Incoherent ramblings, devlogs, edgy philosophy and other topics of interest

[#40] [Mon, 17 May 2019 09:41:57 CST][misc]
■ Stranger in a strange land

About a year ago, a friend of mine asked me to care for his pets while he traveled overseas. They turned out to be a couple of common hamsters, and it was (supposedly) only for a week or so. Flash forward two months later, and I'm still caring for the damned things. They're actually not as big a time sink as I thought they'd be, with the very notable exception of having to clean their cage.

Unfortunately, I've been crunching at work for long enough to learn to live with their horrific stench, waiting until their box smells like a putrid corpse before cleaning them up. This also means I have to empty out another box to use as a temporary home for the cheeky cunts, but this time I couldn't manage to find a single container to spare.

Just before giving up and postponing the cleanup, I remembered I had an empty drawer on my desk that I could use. They would no doubt shit and piss all over the already worn wood, but it was sacrifice I was more than willing to make just to get rid of the unbearable hamster stench. So I moved them into the drawer while I exorcised their home. The rest of the day was spent working at the same desk hosting the hamsters, thankfully, as nocturnal mammals they slept through most of the afternoon, the rest of the day went by smoothly. I'd occasionally turn around to take a peek at the box to find them slapping each other or fighting over the exercise wheel, typical hamster behavior I suppose.

I eventually forgot about them until I was about to go to sleep, their box was still outside, and the plastic drawer was clear enough to see the hamsters asleep, so I simply left them in the drawer overnight. By morning, they were both gone.

With Argos sleeping two steps from the desk, the first thing I looked for were blood trails. There is just no way two hamsters (one of them fat as fuck) could make their way out of the room with a german shepherd on the way. I felt sad for the little guys, that's a grim fate to meet, not to mention it was my fault in the first place. I searched for them for as long as I could to no avail. Not a trace of blood, no scratch or bite marks, not even hamster shit could be found. After concluding that the dog didn't culturally enrich them, I left for work carrying the guilt of losing what by then were practically my pets. By the end of the day, I had spent at least another 2 hours searching in vain.

Such is life, I suppose. One day youre eating sunflower seeds while chillin' in your cardboard house, next thing you know you're lost in an alien maze inhabited by beings that are so far above you they may as well be gods. Though shit. Then, I had a flash of hope, if those hamsters made it past the dog perhaps they were more apt at sneaking around that I originally gave them credit for, despite their weak hamster flesh they were still related to rats who have long mastered the urban environment, so thoroughly they even take advantage of the infrastructure to turn small groups into infestations in a matter of days. Two close relatives of such skilled creatures could surely manage to survive inside a tiny house for long enough to be rescued.

The next day I made sure to check for hamster activity before and after work with no success, the following attempt wasn't any different. By the fourth day, I decided to cease all rescue efforts. If they were still alive they would have to show up by themselves, for I was too exhausted to keep up this routine for five shekels worth of hamsters.

Then, five days after the hamsters disappeared, I arrived home to find Argos sitting by the side of the drawer beneath the fish tank in the living room and, as expected, the fatter hamster was stuck between the drawer and the wall. Judging by the relative cleanliness of the spot, he couldn't have been in there for more than a few hours. Still, he was definitely exhausted. Forcing his fat fucking ass through such a tiny slit must've taken all his might plus some, no doubt inspired by the curious dog behind. Ecstatic to smell the hand that fed him into such a rotund shape, he sloppily turned around and extended his tiny arm at my hand, would've made for quite a funny picture, but I didn't have my phone handy, so here he is after being rescued. Five days of adventuring into the "wild".

Since he was unscathed as well, he must've spent most of his adventure hidden under furniture, understandable considering the alternatives and how much he stands out due to his color and size. In contrast with the hamster still missing, which would prove to be much stealthier than his rounder counterpart. This vagabond critter was also relatively aggressive, he would usually be the one to start their little fights by slapping the other hamster, he's also the only one to bite me when stressed. He did have the advantage of being a third of the size of the fat one at the cost of being more curious. Still, his odds of making it back alive were waning by the day.

Later that night, I was awakened at three in the morning by a faint shriek that came from outside the window. At first, I ignored it as I was falling asleep and couldn't associate it with the damn hamster, it took me a while before jumping out of bed and rushing outside to look for the origin of the squeaking. To my surprise, it wasn't a cat that was hunting what could only be the missing hamster, but a rather young crow pecking his way into a crack in the wall. I scared the bird away and pulled the damn hamster out of its hole, fortunately he was still alive but did have a small cut on the forehead that had to be cleaned. He spent an entire week on the run, managing to evade the dog and trekking his way outside, all without losing weight and minimal injuries. Considering the amount of stray cats and wild birds around, I'd say he got off easy.

Must've been quite a week for both of them, a drastic change from their otherwise plain hamster lives, completely unaware of what lies beyond their plastic walls. If only they knew how bad things really are.