Sunday, June 15, 2008
Scar And Chancey
Between two extremes is what we felt when we got the news.
While we were excited to experience something new and interesting, yet we felt something familiar and sad just at the start of our vacation in Indonesia. We got another shock upon coming back. We lost two of our hamsters when we were so far away from them.
This post is in honor of our beloved hammies, gentle Scar and lovely Chancey.
Scar, Aged 3, Died 7 June '08
A day after we touched down in Jakarta, I received my second text message from my Niece who was taking care of our pets and plants. The first was a cheerful "Bon Voyage" greetings on the day of our departure, while the second was a sad one...
"Cik Bian, Scar mati..." was the message on my iPhone in Malay which translates to "Uncle, Scar died."
I informed both Wifey and Sonny who was not as shocked like me because we knew Scar was already very old.
"Hang in there boy... we'll be away for a week, but Kak Ahah will take care of you while we're gone." Were my last words to Scar when I gave him a piece of cheese just before we left our home for the airport.
Scar got his name when he was bitten by another hamster when they were kept together in a big cage. As a result, he got a scar on his forehead, thus the name.
Yet, unlike his rugged name, Scar was a gentle soul. Seldom to fight back or be territorial, he kept hiding away from his aggressor. He instead liked being taken out of his cage and played with Sonny.
As he grew older, he developed a few lumpy growths on his underbelly. An inquiry with the Vet had the most probable cause to be genes due to inbreed, more than anything. Scar was considered too old to have any operation to remove them. He might be too weak to recover from it, so the lumps were left alone.
Scar lived with the lumps for almost a year. They grew larger but did not hamper on his movements or his big appetite.
Scar did not make it till we were back home again. He died on 7th June 2008.
Chancey, Aged 2.5, Died 9 June '08
As we traveled farther and farther into Central Java, the text messages and calls turned into "Blocked" or "Unknown" numbers amongst the successful welcome messages as the telcos signals switched from one to the other.
When we finally reached home, the first thing Sonny did was to check on HamsterVille.
"Ayah! Chancey's missing!" Sonny hollered from the service balcony.
Wifey and Sonny started to look into corners around the kitchen and living room for signs of Chancey.
The fact that the food bowl was already cleaned in the cage did leave a good feeling in me. I sent a text message to my Niece at 3:00AM hoping to get a reply when she woke-up for work.
"I've msg to u lots of times.. think u didnt receive. I've said sorry to Chancey for u guys. If u want her pic i'll send it my MMS." Was a reply I got at 7:00AM.
Wifey wept when I told her. Sonny asked "how come?"
My exact reactions as well. I was totally surprised that Chancey died as she was still quite young and one of the healthiest among all hammies.
"I think Chancey missed us..." Wifey tried to find reason, "we always play with her everyday."
Sonny nodded. I agreed with her.
Chancey was the most tamed and responsive to us. She would come to the front of the cage whenever she sensed or smelt us near HamsterVille. She would also do the same just by calling her name from afar.
She loved to eat and receive strokes on her back by keeping still and closing her eyes.
Chancey had an infected lump on her belly when she was still young and was surgically removed by the vet. She was isolated while Sonny kept her surgery wound clean by washing it with disinfectant and applying honey everyday for several weeks until it closed-up nicely. That was a year ago.
When I received the pictured message, Chancey died laying on her side. Her coat was still beautiful and she looked healthy. She still had lots of food on both cheek pouches and some food still stashed in one corner of her cage. Her water bottle was half full too.
She must have died suddenly.
She could not wait for us to come back. She died two days after Scar.
Our only regret was that we were not there to see them both one last time, though we know that they are in a much better place now. Most probably the same neighbors too.
Scar and Chancey... we love you always.