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Hamlet

Thursday, January 19, 2012
Some of you might have read on my Formspring on Monday that my hamster-y little ball of fur had passed away...

I know people are probably thinking like, Ok it's just hamster you know. And yep, I agree. Furthermore I've had hamsters since I was like... 12? 13? And dwarf hamsters only live about 2 years. I've basically gotten used to them dying.

The first hamster I had of my own (the ones at 5 years old don't count) was a feisty one named Hammy (no... it's not a derivative of "hamster"; it's actually inspired by Hammie from Baby Blues). 
She wasn't feisty in the nasty-biting-hamster way, she just had a real flair for adventure (yes I'm talking about a hamster). She was always very excited about exploring life beyond her cage, always very quick to jump off so as to venture off further ~no fear no rules ~

For Hammy my mom & I could tell when she was dying. She passed away in our hands & I held her cold, lifeless body in my hands & cried for 2 hours before burying her.

Since then I've had a succession of hamsters. Some just had ok-ish characters. Some were great - I had one that I would take out & put on my table while studying; she'd run & sniff around. When she got tired she'd curl up somewhere & nap. An hour later she'd emerge all refreshed & start sniffing about again.

So like I was saying - I got used to them dying.
I have chucked my dead hamster rather unceremoniously down the rubbish chute.

I came home on Sunday night & took Hamlet out of her cage as usual. I held her & walked over to my main door to lock it, stopping to let her sniff around at the potted plant - I always find it a little strange that hamsters are one of the few animals that basically get no exposure at all to nature.

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Watch out for ants if you ever put your hamster on the grass!

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Brought Hamlet out to McDonald's once; offered her a bit of a fry but she wasn't interested.
Guess she knows what's not good for her.

I then brought her to my room & let her run around on my bed; brought her back to her cage when she started getting over-excited. I refilled her food bowl, giving her 2 peanuts instead of 1 (they're rare in her food packet) because I figured I'd open a new packet soon.

Then I thought nothing more about it for the night.

The next day, like every day, I woke up & walked to the bathroom. That makes me pass her cage, so I stopped & decided to refill her water. Only 1 peanut had been eaten.

She was curled up in her favourite sleeping spot, but she didn't stir awake & come over to greet me. She stayed still & although I already knew, I lightly tapped her thinking maybe she was just taking longer to wake up like the little lazy piggy hamster she is.

Her body was only very slightly colder than usual, so she couldn't have been dead more than an hour.

I was sad, but hey, I was used to this no? So I set about dismantling her cage, the same way I always do when I'm going to clean it. I usually start taking out her house, food bowl... etc while she's still in the cage, so she runs around wondering where all her things are disappearing to. But this time there was no curious poking by her furry little nose.

Finally I'm left with nothing but her body, the bedding pellets & her broken wheel. I'm thinking I should just dump all of it into a plastic bag & throw it away. I look at her little body & that's when the sadness really hit me. She just looked like she was sleeping.

I really surprised myself when I started crying & I'm still surprised by how sad I feel about it. I mean it's been years since I cried over a hamster. Hamsters are great, furry little companions who can be very responsive, but the level of interaction just isn't the same as with a dog or cat. And yet in her own little way, she was always there, perched on her little balcony waiting to say hi, observing what was happening, looking for a little popcorn treat...

And I'm really sad that she won't be there anymore.

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Me: "I know you think I'm stupid for crying about a hamster".
Alaric: "Noooooo. Nooo. Noo."
19 comments on "Hamlet"
  1. Cheer up Sophie! It's not stupid to cry becos Hamlet was also a part of your life for a very long time liao, when she left, it's just like a little part of your life is gone. Hamlet will always remember you :)x

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  2. Anonymous4:36 PM

    I cried when my hamster passed away. I'm sure hamlet will be at a better place now..

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  3. It just passed away suddenly? No signs at all?

    :(

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  4. That final picture of Hamlet in your post looks like she's in peace.. RIP.

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  5. Anonymous10:13 PM

    this entry made me cry :(

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  6. I buried my hamster just like you did, I didn't cry when I was doing that. But when I took the lift up home, tears started to flow down my face.. RIP Hamlet

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  7. that was heart breaking. it was not just an ordinary hamster.

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  8. My parents said our God is a God of not only humans but animals as well! So Hamlet probably went to Hamster Heaven :) and yes I'm 16 and no I'm not being childish!

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  9. Anonymous1:36 AM

    hey sophie i dont think you should bury it just like that cos from what I heard stray animals are kinda sensitive and do dig it up when they pick up the scent. sorry about the loss, every bit to be sad about.

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  10. Superman2:01 AM

    I dont own a hamster, and i'm scared to touch them when my bf's brother bring this hamster out to play.
    Yet, im crying at this post.
    Cheer up, i'm sure you hammie left feeling happy.(:

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  11. Anonymous2:52 AM

    my hamster recently passed away as well (and is buried at eusoff hall) and he looked just as handsome as hamlet :(

    i'm really sorry for your loss

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  12. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Cheer up:) your hammie will be sad if you are not happy

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  13. i'm sorry for your loss sophie. one of my own hamsters also passed away recently; i'm left with the last one that i'm very close to and also bring out to play a lot. hamlet's in a better place now, and i'm sure you gave her a wonderful life with you.

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  14. Anonymous2:55 AM

    this is one of the most thoughtful, well-written, authentic and sincere posts i've ever read on your blog. very very moving. i'm so sorry. and dont ever say you're silly for feeling sad.

    my cat passed away and even though i was expecting it, (she was very very old) and unceremoniously like u said, took care of her 'removal'- it still hurts.

    x

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  15. Thank you for all your comments! :'''')

    Esther: Yep no signs! Generally hamsters pretty much just die off quite suddenly. If they're old you'll just notice that they're less active - sleep more, run on the wheel less.. etc

    Anonymous: Frankly it doesn't bother me if a stray cat/dog digs her up. I basically buried her because I felt I owed her that much for being a great hamster :) Basically the act of giving her a burial is enough closure for me! Anyway there are only a few cats in my whole estate & they hardly come over to my block's side so should be ok :)

    Anonymous: I actually used to write a lot like this... Lol but I haven't really had emo stuff to write about in a while (which is a good thing). It's not that nothing sad/frustrating has happened to me, but naturally I'm a little more private about those due to having more people read this space :) And I guess overall I'm a lot less depressed than my ALevel days lol.
    I hope you feel better about your cat :) My dog of 8 years had to be put down because he was so weak that he had lost control of his limbs. It's sad to see them go, but when it comes to that point it's really the best for them :)

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  16. I cried reading this :((( I've had a few hamsters but the last one I had was special and the only one I mourned when it died. I still think of it from time to time (& tear up lol). RIP Hamlet. I hope you're feeling better.

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  17. Anonymous12:18 PM

    I saw a link to your blog on Xiaxue's blog and read this.

    So sorry about your loss :( You seem like a great person who cares about animals, so I will be reading your blog from now on :)

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  18. Anonymous8:19 PM

    sorry for your loss :'(

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