Adopting Margaux

This blog is to document the end of the long journey leading to our new daughter Margaux in China.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The hamster Saga

3 weeks ago on Sunday I found Furry, Sophie's first hamster, dead in her cage. We loved the hamster, had had her for about 10 months. She was very sweet and never bit. Sophie could actually handle her. The whole family was very attached and just devastated. Sophie and Chuck buried her little body in the backyard. The rest of the day was just awful and I did not sleep well that night. I woke up on Monday in a terrible mood and still sad. I have a pretty stressful job and Mondays are tough anyway. Sophie went out and noticed that there was a hole where furry was buried. Chuck had looked up hamsters on the internet after the burial and it said something about how they could go into hibernation and look dead, but still be alive. I wanted to take this "opportunity" to teach Sophie about death and now the hamster's body was gone. I had been telling her that even though her spirit was going to hamster heaven, her body was going to remain in the dirt. Poor thing was so confused. I thought the body had probably been dug up by a raccoon and it just broke my heart. Chuck came home that afternoon and found Furry's body and buried her again, so she definitely was dead and we told Sophie. Chuck cleaned up the cage very well and took Sophie to the pet store to pick up a new hamster. She chose a small sand colored female. She was adamant about getting a "girl". Fast forward two days. We pick up the hamster and we notice she looks dirty. I tell Chuck it must be "wet tail" (a bacterial infection often fatal) and to take her back to the pet store for advice the next day as he was off from work. He got her out of the cage around 11 AM and cleaned her up. Two hours later he found her dead and called me at work. I told him to bring the hamster back to the pet store and smuggle in a new one without telling Sophie. Again the cage had to be disinfected. Sophie did not notice. By that time the cage is starting to fall apart, it was a used one we had bought at a yard sale. On Sunday, I decide to get a brand new one from Walmart. After Chuck and I, spend an hour or two assembling the cage, we move the hamster and notice that she too looks sick. Again, Chuck went back to the pet store with Furry #3. They took her back and were going to try to fix her up. They did not have another hamster that looked similar, so Chuck called me to go to another pet store on my way back from work. The only female that looked like Furry 2 and 3 did not appear too healthy, so I picked up a very active male instead, who was also a lot bigger than the other two. I snuck him into the house and cleaned the cage. Sophie did not notice the swap and now that Furry #4 is doing well, we have told her that he is a boy, that the pet store had made a mistake. She was pretty upset at first but has gotten used to the idea!


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