Everyone who knows me, knows I'm an animal person. Growing up, I had dogs, cats, hamsters. I was the one bringing home the strays and begging to keep them. On Thanksgiving, 1991, I found a little black cat tearing into the garbage and refused to come into the house until my mother said I could keep him. He stayed with us until he died in 2002. When a coworker needed to find a home for her cat, I took Casey in and she stayed with us until she died at the ripe old age of 19 (and that cat was evil. My husband called her Spawn. She hated everyone but me and made that plain as day.)
When my daughter was 6, and my husband spent that awful month in the hospital (summer, 2007) we got her a hamster. I might have mentioned Princess before - I can't remember if I blogged about the time I set the broiler on fire. For reasons I can't recall, Princess was living in the kitchen (I think we didn't quite trust the Girl yet to not try to take Princess out of her cage.) Anyway, long story short; the broiler caught fire, I blasted it with the fire extinguisher, and the hamster got caught in the crossfire, blinking beady little black eyes at me through the greenish dust with an expression that clearly said, "Um... what did I do?"
Well, six months after Princess arrived, she died. A month later, we bought the Girl what we thought were brother gerbils. Turned out they weren't brothers and what started out at two gerbils quickly became five. At first, we were going to find the babies homes, but as I found myself naming them, that idea went south. The last of the babies died of old age over the summer and now we have Shadow, who is the meanest frickin' gerbil you ever met. Gerbils are supposed to be kept in at least pairs, and this was a solo one and the Girl felt sorry for him (can't imagine where she got that from) and despite the fact that Shadow has drawn blood from both the Girl and me, he will be here until old age takes him as well.
Our dog - an adorable rescued boxer mix who barks too damn much - has been here almost four years and I've been trying to talk my other half into a cat, although I doubt that will ever happen. We've had fish. I'd like a bird, but the hubs made his feelings about that abundantly clear. Ain't gonna happen.
Well now, we have Max.
The Boy has been asking us for a pet of his own for some time now and since he'll be seven in a few weeks, we gave in. Max is a Syrian longhaired hamster. He came to live with us yesterday. He apparently hated us on sight, and he screams at any of us the moment our faces appear over the rim of his tank. Guess Max hasn't quite adjusted just yet. And man, when I say scream, I mean, scream. You would think I was squeezing him in a tight fist with the way this creature shrieks. I have never heard any animal make the sound this rodent makes. I'm really hoping Max settles in, since I'd hate to continue the streak of unfriendly little things with really sharp teeth living in my house.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Just how long an adjustment period does a hamster need?