Monday, July 30, 2007

Near Death Experience

We had a near death experience in the family over the weekend.

You were wondering why the blog was quiet weren't you? Of course you were.

Jake came running to me one morning all wild eyed an panicky. Not much gets 11 year olds that panicked, besides, oh, maybe the cable being out or in Jake's case, restricted access to his lego. Or if someone told him that he had to write a 500 word essay by hand.

"Mom," Jake informed me gravely, with all the seriousness of a new parent with a sick baby, "Zinger is sick."

At first I didn't belive him. It's the 457th time Jake has been concerned about the hamster since we got him at the beginning of the month. Jake obessively checks on him to make sure he's still breathing, he checks his poop, he is absolutely meticulous about measuring out what the furry beastie eats.

Wait...doesn't that sound like a new parent?

Hubs has never understood the hamster love. I used to think it was because he just hated pets, but I think it's more like he can't be bothered with them. He's never really so much as looked at Zinger, much less pay any attention to him whatsoever. Over the past month he's seen the attention that we lavish on this furry bundle and has shook his head at us in bewilderment.

"You two are nuts."

I eventually got around to checking on Zinger and immediately realized that Jake wasn't just being a paranoid new parent, that this time there really was something wrong. The normally psycho-hyper little furry guy hung over. Instead of being curled up in a nice little ball sleeping, which is what he does all day anyway, he was sitting up. His little body was hunched over and he slowly hobbled around, stopping to wheeze through his little congested nose. He hardly opened his eyes and would just sit there, looking like he was about to keel over any second.

I immediately looked up what to do for a sick hamster on the internet and found everything from "take it to the vet" to "give it warm milk and honey." We decided to wait a bit before we made a decision, but to be honest, it wasn't looking good and we were honest with Jake about that.

"Well," Jake sighed. "Hamsters are replaceable. People, they're not so replaceable." I could tell he was thinking about his two adult friends who had passed away over the last 6 months.

Throughout the day we'd obsessively stop and check on the hamster. You know, to make sure that he's still breathing and hasn't suddenly just died right there. There were a few moments when he sprawled out and just lay there as if to say, "just kill me now, I feel like crap." and we honestly thought he was dead. But then he moved and relieved, we left him alone.

After Jake went to bed I even got the furry beast to take some water from an eye dropper, even though I anticipated having a small funeral in the morning.

The next morning, there he was, his more curled-up-in-a-ball-sleeping self as Jake once again checked for the gentle rise and fall of his little furry body. By dinner time he was up and awake. Ha, fooled all you suckers, his bright brown eyes said as he stuck his whiskers out the bars of the cage. Suddenly he was no longer the half dead hamster, but hamster on steroids; climbing, gnawing, running in the wheel, ready to jump into the hands of anyone who happened to offer.

So last night as Hubs and I tried to watch TV over the din of the squeaky hamster wheel, he got up to refresh his coffee, and that's when I heard it. Hubs was actually talking to the hamster.

"Hey, you're okay now, right? You're pretty cute."

I think he has a soft spot for furry creatures after all.

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