Mr. Tipster’s Long Sleep
The life of a hamster is rather short-lived. A hamster owner should know from the very start that the relationship will be short so lavish all the love you can on your hammie while you can.
On August 8th Mr. Tipster, my third hamster, was lively, ate from my hand and we had a delightful time. Nothing seemed any different than any other day. When I was up in the night, however, I didn’t hear him running on his wheel. When I checked on him he was sleeping in his usual spot. On August 9, he was still sleeping and his food was undisturbed. He wasn’t curled up in a little ball but lying on his tummy. His breathing was shallow. I knew the end was near–sometime during that day I expected. I stroked his back and he lifted his head and chortled to me then lay his head back down.
I laid him to rest yesterday in a spot close to Honey Hamster.
All three of my hamsters have had different personalities and I have learned things just simply by observing them. Mr. Tipster lived for two years and eight months. He was amazingly predictable. Had he been a person, we would call him self-disciplined and steady. If I changed the cage around, he did his best to get it back to his way. He didn’t care for change so I accommodated him. He was healthy and active, but didn’t get into mischief. Hank was always getting into predicaments and loved to explore. Honey was handsome and he seemed to know it! He also had a finicky stomach and required a special diet. He visited the vet’s office with me on too many occasions and finally a cancerous growth on his hind leg caused a painful death. I gave him pain medication for three or four weeks before he could just couldn’t go any longer. He tried though, boy he tried! Mr. Tipster, in his steady fashion, just went to sleep.
I am not in any hurry to try this again. It becomes increasingly difficult to add to my hamster burial ground. Maybe I’ll go back to raising African Violets. My friend, Margaret, had so many varieties of violets that caring for my own plants again would make her seem closer and make Heaven sweeter.
Margaret reminded me often that one of the Beatitudes is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God [in everything].” Her love for science and God’s creation instills in me still the desire to learn from funny, furry, hamsters and gardening. At least my friendship with Margaret can resume in Heaven someday. My hamsters just sleep on in their quiet little burial ground undisturbed by summer heat and winter’s chill. Sleep on, little hammies, sleep on.
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