Squabbling Sisters

[Hamster Tales Part 3]

Day 3
Friday, 28 Dec 2007

My babies sleep through the day again, mostly, although one of them wakes up to use the wheel briefly a couple of times.

I’m naming them Picnic and Pixie.

Picnic is the larger of the two, which makes her look fat by comparison.

But, of course, she’s really tiny. Roborovskis are the smallest hamsters in the world.

But because she’s bigger, it must mean she eats more than her sister. She also seems to sleep more (but this is largely conjecture since I am still having trouble telling them apart).

So I call her Picnic because picnics are associated with eating and sleeping (idling), lol.

The other one is Pixie because she’s smaller (slightly) and she’s cute as a pixie.

They’re both equally cute, really, but I can’t name them both Pixie, can I?

I can’t really tell them apart when they’re alone because they look exactly alike in terms of facial features and colouring. I need to study them when they’re together to discern distinguishable differences, but they’re seldom together unless they’re sleeping, and when they sleep they roll up in little balls in the basement and I can’t see them.

People at the hamster forum advise that my cage is too small. Roborovski hamsters need really large spaces.

So I go out and buy a giant plastic container.

The Goonfather says he will help me link the Pink Princess Castle to it so I don’t have to throw the castle away.

It’s past midnight, around 1 am. Picnic and Pixie wake up and scramble to the wheel once again.

But tonight is different. Tonight, they’re squabbling. They squeal at each other, chase each other around, claw at each other and refuse to share the wheel.

I check with people at the forum and they say that Roborovskis are very territorial, therefore need a really large cage with two of everything.

Such a pity, since they were perfectly fine sharing the wheel last night. And they still sleep together in the same bed.

They have this routine tonight.

1. Picnic runs on the wheel while Pixie hides in bed.
2. Pixie gets up and walks into the wheel.
3. They fight. Picnic chases Pixie out. They play catch around the cage.
4. Pixie hides in bed and Picnic returns to the wheel.
5. Picnic gets tired and goes to bed.
6. They fight. Pixie chases Picnic out. They play catch around the cage.
7. Picnic hides in bed while Pixie goes play on the wheel.
8. Rinse and repeat alternating hamsters.

They kind of take turns antagonising each other.

I go insane with worry because there’s a lot of squealing and paw fights. I’m afraid they will hurt each other.

But I don’t want to separate them yet because the new cage is not ready and I don’t want to deprive either of the wheel for the night.

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I shall have to buy a new wheel tomorrow and set up the new cage real quick.

Next Chapter: Kiss and Make Up

Two Hamsters and a Wheel

[Hamster Tales Part 2]

Day 2
Thursday, 27 Dec 2007

They sleep through the whole day.

They sleep through the whole evening.

It’s worrying. I wonder crazily if they’ve died of trauma.

My pets have no name yet. They keep hiding in the basement and I can’t see them clearly enough to name them.

I cannot touch them, either, because all the hamster guides say I have to let them settle for three days before interacting with them. But I inadvertently rouse them at 9 pm because I need to change their water and open their wheel for business.

The Goonfather had said not to allow them access to their wheel until they’re toilet-trained because he doesn’t want them to poop in the wheel.

But I think what the heck. They need their wheel or they’re going to stay in bed for the rest of their lives.

For toilet-training, I had given them a little toilet hut and put toilet sand into it, supposedly to make them poop in there.

After one day, there’s no poop in the toilet hut. But there’s poop in the food dish. The Goonfather picks the poop pieces up and throws them into the toilet hut.

I hope they get the idea soon.

I let them get used to my scent by letting my hand linger in the cage for a minute. I try to tempt them with a tiny piece of dried fruit but they’re not interested, so I let them alone.

At 1 am, the Goonfather turns off the bedroom light to go to bed. I’m still at my computer doing stuff.

15 minutes later, I hear a sound coming from the cage. I get up to investigate.

Awwwww. My widdle hamster has discovered the wheel.

I do a quiet celebratory hop and dance, and squeal in excitement soundlessly so as not to wake the Goonfather.

I am choked up with joy and pride even though a hamster running on a wheel is about as unremarkable as kilometre-long Toto queues during Chinese New Year.

But I don’t think my reaction is all that melodramatic. After all, I haven’t seen them move from their bed for 24 hours.

I sit there and watch my cutie get used to the wheel. She start-stops every few seconds as if trying to learn how to manage the wheel. After 10 minutes, she gets tired and retires to the basement.

I go back to my computer.

At about 2 am, I hear another sound and rush to the cage.

Both of them are at the wheel.

I want to scream with happiness. I want to wake the Goonfather so he can witness it but he has to work tomorrow.

I sit there for an entire hour watching them share the wheel. It’s so cute I’m dying from cuteness overload.

I am amazed that I can just sit there and stare at them for over an hour without feeling bored.

Once in a while, one of them will come out of the wheel to sniff around, drink some water or groom herself.

I feel compelled to sit there and not ever go away because I don’t want to miss any single moment of cuteness.

But I finally reluctantly leave them to go to bed because it’s already past three in the morning and I need to sleep.

I guess there is always tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Squabbling Sisters