Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hamster Tales

I was browsing around Small Potatoes Designs Cartoon T-shirts And Gifts just now and saw this really cute hamster T-shirt and it reminded of me when we used to have hamsters years ago when my son was growing up. My son was and still is crazy about those little critters. I have some hamster tales that you'd probably not even believe to be true, but I swear they are. We had several hamsters, the first one being Hammy Sammy, which lived the longest and had to be the world's toughest little hamster dude ever. He could have come complete with ninja gear for all the escapades he had in his lifetime. He lived with us about 2 1/2 years I believe before we found him one day having difficulty breathing and we knew he was about to leave us. My son and I cried the entire night and I'm ashamed to say I cried more over the death of that hamster than a lot of things in my life. That's difficult to explain, let me just sum it up by saying he was the best friend a boy ever had, and my tears were because I knew my son was hurting so bad over it. But, on to the happy stories!
My son would make Hammy Sammy these really cool mazes out of empty toilet paper, paper towel, wrapping paper rolls and cardboard boxes. They would span across entire rooms. That hamster didn't lack when it came to getting out of his cage to have some fun and explore the world. I don't think my son owned a shirt that wasn't full of holes from the hamster gnawing at them. Hammy Sammy often came with us on vacations, one time actually swimming in the lake while on a camping trip with us. For real, hamsters can swim, or at least Hammy Sammy could.
My son played hockey from the age of five until he was a sophmore in high school. I always went to the practices and games, and one day at a practice in the dead of winter I reached into my purse to get my wallet or something, not sure now what I was reaching for but my hand felt something warm and soft and then IT MOVED! I screamed of course, had no idea what living thing was inside of my purse. It was Hammy Sammy. My son had put him into my purse hours earlier and forgotten to take him out. Poor thing! He had chewed his way halfway through my wallet and lining of my purse, and I wasn't exactly being careful with my purse as had no idea there was a living, breathing, beloved pet inside it! He spent the rest of his time at hockey practice inside a big empty candy cannister and seemed none the worse for his adventure. I believe he liked adventures!
One school morning we awoke to find that Hammy Sammy had escaped from his cage during the night. My daughter, my son, and me all searched the house for him, both kids being very late for school because of it, and we couldn't find him. Then my daughter noticed that there was a pile of his seeds on the opposite side of the basement door, so we knew he had somehow managed to fit himself underneath the door through the small crack. I was worried at this point we would never find him because the basement wasn't exactly a neat tidy place with nowhere to hide. My daughter then heard a small scratching sound coming from ....coming from...wait..shhhh....quiet a sec...yes, from inside the basement wall! Oh yes, somehow he had managed to find a crack in the wall where a stone had dislodged from the concrete and he was now burrowing through sand deep past the wall trying to either get to China or make a great escape. Seeing he never really seemed to like Chinese food all that much we figured he was trying to make a great escape. I'll never forget the sight of peeking into that hole with a flashlight and seeing his little sand covered furry face and whiskers, beady little eyes looking back at me. Because the hole wasn't very big and because my son was the only one whose hand would possibly fit into that hole..he was elected to grab Hammy Sammy out before he got any further and we lost him forever. My son reached into the crack in the wall and got hold of Hammy Sammy and started to pull him out. I'm not sure if it hurt the hamster, if he was mad, afraid, or what, but he started to squeal. We had never, ever heard him squeal in all the time we had him so at that moment I panicked a bit that ..what if it wasn't hammy sammy but a big ole' rat my son was pulling toward him. In one fell swoop my son had his hand with hamster out of the hole and gently dropped the hamster to the floor, not at all sure either what was in his hand. The sight of that hamster so full of sand was the cutest thing, and we were just all so relieved to have found him and know he was still alive and well.
Hammy Sammy lived for about a year after that escapade and got loose one other time. This time he left a pile of seeds inside my daughter's cross country ski boot to make amends for having chewed it up. lol He was full of adventure and fun. We would give him cheerios and everyone who came to visit enjoyed counting how many cheerios he could fit into his cheeks. The most he ever fit was 52 cheerios! Not bad for a little dude!
My son told me just last week he's thinking about getting a hamster. I told him I thought it would be a good idea. I love those things as well! My son would have loved this shirt from Small Potatoes Designs Cartoon T-shirts And Gifts when he was a boy. He probably still would actually!

Funny Hamster shirt

Funny Hamster
by smallpotatoesdesigns

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