Irreverent Mama

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Remember the killer dwarf hamster? Little MegaDeath?

Well, she's gone. Meet her replacement, Pipkin:

Pipkin, unlike her predecessor, is a perfectly sweet teddy bear hamster. Cute, curious, friendly, and gentle. Yes, she does stink like pee if not cleaned regularly, but her puffy good nature more than makes up for a little occasional olfactory unpleasantness.

She likes the laptop, and - this amuses me - she can walk around on it forever and not make a single keystroke. Even though she's twice the size of that dwarf bitch, she's still a teeny animal.

So what happened to Little MegaDeath? Weeellll....

She did not go visit with the cat after all. First, the damned feline would not be humane about it, and I didn't want a lingering death on my conscience. Besides, I've seen what he does to mice. Who'd get to clean up the unsavoury outcome of his half-baked hunting? Me, that's who. Never mind.

We called the pet store. No, they did not take returns. We don't want our money back, we assured them: you take her back, we'll buy a different one. What you do with her then is up to you. (Hell, at a week per household over the year and a half of her life, she could be a real money-maker for them.) No, sorry. Can't help you.

Well, shit.

More brainstorming. Family conference. What to do with this unappealing rodent? Daniel: "It's summer. We could just take her down to the river with a supply of sunflower seeds and a little container as her burrow, and let her fend for herself."

Bekah is horrified. "Something will EAT her! I don't want her dead just because she bites me." (Isn't she such a sweet, forgiving child?)

"No? She tries to kill you anytime you touch her. Besides, anything that attacks her is going to get a run for its money." The boy has a point. Good luck to predators.

Indisputable as his logic is, it does not soothe Bekah's tender heart. But what are our options here? The little bugger could live a year and a half, hating us every moment of that time. We can't take her back to the store.

Bekah lights up. "Yes, we could!"

Um, no, they won't take her back.

"They don't have to take her back!" She unveils her plan.

The next day, Operation Hamster Drop is put into place. Bekah and Dan wander into the pet store, check out the cute puppies, the squawking birds, the tumbling kitties. While Bekah peruses the aquarium at the head of the aisle, from where she can also see the staff at the front desk, Dan strolls down to the rodent cages. He's slick, he's quick, and in ninety seconds, the kids are outside, and the store is one dwarf hamster richer.

Problem-solving, sibling co-operation, teamwork, and strategy. See? Owning pets is good for kids.

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