Thomas, Perceptive

Thomas, you were the oddest hamster we've ever had. You always seemed to have trouble walking, and the fatty tumour that came later didn't help, but then you'd run with such casual joy. (Rarely, but enough to dispel any rumours.) I'd think you were in the final days of bedrest, then you'd toddle over the to large beach we made for you, climb into the sand, and roll and roll. Look around and roll some more. Milkbones would appear there when we weren't looking.

You weren't into getting picked up, but you didn't complain when it happened. You didn't ever clamor for the hand... but last month, I put my hand next to you, and you gave it a speculative look and climbed in. Then out. But then back in. But then back out. As if to say, "This hand-thing is overrated, but it's not bad."

You weren't a petting hamster, but there was one thing that drove you to a sunken stillness we always hoped was bliss: Feta's old head trick. When you came to us from the SPCA, you were a bit of a biter. But even then, the very first time we rubbed your head a little, you stopped, closed your eyes, and wouldn't move until we stopped, be it five seconds or five minutes later. The biting went away, but the head trick worked all your life.

Including last night, when I gave you your special mix of oats and millet on top of your regular seeds. (Mike had already made you a tofu treat for breakfast.) I said that you were looking pretty old, but you still climbed right on top of your seed pile to eat. (I had to pour the millet around your fuzzy feet.) I couldn't resist giving you a little head pat - but I let you get back to your dinner.

Last night we slept so long, almost a dozen hours. I don't know why. When I woke up and staggered into the bathroom, I looked at all the nearly empty toilet paper rolls lined up that we keep for you guys, and I wondered if you'd like a new roll. You hadn't really done much with the old roll, but maybe a thicker one would be more inspiring.

But when I went into the living room, you were on your side with your upper body in the clubhouse, as if you were just too tired to climb all the way into bed. I stroked your side a few times, finally able to do so.

Later, when it was time to bury "our Thom-nas," I noticed that you had a little piece of fluffins in your mouth. You'd been building up your nest. It must have been quick.

We will miss our strange little fellow.

? 2009 (adopted 11 March 2010) - 18 June 2011

19 June 2011 |






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