Tuesday, August 01, 2006
My Big Idea
Alright, alright! It was my big, fat idea!
Since we had lovely hamsters - Puffy and Buddy a few months back, they have grown and procreated like all good hamsters do.
6 more addition to the family at a blink of an eye, it seems.
Now, over a month of babies... maybe teenagers in hamster years, the cage seemed just too crowded. Even their parents do not think they are cute anymore as they compete for space.
That was where I came in.
Needing a bigger space, I use the word "big" here in its true sense... I hunted for the ideal hamster cage, but the biggest was just still too small to me.
I finally found one at Sam's Pet Shop in Marine Parade Promenade.
Bigger than the ones I have seen, at one third the cost too. At S$49.00 it was a perfect find!
Well... it was perfect when I pictured it before I bought it and all the potential the cage could be once I "remodelled" on it.
It was not a hamster cage, but a bird cage instead. A canary cage to be exact.
Well, the bars are narrow enough like a hamster cage. Yes, there were 2 wooden bars across it for the birds to perch on, but it was made into a second storey living by yours truly.
A piece of black plastic corrugated board costing only $3.50, did the trick!
Made strips at base around the bottom to contain the wood shavings bedding. A 2nd floor with a trap door in the centre where an unused toy train track was attached and used as a ladder for the hammies.
And viola! A Hamster Mansion!
It looked great. Big, airy and oh... so much space for roam around. A big sand bath-tub, a big toilet tub and two wheels for all the active youngsters... perfect!
I was proud of myself.
Moved the happy family... well, they were bickering for space I think, and watched them moved around the mansion.
Everything was well and good since late morning. They were busy IDing their place. I felt great for the and told Wify she should not have any worries that the teenagers would escape.. like many teenage runaways.
When she came back from her shop late in the evening, I told here everything was great. There and then, 1 teenager found a slightly larger space between the bars and escape!
What a blow for me, but what a relief to have it happen right in front of our eyes. How the heck can a hamster flatten itself like that? It was freaky!
Yikes! Already late a night, time to turn-in... and this happens!
Took a fine wire and patched up the slightly spaced-out bars. That should do it.
I sure did... for the teenager! An exodus of baby hamsters escaped the next morning! 3 of them!
So then begin the nightly vigils to spot the escapees, when we could not find any one of them after we searched the whole house. Every nook and cranny.
Armed with a mattress, a pillow and a torch light, I slept in the living room... being a light sleeper and all.
I gave up after the 2nd night, but found 1 scurrying underneath the sofa, trying to go towards the "Mansion" on the 3rd night of my vigilante work.
1 found 2 to go.
Wify happened to see one scurrying towards the "Mansion" on the 4th night after dinner. We caught it behind the big house.
2 found and 1 to go!
Then finally, our son found one... well, it woke him up from his vigilante work on Friday night. We chased it and caught it finally, in our closet in our master bedroom.
There, we saw food and other hamster leftovers. It took refuge there all these time.
Yes! All accounted for, finally!
We had to put all the teenagers back to their old home while their parents remained in the big house.
Then, Puffy went missing!
Just 2 days after everything was fine, Puffy escaped the mansion through the slide-up door. She has yet to be found. Guess she went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and never returned.
Buddy was left alone int he big mansion and soon could clearly be seen going nuts!
We could not mix him nor Puffy with the children as they will fight with their own gender. My best guess is its animal kingdom's primal instinct for supremacy and competition for procreation.
So Buddy had to stay isolated from his children. His only solace is our son's company when he brings him out to play with.
2 weeks past and then Buddy went missing! No!
Our son was the hardest hit when Buddy went missing. It was his favourite, ours too.
He could hardly eat any lunch, just frantically look for Buddy around the house. My primal instinct told me that Buddy will be found.
That was because Buddy is the most mild mannered and kind to all other hamsters so far. He also responds to us when his name is being called. He is not afraid of humans and will surely come onto our palm as I think he likes to be patted.
Our son did not touch his dinner either. He was truly very sad without Buddy.
Since Buddy is truly the best hamster in the world, he appeared in my gym room, while I was using my PC. I was delighted to see him.
I called out to him and place my palm on the floor. He came toward me and onto me palm. No chasing, scrambling or grabbing necessary.
Everyone was overjoyed. Our son placed him back in his Mansion and lock the doors this time.
His appetite came back instantly. He finished a plate of Chicken Rice in record time.
Buddy is the best!
Where the heck is Puffy now...?!