Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lost & Found

We spent Thanksgiving at My sister's house. She and her family live in Southern California. We were really looking forward to the trip and had everything ready to go last Sunday. The car was loaded, the girls were fed and I'd made everyone hit the potty to avoid stopping ten minutes down the road. But just as we were getting ready to walk out the door, our six year old daughter(and hamster owner), Sadie, yelled, "The hamster's gone!".

Sure enough, the hamster (who shall remain nameless, mostly because he remains nameless) had, somehow, managed to get out of his cage (it's likely that the last person to feed him accidentally left the latch open, that would be me). So the whole family spent the next two hours searching for the hamster and trying to remind each other to keep the doors shut so the cat didn't come in and find the hamster first. We looked everywhere. We each took a part of the house and worked as a team, but still, no hamster.

Finally, I decided to put food and water in several conspicuous places throughout the house and hope for the best. Then, much to my daughter's dissatisfaction, we left.

We were at my sister's for nearly a week and there were a number of occasions that Sadie teared up because she was worried about the hamster's well being. She and my six yo niece got the wishbone this year. You can imagine what Sadie wished for, "I want my hamster to be okay", followed by tears. It broke my heart. I was able to console her a little as I explained that he was, most likely, having a great time with the house all to himself and that it was probably like a little party for him. But, in the back of my mind, I feared the same thing that my daughter feared.

At the end of a wonderful week, we headed for home. Once we arrived, I immediately headed for the one place where I'd left food and water thinking that it would be the most likely place for him to find it. It hadn't been touched. I then went to the opposite end of the house and saw another dish of hamster food in the distance and it too look untouched, until, I took a closer look. I realized that all of the sunflower seeds had been eaten out of the dish and then out of the corner of my eye, I saw him run by (or walk really fast, as hamsters do).

He was safe. I was able to breath a sigh of relief. I hadn't killed the hamster! Sadie was thrilled and I hadn't lied. He was having a little party, in a hamster sort of way, while we were gone. There were signs that he'd been in nearly every room.

It was one of those things that happen in life where it's not welcomed and it's an unpleasant experience, but in the end everything worked out for the best. It was also, no doubt, the best (and first) Thanksgiving our little hamster has ever had.


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