I didn’t want to blog about it when it happened because it was too disturbing an event to blog about.
But a month has passed since Picnic and Pixie died, and I’ve kind of accepted the situation already.
I guess it’s alright to talk about it now.
First of all, I don’t know why and how. One day I woke up and they were dead.
We buried them in the garden.
Later in the night, the Goonfather asked me, “DO YOU THINK THEY WERE MERELY HIBERNATING?”
I stared at him, bug-eyed, and declared unconvincingly, “NO.”
We rushed down to the garden to dig them back up.
We had wrapped them individually in white Ikea table napkins. We didn’t have fancy hamster coffins at our disposal.
So we dug the napkins back up and got into a sort of a argument.
“You open it.”
“No, you open it.”
“No, you open it.”
“No, YOU open it.”
It was late at night and dark in the garden. Only the dim, yellow glow of a torchlight illuminated the lumps of napkins laid out before us.
The napkins were unmoving. Damp. Flattened. Little stain dotting a corner that looked suspiciously like blood but could be mud.
We went through a few more cycles of the “You open it” argument. We rationalised the situation. We looked at each other helplessly. We stared at the napkins for minutes, willing them to move.
Finally, we said, “they’re dead,” and buried them back.
I don’t know why and how they died.
We googled it. We considered hibernation because their bodies were relatively soft when we found them. (Dead hamsters are supposed to be stiff.) But we don’t get winter in Singapore so it’s not that possible. Picnic and Pixie lived in our air-conditioned room where the temperature never goes below 18 degrees celcius. Hamsters go into hibernation (or, more accurately, a state resembling hibernation) only around 10 degrees celcius or lower. And dwarf hamsters aren’t known to hibernate.
The Goonfather said Picnic’s cage had smelled bad. Even though I washed it and changed the bedding less than a week before.
So, my babies are dead.
But that isn’t the entire reason why I haven’t published a Hamster Tale in ages.
I do have a few more stories archived in my mind, pictures archived in my hard disk. I just need to write the stories but I haven’t had time to tackle them.
But I will get to them eventually.
In the meantime, I’m deliberating whether to get more hamsters.
I have $300 worth of hamster housing and supplies sitting in a corner of my room.
I miss my naughty, tyrannical Picnic and my sweet, innocent, timid Pixie.
But I don’t want to kill another pair of hamsters. I don’t know how Picnic and Pixie died but they did die under my care.
Picnic died buried under wood shavings. I couldn’t find her at first and thought she’d escaped her cage.
Pixie died in her favourite tube connector, next to the door that’s supposed to open into Picnic’s cage.
I’m moving house next month so I can’t get new hamsters right now.
I guess I will think about it after the move.