I’ve written before about S’s beloved hamster Brownie. He was the hamster who mistakenly thought he was a dog and acted like one: He begged to be picked up from his cage, happily went wherever the girls toted him, and loved to snuggle under the covers–often when this writer had no idea he was in bed. He never bit or hissed. All in all, he was probably the world’s nicest hamster–unless you’re my sister Martha and have an intense dislike of rodents.
So yesterday was a sad day. It started with S notifying me that Brownie was very cold. Yes, he was. She snuggled him but just couldn’t get him warm. H brought him food, and he ignored it all. (That’s atypical hamster behavior since hamster means hoarder.) The day progressed, and his breathing slowed. S spent hours holding him wrapped up in a kitchen towel for warmth.
In the meantime, the girls screamed for Ryan at 15 minute intervals to check Brownie’s vital signs. This is one of those jobs that no one tells you is going to be yours before you become a dad. Ryan dutifully checked for breathing and leg movement each time.
This morning we woke up to find that Brownie was no longer with us. S bravely asked if she could wrap him up and put him in a box for burial. G wants to decorate a gravestone. All of them want to know when we can bring home the next hamster, and they spent time debating the merits of two dwarf hamsters versus one Syrian hamster.
In case you’re interested, they’ve decided on another Syrian. Despite their tears, their little hearts have the capacity to love another animal, and for that this mom is very glad.