Hamster Babies

Day 34

Mate, I’m really emotional right now.

You might know that I have hamsters, a boy and a girl named Hemingway and Zelda. They’re sweet little things, and on the 22nd January, Zelda gave birth.

She’s got a little house in her cage and since hamsters like a small, dark place to hide, she gave birth in there. I’d known she was pregnant because she got all fat and whenever I put tissues into her cage, she did this:

I kept a close eye on her, removing the top floors of the cage so that the babies wouldn’t fall, cleaning it thoroughly, and adding lots of extra food and bedding. On the 22nd January, the day where Tokyo got all the snow, I heard little squeaky voices coming from her cage.

I’ve done some research on the internet and they say you mustn’t touch the hamster babies for at least two weeks. Every day, I eased into the room as quietly as possible to change the water and add food. Sometimes I couldn’t hear the little squeaks at all and felt alarmed; what if Zelda had killed her babies? Hamsters do that sometimes if they’re frightened.

It’s been two weeks, but it feels like much longer. Today is Saturday, which means that on Monday they I’ll be able to say hello to them and find out how many there are.

Today, as I was giving the little family food and I saw something amazing! One of the babies came out to explore!

But right after I finished taking this video, the little guy stopped moving.

He just lay there, on the ground, eyes closed. I felt like I was falling through the floor and down through the earth. Had I scared him? Had he been weak and crawled off from the others to die? Had he frozen to death without the warmth of his mother?

“No,” I moaned. Only a few days old and he’d already died!

Zelda was rummaging round in the room. I picked her up and put her near the baby. She sniffed at him for a second and then started eating the food I’d put into the cage. I looked at the little baby sadly. I felt horrible, but then…

The little baby moved again!

I couldn’t believe it. He must have played dead, or reacted to the bright light, or even fallen asleep. But suddenly he was as energetic as could be, crawling around the cage until he found their little house again. The pile of bedding was like a mountain for it, but he got inside and I’m sure right now he’s all cuddled up with his brothers and sisters again.

I’m not sure what happened, but I’m so glad he’s all right. I’ll have to start finding a home for these little ones soon, although it would be nice to keep hold of one or two of them!

There’s something quite magical about getting a glimpse of Zelda and Hemingway’s children, seeing their little pink feet and little twitching noses. Well done Zelda, well done babies, and I’ll see you in a few days to start getting to know each other!

hammy

Meet My Hamsters

Day 15 [New Year’s Resolution]: Meet my Hamsters

Did you have a childhood pet? I think kids were pretty much divided growing up: the family who had a cat, the family who had a dog, the family where one or both parents hated animals, and the family that couldn’t or wouldn’t have a larger animal and had some kind of rodent.

I vaguely remember we had a cat at some point, and we had this big grey hamster that was scared of everything.

About a year ago I was thinking about getting a pet, something I could take care of that was a bit more impressive than a fish. They eat fish here, anyway; if I had one, every time I’d come home with some sushi I’d feel guilty.

Hamsters are sweet little things and affordable, too. To celebrate getting my job last year, I went to a pet shop in Daikanyama and got Shakespeare. He was old and he nibbled, but he was such a little prince. We had a happy six months together before he died of old age.

It didn’t take long to get lonely after he died, so one day I impulse bought a pair of hamsters. I named the boy Hemingway, continuing the trend of naming them after famous writers, and I named the girl Zelda after the princess.

Hemingway is very affectionate and Zelda is more feisty. I had to separate them so they wouldn’t have babies and my second cage was a very small one, so I think she was mad at me for a while. Eventually I gave in and bought her the same three-story house in pink.

She got a lot friendlier after that.

If you want a pet but you’re not sure what to get, I definitely recommend a hamster; they’re easy to look after and they don’t really get lonely if you’re too busy to play with them every day.

They’re really easy to tame and they’ll eat leftover vegetables as well.

And they’re really very sweet.

Tell me about your pets!