Part 3: In which a hamster shows its mettle
As the result of the accident, I fenced off an area for a limited hamster run beneath the eight-foot long counter one wall of my office. At one end of the run I put the big main hut and set up inside a very small blue plastic hut, the size of an orange juice can. I added a grass ball to snuggle up in, tubes to climb through, a log pile shelter, a small cardboard box as a retreat, and a smaller exercise wheel than the one attached to the hut. Not to mention a food box that to a hamster was roughly the size of North Dakota.
The hamster ignored everything but the cardboard wall, which it chewed on doggedly.
Several nights later, Ted woke me up. "There's a mouse in here."
"Impossible." Our bedroom is on the second floor of a new addition, thoroughly sealed off from the outdoors and at the top of a flight of doubled-back stairs.
Ted switched on his light. "Don't you hear it?"
"No." But I helpfully turned on my light, pulled the bedcovers on my side up off the floor (so that the mouse, if there was one, wouldn't climb up on my side of the bed), and rolled over to go back to sleep. Ted got a dust mop out of the bathroom closet and poked under the bed with it. I opened my eyes and saw the hamster scuttling out from under my side of the bed as fast as its little bow legs would carry it, toward the closet. It could have eluded us entirely if it hadn't mistaken a furry bedroom slipper for an ally.
We found a gap in the first wall, from which the hamster had escaped but were unable to figure out how it had made it over the second wall, which was twice its height. (It took several more escapes for us to figure out that it had pulled itself up on a low bookshelf near the door and leaped from there. We raised the wall.)
|Go back to Part 2
in which I try to bond
with a hamster
|Go forward to Part 4
in which a hamster
gets a name