Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just Let Go...

Sunday Morning 25 Feb '07 7:25am
I woke up early this morning and could not seem to get back to sleep. Looking out of my bedroom window, the morning sky was beautiful today. I sat on the bed silently for sometime, watching the sun rising... casting interesting shadows to the clouds.

Looking downwards, I saw the tree where all of the hamsters that have died were buried. Our son called it the Hamster Tree. It reminded me of something sad recently.

Our HamsterVille is so teaming with life and buzzing with activities that we enjoy watching them. And where there is life, there is death. A recent one involved an unfortunate soul named Luckie.

The Attempt...

It happened on Monday night, during the festive Chinese New Year long weekend.

Wifey named her Luckie because she jokingly said the residents of HamsterVille were lucky to have a compassionate and caring Mayor, like me. She said Luckie was fortunate to be saved and her wounds being nursed by me, hence the name.

Baytril Anitbiotics from Buddy's Medications
I cleaned her wounds and gave her a drop of antibiotics using a syringe, leftover from our late Buddy's medications. She took it without being forced. She drank the water I gave her from the syringe too and started to groom herself. She did not look dehydrated, just hurt.

Luckie was the target amongst the 6 hamsters in one of the large sorority homes. She was the one that was being attacked often by the alpha female we named Sepet, or small, slit-eyes in Malay.

The largest female hamster in the cage, Sepet is the only one that does not have beady eyes. Though they were sisters from birth, nature took over with survival of the fittest. Luckie was the smallest in the group, the weakest.

Since Sepet has been tormenting the rest of her room mates too, I told Wifey that I had to buy a small cage to separate her from the rest and end her reign. Since it was already late into the night, I could only go to the pet store the next day.

The Tragedy...

Luckie did not get a chance to see the next day.

Quite late into the night, she was attacked again, but viciously this time. It was fatal.

With a loud shriek, but a strange one which none of us ever heard before, I rushed over to her cage and found her in lying on her back, like normal submissive stance hamsters take. This time she did not get back on her feet and dashed away. She was panting hard instead.

I picked her up only to find she had a new wound, a fatal wound. Pardon for being too graphic, but her anus was pulled out so much it was bleeding badly.

Another Alpha Female - Angry Angie
I wrapped her in layers of tissue papers and pressed firmly on the wound to stop the bleeding. She did not move, but just panting hard with her eyes closed and at times opened for a while. I know that she was in a lot of pain.

Wifey was horrified and cried when I showed her Luckie's wound. Our son just looked angry, vengeful even. I reminded him that it was their nature, acting on instincts and he should not do anything harsh to Sepet.

I could not do anything more for her, but cupped her with my hands to give her warmth and be there for her until her last moments. She struggled in pain at times, but otherwise was not moving at all. Her eyes opened and seemed to look at me once in a while.

"Let go Luckie... go on, let go..." I kept whispering to her as I stroked her head, "the pain will go away." Wifey cried even more when she overheard me saying that. I did not mean to be dramatic, I just wanted Luckie to not suffer any longer.

"Go Luckie, just let go." our son reiterated, looking at her, stroking his fingers on her head.

The Goodbye

Luckie kept holding on for more than 4 hours until past midnight.

Everyone was already asleep, but I kept holding on to her in my hands and stroking her head until she finally drew her last breath at 12:50am when she opened her eyes the last time. Wonder if she looked at me to say goodbye...

"Bye Luckie..." as I looked at her and run my finger over to close her eyes, "you're in a better place now." I think I was comforting myself. I felt relieved that her pain had stopped.

I held her and watched her for a little while longer until her body became cold and rigid. I wrapped her with more tissues and placed her in a disposable plastic container to bury her in the morning. Washed-up, wiped my eyes dry and went to sleep. Death always gets to me.

Luckie Being Buried Under The Hamster Tree
"How is Luckie doing, Ayah?" our son asked me when he woke-up in the morning.

Upon hearing that Luckie was dead, he dashed over to her at the service balcony and took her out to bury her straight away without even being asked to.

"Goodbye Luckie..." was what I heard him whispered to her as he went out the front door.

She was buried at the same tree Buddy was, and a few of our hamsters that died before Buddy. I guess it will not be the last. We will be having this grieving moments in the future since we have a population of 45 in HamsterVille.

HamsterVille... cute hammies playing and doing their thing... bringing us joy just by watching them, caring for them, yet we cannot escape the cruel truth nature has intended the flip-side of life to be.

Another day in the life of hammies in HamsterVille. Goodbye Luckie.


  1. Your hamster stories always touch my heart- this one especially.
    During a prayer meeting a few years back, while everyone's eyes were closed, I held our little guinia pig, Jenny, in my lap until she spasmed and finally died. When everyone raised their heads after prayer, I told them she had died. It was a memorable moment for everyone present, and sometimes they remind me of it. She went very peacefully, though- just sick and old (really, though, what death is truly "peaceful"?)
    My sympathy goes out to you and your family- Hamsterville included.

  2. Imran - Your story has me fighting back tears.

    Bye Luckie.

  3. how sad ---
    By the way -- I don't think that I've ever been in bed and watched the sun rise and enjoyed it. I HATE mornings. :)

  4. I'm so sorry, Imran. Being the Mayor of Hamsterville is not an easy job. You and your family will miss Luckie.

  5. oh man...i am crying again. you know something...i think about your hamsters all the time now. it seems so you are so far away...and i am thinking about your hamsters. anyway...i will have to post about my one hamster...the infamous mister swifty the third.

  6. I got a big lump in my throat and then began to cry upon reading about Luckie. You are so compassionate and understanding with the pets. I'm so sensitive I would do the same as you did, but really fall apart and cry afterwards. I'm so sorry.

    My kitty got very sick last week out of nowhere, she went into convulsions and I called vet and quickly drove over there. She was in her crate on the passagener side car seat and I just kept talking to her "it's okay Lizzie, you'll be okay moms here" over and over while I tried to concentrate on driving safely at the same time. The vet took her immediately and checked her out..while I held her...she has a cut on her tongue where she tried to swallow it while convulsing. I was so afraid I was going to lose her...she's the only family I have, I would be devastated..:(...but it turned out they think she's okay and I"m keeping an eye on her they said just in case it happens again they will do blood work up and see whats up..but she seems fine now..will never forget her face and how she looked to me for comfort in her fear and pain. Made me realize how much she depends on me to take care of a kid..I feel like her mom. I love her so much. She's too young to go yet.



  7. This is so sad Imran, I'm sorry for your loss - but as you said, the circle if life must continue. Pls be brave and find comfort in ppl you love.

    I'm just curious, how many hamsters have you guyz had?

  8. Oh Imran. You are certainly going through it with these little creatures of yours.

    I have had several hamsters over the years. The last two were dwarf hamsters, very small indeed.

    When you wrote about Luckie's injuries I couldn't help but think about one of my hamsters called Smartie. What you described with Luckie sounded exactly like Smartie. He had what is called a rectal prolapse, where the back passage collapses and falls outside the body. I am not saying this happened to Luckie, but the vet told me it was very common in this little animal and usually always fatal.
    So sorry you had to go through this's always sad.
    It affects the whole family like you say...sigh.


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