their relative personalities: one was ‘catchable’ and one was not.
The first (to die) developed horrible bald patches and huge lumps in the autumn. I persuaded E. to let it have a few great hours of freedom so we released it in the hedge. It took to freedom like only a semi-domesticated rodent who has been trapped in a plastic container can take to freedom. The remaining hamster no longer had a partner who was more or less catchable so we didn’t know which one had been let go and which one remained.
It, possibly the one which may have been originally named ‘Hank’, was clearly lonely and spent most of its waking hours trying to escape. I hate the whole concept of pets. It involves trapping non-domesticated animals into a lifetime of pretending animals can adapt to human conditions. We even bath and feed them food out of tins and packets like us. As a child we had working sheep dogs who lived in the shed outside and were fed on left-overs. I didn’t know you could ‘buy’ dog ‘food’ until I was in my late teens. We also had cats. They were vicious. The kittens were even more violent and scratched anything and anybody who tried to pick them up. I didn’t know cats needed ‘feeding’ until I was very old – at least 20 something. Our cats lived on ‘outside’.
Anyway, ‘the’ hamster has now passed on. And E. is upset. It is my fault ! :0 ! I have been accused of ‘never liking it’ and ‘being happy now.’ These are harsh words. The hamster that was rarely played with, a nuisance to clean out, and cost a ‘fortune’ (about .01p per ten years !) to feed was clearly loved immensely and will be sadly missed. (By the bin men who no longer have to cope with the monthly smell of hamster litter.)