The Funeral


Last week I took Alexander’s hamster out of her cage to put her into the ball (you know the one they use to run around the house). When I picked her up, I noticed that her face was very swollen on one side. I had a moment where I thought maybe I should take her to the vet. And then I forgot.

I should have known something was wrong when she didn’t eat the lettuce I put in her cage Saturday. Sunday we were busy, I assume she was alive.

Monday after school Alexander went to take her out of her cage to play. She did not move. Alexander was holding back tears, I was thinking I never have to clean that cage again. And then I thought, this could be devastating for Alexander.

Mostly though, I panicked because I didn’t want to touch a dead hamster.

Thankfully it was late in the day, and my husband was almost home. Alexander and I talked about Oreo (the hamster) and how we should dispose of her. We decided on a funeral. Which is awesome, if you own a shovel.

Mr. G. came home from work, and was immediately given the duty of hamster funeral preparation. He asked me for a shoebox, and I was like, “uh NO. I need those for my shoes.”

After some poking around the downstairs closets we found a suitable shoebox, and somehow my sweet husband got the hamster in there. He did mention that she looked like she’d been dead more than a day.


We took the shoebox and wrapped it in cellophane so there wouldn’t be an odor and stored Oreo for her funeral the next day.

Tuesday after school Alexander was ready for the funeral. All I had to dig with was a pick axe and a small spade. I dug a hole just large enough for the shoe box (shut up I know!), and Alexander and I took the shoe box out to the flower bed.

“Well, this is it.” I said. Then I asked my son, “Do you have anything you’d like to say?”

“Well, Mom, when we’re done do you think I can get a new pet?” He shyly asked.

“How about we bury Oreo first?”

Then I took the cellophane off her coffin/box and the smell of death attacked me. As quickly as I could I shoved the box in the hole, but realized that the hole really wasn’t big enough. As waves of nausea engulfed me I said to Alexander, “Honey, how about if we just bury her without the box. I think it will work better that way.”

He agreed and I made him turn his back.

With my left hand I popped the top off of the box, and with my right I used the pick axe to quickly cover the bloated smelly hamster. All the while I squinted so that I wouldn’t actually see Oreo. I ran the box and the offending cello to the trash bin and washed up as quickly as I could.

The takeaway?

I could’a thrown the hamster in the neighbor’s trash can and buried an empty box. Next time I will.

Twitter Saved Me From A Cat


We have pets. We have Junior

Junior is a poodle. He is filthy and currently being groomed. Junior sleeps with the children and helps to wake them up each morning. Junior is a working dog.

Junior also catches birds. He is a five year old dog and he must have brought me a hundred birds, probably 20 a year is accurate.

Junior does not catch rodents. This is partly a good thing because we have a hamster in a cage, we also have a free range hamster. Currently we have a frog too, but I’m not feeding it so, hopefully it will die soon as did it’s friend.

Right now I’ve had it. There are three empty rat traps in my house, one of them was $50, the peanut butter has been nibbled off, but there are no dead rodents. At this point I wouldn’t even care if there was a dead hamster, I just want something to die and Junior is useless.

I was ThisClose to getting a cat and then I saw this. (more…)

There’s A Rat In The House


At about 9.00 last night, just as the kids were drifting off to sleep I heard my husband call me from downstairs.

“Jess, Jess I need you!”

As is my habit, I refused to go downstairs. I had (still have) a cold, I was tired and grumpy. It was a little unusual in that he continued to call for me. “Jess, I really do need you!”

The yelling roused the kids, this isn’t a house where we yell for one another. Finally I yelled down and asked what the ruckus was. My husband explained that a rat had run in through the dog door and was somewhere between the kitchen, dining and family room. I did what any Mommy Blogger worth her salt would do. I updated my twitter status:

A Rat Just Ran into the house

and then I realized that the rat needed to die.

get the gun

So, maybe I overreacted a smidge. My husband needed a second set of hands, and since ours is a galley style kitchen with only two entries, we’d kill the rat ourselves. Right?

Yeah, right.

I pulled on a pair of hot pink rain boots just in case the rat thought of biting my ankles. I joined my husband downstairs and the kids stood on the balcony looking down on us, delighting in their delayed bedtimes.

I gingerly stepped into the laundry room and retrieved a broom. My husband grabbed a hockey stick. We stood there, armed with our sticks we stifled a giggle. Then I failed.

I was absolutely unable to keep a straight face. My husband was opening kitchen cabinets and getting ready for a rat to run out. With each successive opening I got more giggly. It was too much for me.

I sat with my broom and kept an eye on the kitchen doors while my husband ran to the drug store for some rat traps. We set a few of them in strategic spots in the kitchen where the dog couldn’t get them and went upstairs to bed.

Once tucked into our bed I had a horrible realization. Hamsters fit into rat traps. I love my son, and I certainly don’t want to traumatize the boy, but this could solve many problems.

I’ll be getting up early each day, because if the hamster finds it’s way into the trap, well? It’ll have to be our secret.

Friday Confession: Hunting The Free Range Hamster


I have an ongoing hamster issue. This time last year our son, Alexander, was given a hamster for his seventh birthday. Said hamster escaped again several months ago, and after many weeks of hamster stalking we threw in the towel and got a new hamster for Alexander.

If you are a friend of mine on facebook you may have seen some of my recent updates, they look like this:

Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting hamsters.

I found a little stash of dog food in the kitchen last week, so I’m pretty sure that our free range hamster is hanging out there. I dutifully stay up late at night, and search for her. Though I’m not sure what to do with her if I did catch her.

Which brings me to my confession.

The dog started barking at 3.30 this morning and I was up from then until 4.30. I realize now that it’s because he was after the hamster. When my alarm clock woke me up at seven, the only thing I could think of was setting up rat traps to catch and kill the hamster.

I’m pretty sure I won’t do it; but I wouldn’t exactly promise.

Little Fucker


July 2008: purchase hamster for my son’s birthday.

August 2008: come to enjoy hamster

August 28: Hamster escapes cage

August 29 AM: Hamster is seen under sofa, unfortunately small lizard is also seen under sofa. We have never purchased a lizard.

Oooooh mysterious…