Two weeks ago, I bought a guinea pig. I have been a hampster owner since I was 3 so the switch to a slightly larger fuzzy creature isn't a huge leap. He was so cute and reminded me of Manny the Mammoth from Ice Age so I bought him.
( I know you see the resemblance)
However, in contemplating my new edition to our family, I was reminded of all the hampsters gone past.
Hampsters live short little lives, in comparison to other pets, so I have had opportunities to have more of them than, let's say, dogs.
It all started with Peaches, a pinkish orange and creme hampster who ate onions when I was 6 but managed to survive and lived at least 3 years despite having her(?) paws put in paint and being forced to run on my mom's casio keyboard to write music.
**I don't think there was anyone between Peaches and Cinnamon. Please note that I have always had cute little dwarf hampsters not those big long rat looking hampsters. Fat hampsters are always acceptable. Long hampsters are wierd looking.**
Cinnamon was the mousiest of the bunch and had less tolerance for being caged. Cinnamon escaped several times, along with two hermit crabs who were never recovered. Cinnamon also lived for a solid three years at a minimum. Cinnamon also ate plastic like nobody's business. He(?) chewed the crap out of his ball lid connection and it was often a source of his escapes.
I went hampsterless for a solid period of time, having school and dogs to take up my time, but in college, my mom decided to bring me a surprise.
It was a warm day, in late fall and she had come to watch me play rugby. I was still the proud owner of a 1973 SuperBeetle which was parked at the field and she had brought along a little gift for me. Leaving it in the car as she left after the first half, the little gift in a cage with some water, proceeded to die.
As SG, my aussie friend put it, "Oh, Mag! You have a hampster puddle!" (read that in an aussie accent and you will laugh for days!)
In tears over my new but dead pet, SG and I drove, in a dramatic fashion, back to the pet store where my mom had purchased said hampster.
When we walked in, the owner clearly had never encountered a sobbing American and a peeved Australian with a puddle of hampster before and in minutes found himself handing over, written on a cash receipt slip, a coupon for a free hampster as this one had been one of the last ones in the store and he was officially out.
Two weeks later, I received a call that hampsters had arrived and purchased Dirk Digger*, a legend in the architecture school and a true pocket hampster. The best hampster coupon story EVER!
*Dirk would one year later be killed by a few children responsible for keeping him while I was away in the summer. He was survived by a hampster whose name shall remain unsaid who bit, a lot, like I had canvas gloves for people to pick him up. I think my roommates fed him vodka before I moved to Rome.
** Author's note: Mom, if this is the first time you have ever heard of this story, don't worry. Dirk ended up being the best hampster a college architecture class could ever ask for.