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What’s up with hamsters these days?

April 14, 2012

Hamsters are usually quiet, unassuming pets.  Often they are the pet of small children to see if they have the responsibility to look after something larger.  They don’t have commercials dedicated to their needs on television, their food and toys usually share an aisle in the pet store with the birds.  They spend their days stashing food and treats in their little nests they make for themselves to sleep in, and running on a wheel or chewing on bars of their cage.  And then there are those that make the international news. like Smurf, Rhino and Willow.

 Smurf the hamster with a magnetic personality.

I was on may way to work the other evening, and I hear a startling story about “Smurf” the hamster on CBC radio.  I repeatedly declared, “Oh no, poor Smurf!” as I drove along behind a truck on highway one west.  The story is about a family with four children living in England, a spiderman loving tot and a hamster named Smurf.  One day the mother comes home to find a puzzling situation with the hamster attached by its cheek in mid-air to the bars of the cage.  As she extracted the distressed rodent she noticed a circular object embedded in its cheek. With a visit to the vet to make sure hamster was going to be alright they figured out that the hamster had stashed a magnet in its cheek pouch.  The family’s youngest boy was fond of testing out his magnetized spiderman toy on metal around the house, and they supposed that he left it on the hamster cage before a family outing.  Smurf, who was fond of chewing had gotten a hold of the magnet and stashed it as she would any food treats.  Like Magneto, Smurf was relegated to a plastic cage for a while.  Eventually the magnet worked its way out through the skin, and Smurf made a full recovery.  Now the rule is no toys by the hamster cage.  More about Smurf  with pictures on BBC and listen to the  CBC interview  at part one, click ahead to 23:50 into the program.

Rhino the Resurrection Hamster

The celebration of Easter has just passed and Christians have once again listened to the story of Jesus who died and then resurrected from the dead three days later.  For Rhino the hamster it only took one day.  Hamsters have a short lifespan, I have had a couple live to about four years, but that is a senior citizen ham.  So it was a natural assumption for David, the father of the family, on discovering a cold, lifeless Rhino that the hamster had passed on.  To be sure he waited a few hours and then put the stiffened little body into a box and buried it in the garden two feet under.  To his surprise the next day, his neighbour called to report that she had caught a hamster she found running around in the garden.  He rushed back to the home and inspected the grave to find an empty box.  Rhino, now nicknamed Jesus, had come out of a hibernation state and managed to dig his way out.  They were all amazed, except Rhino, who doesn’t seem affected by the ordeal.  Read more about the come back to life story at the nzherald and see pictures of the amazing ham and his amazed owner at the Oxford Times.

Willow the Hamster who lived in a bug

The prisoners of war in the true life story of the Great Escape share a lot in common with hamsters.  These little rodents are amazing escape artists, and Willow the hamster must have been a small version of Big X, as she was one of the great ones.  Fran, a student has just purchased Willow the hamster from the pet shop, and was taking her home in a lovely red Volkswagen Beetle when Willow got out of the box in less than 15 minutes.  Fran tried everything she knew, including humane traps to find the hamster for five days, missing school because she wouldn’t drive her vehicle until she could locate the wayward ham.  The food she left out was disappearing so she know that Willow was still there.  In desperation she finally took her car to a local garage where they dismantled a fair portion of the car before finding Willow who had shredded the upholstery in the rear seat to make a nest under the floor of the trunk.  The mechanics were kind enough to wave the fee when they discovered the content Willow.  ““I had to  coax her out of her new home – she seemed to be pretty happy there.”  See some pictures of the car, the ham and the relieved people at the UK Sun.

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