I couldn’t believe what I read this evening. I came across a list of the ten most popular pets. (http://www.writers-free-reference.com/10pets.htm). I am not sure if this rating is still accurate. I expected to see dogs and cats at the top of this list. Now there are many lists so I perhaps should have taken this with a few big grains of salt but I didn’t and I was SURPRISED and wowed. Yes, they were there right where one might expect at the top- dogs and then cats. The third most popular pet made me laugh. Hamsters were rate more popular that fish, mice, guinea pigs, snakes, iguanas, and ferrets.
Now, hamsters are very cute but so are many other animals. That can’t be why they are so popular or can it?
They don’t require a great deal of care. By that I mean that they aren’t high maintenance. You don’t have to walk them once or twice a day. Unlike other pets, hamsters don’t follow you around or lean on you or demand to be in your lap. Like any other creatures, they loved to engage with humans and particularly love our voices.
They are inexpensive or they used to be. I used to buy them from a retired man who raised them in a small house or perhaps it was some kind of shed that was behind his home. It had a door and a couple of rooms He kept the hamsters in trays that were always clean. The cedar shavings never smelled like urine and the litter was soaked with urine or filled with He pulled out a tray and let his customers choose. How did one choose. All these animals looked similar with the except of different markings
I had several when I was young. In fact, hamsters were my first pet. Puffy was the first one, and she lived to be three years old. I didn’t realize that Puffy had lived a full life. Like many other pet lovers, I thought Puffy would live forever. Why wouldn’t she? She was my special friend. She came to the front of the cage and tried to get out when I came to see her. I called her name and she became enthusiastic. She could be sound asleep in a sawdust bed and spring forward to greet me. Maybe, it was an illusion and she just wanted a chance to get out of the cage.
I could put Puffy in my pocket and sometimes she would stay there. Usually, she would stick her head out of the pocket, Puffy couldn’t help herself. I didn’t know if she was looking with her eyes or her whiskers that seem to be moving very fast.
I had many Puffy stories or rather they were her adventures that I witnessed and recorded in my mind. At the end of her life, she became sick and faded quickly from my world. My mother tried to keep her comfortable in a shoebox filled with sawdust and a cloth that served as a blanket. Puffy struggled with her breathing and soon her body temperature dropped and she was no longer.
I was heartbroken and openly grieved. I missed my friend and still think about her from time to time.
It seems that lots of people have hamster stories. Do you?