Hamster Adventures

2011 started well but sadly in August, after fighting the inevitable fight against Old Age, Charlie was put to sleep. He fought well, and was his usual happy little self right up until the end, even though he could hardly move in his last day. He was our gorgeous little friend and we will always miss his cheeky, lazy manner and his little beady eye. Everyone who met him fell in love with him. We're not sure how many miles he did in the end as we lost track when we moved down here, although it was certainly well into the tens of thousands, and he was always ready to play when he reached his destination.Living in rented accomodation I couldn't face burying him here to move on in a few years time and leave him behind, and so we did the logical thing of wrapping his little body up in a shroud and putting him in a tuppaware box in the freezer. Next time we went to visit Dad we took him with us and buried him, in his wooden house, under the apple tree in the garden. I hope he finds a log in hammy-heaven to use as a base for all his 'splorings.

Inevitably, with the empty cage on the specially-bought coffee table/hamster cage table, Kev and I started casually looking for hamsters up for adoption and came across "Bell". "Bell" was a four-month old female hamster with very pale ginger mottles over her white fur, and where Charlie was "damaged stock", "Bell" was "past her sell by date". The name just didn't suit her. We still haven't found a name that really suits her, but we call her Winter as it sort of suits her. Her full name is Winter Bella Tiny-Marcusetta Andy-Andy Arlott, and she is as mad as a sackful of badgers on speed. Never have I seen a hamster chew anything as much as Winter does. Never have I seen a hamster choose not to sleep in a house/log/nook but make an elaborate nest of tissue, covering half the cage floor. Never have I seen a hamster burrow with the vigour Winter displays. I'm very grateful she's in the glass cage, as I think she'd get out of a normal cage.

Winter is quite a sizeable hamster - at only four months old she was already bigger than Charlie or Biscuit when they were much older. She has only continued to grow, so the super sized hamster tank is probably about the right size for her.

As such, the tank is too big to
transpot anywhere if we need to take Winter with us, and, the manic-chewing machine she is, it's too risky to put her in the small cage. We had to come up with a better solution.

In December 2011, Kev and I went on holiday to Cornwall. But how to take Winter with us. A chance visit to Dad, who happened to be throwing out some very large plastic storage containers ("Spacious and durable!") on wheels, provided a solution.

We (by we, I mean, Kev) cut a hole in the lid big enough to accomodate the top grill from the tank cage. With no sticky-out bits inside, Winter had nothing to chew, and so a lightweight hamster transporter the same size as the tank was born. The trip to Cornwall demonstrated how effective it was - Winter seemed happy (although doesn't travel as well as Charlie) in it and actually seemed to enjoy the change of scenery. Problem solved!