Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Bears and Rats and Hamsters – Oh My - Part 4

Sweet, little Pepe joined our family a few months after we began accepting rodents as pets. Pepe, the Siberian hamster, was actually not so sweet. He bit his owner every time she wanted to cuddle. He even went out of his way to make sure his tiny, needle-like teeth connected with the tender web of flesh between her index finger and thumb when she reached into his cage.

But poor Pepe was excused for the excessive biting.

After all, he’d undergone serious trauma and a near death experience shortly after joining our family.

If humans had brains the size of raisin runts, we’d probably become biters, too. Pepe didn’t even receive counseling. You gotta admire his constitution. Freud would find a strong connection with the oral response to the incident.

My family does learn from mistakes contrary to what you might have assumed from previous posts. When Pepe joined us, we were smart enough to avoid introducing him to Bear.

We didn’t count on Bear introducing himself.

Pepe, like most Siberian Hamsters was a teeny-tiny fellow, a little bigger than a roll of stamps, when he joined our family. Young Pepe, like all hamsters had a lot of energy, so we put him in the hamster ball.

In case you are uninitiated, a hamster ball is a transparent plastic ball that opens for insertion of a hamster so that the stupid hamster wheel inside the cage gets a rest. I suppose the change of scenery as the hamster runs all around the house is good for hamster psyches.

Great fun, unless the hamster is Siberian.

Featherweight Pepe didn’t do much sight-seeing.

Bear walked into the room, zeroed in on the epic struggle of hamster versus Plexiglas, and shot me a glance.

Hmmm. Pepe’s safely encased in a large plastic object, right? I glanced at my daughter who wore the same nervous expression.

Bear sniffed the ball, and turned back toward me.

The ball, now in two halves, was empty. Two females screamed. I copied my husband’s heroic life-saving actions of earlier. Thrusting my hand in Bear’s face, I yelled, “Bear! Give!”

A soggy hairball rolled into my hand. It squirmed. It was alive. A little crazy-eyed, but alive.