Matt’s hamster Sam died, and we buried her in the backyard. (You may remember our “male” Sam became “Samantha” when she gave birth to a litter of babies.) After the burial, it was time to get a new hamster. First, we went to Petco. They had hamsters, but Matt didn’t like the conditions of the cages. Unless hamsters are properly cared for they can be aggressive and won’t make good pets. Matt could get a PhD from a major university with what he knows about hamsters, including their Latin names. On to PetSmart.
PetSmart had clean cages and happy looking hamsters. Matt debated whether to get a Roborovski hamster or a Russian white. The Roborovski are small and hyper, which means they can’t be held—they are escape artists. But robos are fun to watch. Russian whites are actually brown/black mottled, but their fur turns white during the winter. As Matt was trying to decide, we were distracted by some dwarf Chinese hamsters. Matt pointed one out and said, “Mom, you should get the small animal care person. I think that hamster is having a baby.” I said, “You’re right!” Promptly, I tracked down the small animal salesman, brought him to the cages, and explained the problem. The man looked at the hamster. He cleared his throat. “Ma’am, that’s a male hamster. They’re just, uh, well-endowed.” I blushed every shade of red.
Later I explained the situation to Matthew. He looked aghast and said, “They look really deformed—I’m glad we bought a Russian white instead.” I guess he doesn’t know everything about hamsters.