All I can say about the beginning of this week is, NO MORE FREAKING HAMSTERS.


#4, yes, 4, just expired.  We’ve only had the damn critter since March.  He was super cute, with long, multi-colored hair, and he was a friendly little guy.  Tigger named him Spike.


Saturday night Spike was bopping around his cage, running on his wheel, and generally looking like a happy healthy hamster.  On Sunday he dropped dead.  Aagh.  We’re running out of space to bury little animals in the backyard.  Tigger went to school today dressed head to toe in mourning black.


Tigger loves having her own pet.  And to make matters worse, Little Bit is looking forward to getting a pet in September, when she turns 8.  (In our house, 8 is the age when a child is deemed capable of (mostly) independent pet care.)  All the hamster info I’ve read says they have a lifespan of 2-3 years.  We’ve never had one live more than 9 months.  We are hamster killers.


What to do?


We can’t get a dog because a.) dogs are way too much trouble, b.) Technogeek hates dogs, and c.) Little Bit is afraid of dogs, and d.) dogs are way too much trouble.


We have three elderly cats, one of whom lives indoors and is accustomed to being Only Cat.  He is likely to have a severely adverse reaction to a new kitten usurping his territory. 


I have a bunny who lives in the living room.  We could conceivably get a second bunny, and a larger cage to house both of them.  I’m not sure that would satisfy Tigger, though.  She really likes to have her own pet in her own room, and her room is not suitable for a rabbit (too small for a rabbit-sized cage and too many hazards for an exploring bunny).


Guinea pig?


Gold fish?


Stupid dead hamster.






  1. Most pets are WAY too much trouble with the exception of your late Uncle Dog Flip if you recall who finally ODed on broiled liver scraps from the butcher shop.   We had two or three birds and they didn’t last all that long either.   Maybe get a couple of those Japanese electronic pets that you have to take care of or they’ll go kapoot too.  At least you won’t have to bury them.   RIP Spike (and Eight Belles too).  

  2. Poor Spike.  I am really not an animal person, but my husband is and has been begging for a dog since we got married 10 years ago.  I finally gave in this year now that the kids are 6 and 4.  I knew it would be a lot of trouble, but let me tell you….it is A LOT OF TROUBLE.  Especially when the hubby travels on business – like tonight!!!  Ugh!!  Stick with another caged beast or some fish.  We have 6 of those, too, and they never make any noise or follow me around the house, or poop big enough for me to even know it’s there.  Niiiiiiice.

  3. What happened to Milk of Magnesia, or whatever the one before this one was named?  We didn’t even hear about that one!   ” No more freakin’ hamster’s”  should become your mantra!  Never forget it!  What about a parakeet?  They live about 6 years if there is no cat in the family.  The larger birds are really nice pets too. Cockatiels, and Cockatoos, and Parrots are all wonderful pets!  They talk a lot and live quite a long time, especially if there is no cat in the family!  First you have to get rid of the cat!  Of course, if you do that you can get Tigger a kitty of her own.

  4. Eldest just got a hamster a few months ago. I only got it on the theory that it would be in gone by the time she leaves for college.  So far he has survived two cat attacks, with the cage being knocked down. I’ve been home for both so have run up and put the cat away then picked up the cage parts. He’s cute as far as hamsters go  but still.. Cat seems him as an appetizer and given her love of birds (and most recently a small snake) I doubt the hamster would have much chance were the cage not secure. Strangest animal we had growing up was a goose. That was my mom’s idea. We also did pigeons, rabbits, and a horse. Oh, and those small turtles that are illegal now. (And cats and dogs–that goes without saying.) And a rescued blackbird once. Oh, and the racoon! Now that was an experience!  Given my childhood, I think my kids have been pretty tame. We’ve had much the luck with fish that you’ve had with hamsters. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and now the hamster. Of course, I would like chickens but perhaps they don’t count as a pet.

  5. We are hamster killers too…We did this thing where we volunteered to watch class pets over the summer so that the kids could try different pets and realize that they are all a pain in the ass. I know some people really like lizards. We had a leopard gecko for a summer that was pretty fun.

  6. Alas poor Spike.  We hardly knew ye. I vote for something new.  My brother had a lizard he raised from a pup, named Kwijibo.  A small dog might be fun, but with the prohibitions against it at your place… Hmm, how ’bout a Chicken!  I like chickens too.  It can annoy you and your really fun neighbors simultaneously.  Or a bat.  I hear they like to cuddle!  And here for no reason I can fathom, a bunny mini. 

  7. Alas, poor Spike.  A Hamster of infinite jest…I think it’s time to step away from the rodents.  Maybe something in the Iguana family might live longer.  Or you could buy a snake and feed it hamsters…

  8. We have had rats and guinea pigs. Rats are smart and fun but need a lot of attention.  Guinea pigs live a long time and the ones with little cowlicks are very friendly but guinea pigs poop a lot. 

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