A story of abuse and redemption.
|A few months ago, before I got my new job, or bought my new car, I saw an ad in the local Craigslist from somebody who wanted to give away some dwarf hamsters. My wife had an almost new cage for a former pet that lived less than a week, so I brought it up from the basement, cleaned it out, and asked her if I could have it. She agreed, so I responded to the ad.
In a few hours, I had four young hamsters from a kid who was only too glad to give them to me, since he'd gotten their parents, and kept them together, not realizing they were male and female. Soon he was over-run with babies and no place for them, hence the ad.
I put them all into the cage and placed it into our bedroom so Turbo (the cat) couldn't get to them. I discovered this was a mistake when all four decided to use the exercise wheel in the middle of the night, waking us up, whereupon said cage IMMEDIATELY got placed in the spare bedroom, where it remained.
Guilt overtook me when I saw how crowded they were in a habitat meant for one or two occupants, so I cleaned out a 20 gallon aquarium formerly used to house my lizards (deceased long ago from old age), invested in more bedding, a large house, a waterbottle and a good sized food dish from Amazon so soon three of then had a new home in our living room, much to the delight of Turbo, who quite rapidly decided to make his bed beside his new housemates.
One hamster remained in the cage, whom I soon named Grumpy. He was soon forgotten, except for feeding and replenishing his water bottle as necessary, for around six months.
Eventually the three occupants of the aquarium died from a gas leak our stove developed while we were away at work, so out they all went into the trash can, habitat and all, in the middle of a snowstorm.
Grumpy remained in solitary another three weeks, until I was furloughed from my job because of the coronavirus and started looking for things to do around the house. I cleaned off the old sewing machine formerly the home of the aquarium, put a crocheted afghan we had on it, and gingerly brought him, still in his cage, downstairs.
Since he'd been so badly neglected, I wasn't sure how he'd react being part of the family, but after I cleaned out his cage, he adjusted very well indeed.
I soon discovered that Grumpy is quite a character, much to my delight. He doesn't mind Turbo sleeping beside his cage, comes out of his igloo to greet me when I come downstairs in the early morning, and has begun accepting food from my outstretched hand at feeding time.
When my wife and I are sitting at the Livingroom table in the evening, chatting, playing online, paying attention to His Royal Feline Highness, we often have Grumpy running on his wheel and interacting with us when we pay attention to HIM.
During this very trying time in our history, I am grateful for MANY things.
Grumpy is one of them.