10 September 2012

I killed a hamster. Sorry.

 I've never substantiated it myself but I've heard that you can accidentally bury your pet hamster, thinking it's dead, when really it's just hibernating. Regardless, that's not how I killed a friend's "Mr. Hamster."

Five of us, college students, lived in a cool 60's beach house on the cliffs above Del Mar, CA. One of the guys had a girlfriend who had a hamster named Mr. Hamster. Clever, no? Technically, Mr. Hamster wasn't our hamster, but he shacked up in a cage in one of our hallways. He was a fat, lonely, and possibly confused hamster. Neither the girlfriend nor the boyfriend did much more than feed it.

Though our house had no flea-hosting pets, we somehow got infested at the beginning of a summer and decided, Fuck the environment, chemicals, whatever, we're flea bombing! We'll get the biggest cans we can find.

So we planned a day when we would set off cans in the morning, close up the house, and go about our day to come home to a pest-free home in the evening. With much hoopla, we launched, jumped in our cars, and careened off down Pacific Coast Highway, free birds.


25 minutes later. 

I was humming and thinking idle thoughts, a passenger in a car driven by my roommate Cristina. We had the top down. It was the usual sunny and beautiful Southern California day. 

Suddenly... MR. HAMSTER!!!, I screamed. OMIGOD, OMIGOD, MR. HAMSTER!!

Cristina sped off the next exit and back up northbound and we were at the house in maybe 15 minutes. Whew! Then we spent 2-3 minutes freaking out about who was going to go get Mr. Hamster, then I ran in and grabbed the cage.


Mr. Hamster was breathing! He was sleeping, but still breathing. And he was always sleeping so who knew? Maybe he was just fine. . . .

But, no. Mr. Hamster died. After four days. Think he suffered? 
20 years ago and I'm still sorry, I tell ya.    

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