Originally Published on 7/11/19
I have a treat of a story for you today, about the time my son’s hamster Shawshanked out of his cage and had free reign over our house for 2-6 days and somehow managed to go undiscovered (read: uneaten) by any of the other much larger animals that live here.
My son has a fluffy long-haired hamster, appropriately named Mr. Furball, or Furbies for short. He lives in a hamster mansion – it has 3 levels, 2 wheels, 2 huts for him to sleep in, tubes going every which way and a dangly chewy toy. We give him treats every day, along with food and water (duh). For a hamster, he’s livin’ lahge. But he had bigger dreams, you see.
I went out of town for 6 days and left my house/pet/plant sitter instructions for all the things – animal food needs, how to work the tv and coffee maker, which plants need to be watered, don’t look in the bedside drawer, etc. The hamster is by far the easiest animal to care for – give him food and water and leave him alone. Done. He sleeps during the day, so it’s not likely you’ll see him unless you feed him late at night, so just fill his food bowl when it’s low and make sure he hasn’t knocked his water off the side of his cage. It’s like level 1 pet care, especially compared to my old-ass dogs that need medicine and special food.
So we go out of town, have a freakin’ blast and come home. We’re tired, so my son checks the food and water – both full – and we go to sleep. We figured our pet sitter had just fed him that day. It was a reasonable assumption. I mean the hamster mansion has 2 sleeping huts and ALL the tubes. Furbies could be anywhere in there.
Narrator: He was not, in fact, in there.
I go to sleep and proceed to sleep the best sleep I’ve ever had – does that happen to you? When you get home from a trip and you’re in your own bed, mmmhmmmm honey. YAS. After a week of sunshine and water parks, give me that good night’s sleep on my super extra firm might as well be squishy concrete mattress. GIVE IT TO ME. It was the most refreshing sleep of my life. I wake up feeling great about our trip, feeling strong and capable and ready to kick some ass so I can be sure to continue to be able to take us on trips. GIRL POWER. STRONG SINGLE MOM. HELL YEAH. And all that jazz.
We wake up and I’m getting together karate gear and coffee, and my son screams from the kitchen over his bowl of cereal, “FURBIES!”
I’m sorry, what?
And then he screams it again, “FURBIES, IN THE KITCHEN!” He’s basically frozen in shock as he sees my fluffy Pomeranian and his fluffy hamster squaring off.
Do I think Bear would eat Furbies if given the opportunity? Yes. Yes I do. I run in there and I’m keeping it SUPER chill and calm. What? Nah, can’t be (it can). We checked on him (not exactly). He was in his cage (was he?).
Y’all, this hamster has been living his cushy lifestyle for so long that he’s soft. He won’t make it in the wild. He must be captured and returned to his mansion.
I’m legit thinking my son is about to watch his fluffy little hamster get eaten by our fluffy little dog. I see a little floof under the edge of the fridge, and Furbies runs out TERRIFIED. He’s frantic looking for some water – I know this because he literally climbed into Bear’s water bowl, which was mostly empty at the time, and because his food bowl was still full, meaning he had been on the run for at least a whole day. I scoop him up with surprisingly little effort. He’s not usually excited to be held by giants, but maybe he was hallucinating due to fear and thirst.
I take him up to his hamster mansion where he proceeds to drink from his water bottle for a solid 5 minutes straight. That’s a lot of water for a tiny little rodent. We also discovered how he escaped – there’s a section of his mansion where the tubes connect that had come undone and he was able to squeeze out.
It was a happy ending for Furbies. And for us. We found him in the daylight, in the kitchen – a room we go in multiple times daily. He welcomed being found, because humans = daily food, water and treats. What if it was dark and we were sleeping and he scampered across our faces? NO, FRIEND. Then I’d have to explain to my son why I punched myself in the face and flung his pet across the room. What if he found his way into a storage closet and died there? THE TERROR. THE SMELL.
All things considered, if he was going to explore the house, this was the best possible scenario. Well, the best possible scenario would have been to do it when we were in town, but I’m not going to be picky.
Now he’s back safely in his hamster mansion nomming on his daily yogurt treat living his best life. He’s just a little more cultured than he was before. Or maybe he’s more hardened. He’s seen things, man.
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