Her name was Hammie and she was the most beautiful, loving, sweetest hamster in the whole world. I got her one evening in August. It was a day after I got my foot stung by a bee, and I was allergic, and my whole foot swelled up and I couldn’t even walk. I had McDonald’s for dinner that night and I wore red flats with my white dress with the black hearts. And there I walked into Pet Smart, where originally I was going to get a hermit crab for my room. For years I wanted a gold hamster named Hammie. A month before, my boyfriend and I talked about how cool it would be to get a hamster for my birthday. I tried to convince him to get me one, but Jacob said he wouldn’t do that without my mom’s permission. Well, damn.
Now this was two years ago, about five days after my birthday. And I saw her: Hammie, the gold hamster, the one I thought about getting for years but never actually thought I would. She was running on her wheel in a cage with another hamster, a darker one. Jacob and I laughed because her bum looked really big as she ran. I didn’t even look at the crabs. I saw the girl who worked there and asked if she can make sure no one buys her and she said, “No problem”. A bunch of kids looked at her but I knew that they couldn’t buy her so it was all good. I texted my mom pretending I already bought her, to see what she would say. Surprisingly she let me get her, she must’ve known how good I’ve gotten taking care of pets, having fish and frogs in my room for years. (We had rabbits and hamsters before, let’s just say I kinda neglected them. That’s why I was surprised she let me get one.)
I stayed at that Pet Smart for four hours, walking around the area, going into Best Buy, then coming back around nine so I could get her and then catch my ride. The girl working there picked her up, said, “Come here, princess,” and she let me hold her. I’ll never forget the first time I ever pet her. I was so shocked that her fur was so soft. Softer than any other animal, including dogs and cats. It was so silky and beautiful. I loved her already.
That night she bit me and I accidentally dropped her on my floor. The next day I poked my hand in the cage while she was sleeping and she bit me again. Always listen to your parents, kids. My mom told me to leave her alone for a few days, but she was so cute, I just wanted to play with her! This is a picture from the night I got her, the very first picture of her ever:
You can see her yellow ball (which she hated) in the background, and I let her chew on my cuticle remover stick. She was just a baby, and absolutely adorable. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with her. Over the next year, she was right beside my bed. Literally, there’s a desk where she’d be. She was the first thing I looked at when I woke up, and the last thing I looked at before I fell asleep. When I came home, no matter where from, the first thing I would do is go up and pick her up and cuddle. Not take off shoes, coat, not pet my dog, just go straight to Hammie before anything else. She loved treats; her favourites were sunflower seeds, strawberry yogurt drops, and honey yogurt drops.
We were so close and did everything together. I thought about her all the time when we weren’t together. And we were always spending time together when we were. I bought her the cutest bedding, the most awesome toys, and gave her all the love in the world. She’s all I would ever talk about. I’m sure my family and friends got annoyed, but I always had so many stores to share. Like how one time, I left her bag of treats open and she ran into it, dug her claws into it so I couldn’t pull her out, and stuffed ten treats in her mouth. I had to shake the bag to get her out of it. Or the time when I took her to the vets and she was scared so she was climbing all over me to feel safe. Or when she stuffed her cheeks with food. Or the time when I gave her a huge treat and she refused to let go of it. She brought it on her wheel and refused to let it go.
She meant the world to me and hopefully I meant the world to her. She was healthy, cute, and happy. Come November, I noticed that she was going blind. Her eyes were beginning to turn white in the middle. At first I tried to say it was my imagination, but a week later I knew it had to be cataracts. We took her to the vet where (sorry if you’re reading this) the vet had absolutely no idea whatsoever on what she was talking about. She said it wasn’t cataracts, and that she had a deformed pupil, etc, but I really think it was cataracts. So anyway, she was blind. From there on, I just thought about her dying and it made me so sad. The song “Gary Come Home” from Spongebob Squarepants made me feel even more sad, I just pictured terrible things:
- Her dying.
- Having to put her body in a box.
- Cleaning out her cage after she died.
- Living without her.
It was like a vicious cycle I couldn’t get out of. From November until February, I would cry at least once a week just thinking about it, and she was healthy then. Everyone knew she was my baby, everyone. Then one day, I took her out of her cage, and noticed a red mark underneath her chin. I almost cried like crazy but I thought to myself, “Calm down, it’s probably just nothing like her eyes.” To this day, I still have no idea what was wrong with her. But it’s what killed her. She got this two days before the new year. But she looked fine, was still healthy, etc. I didn’t know if it was a bite, a rash, or something else. But days went by and nothing happened. Okay. Then I noticed it started to get bigger, and freaked out, cried, the whole ordeal. Still acting/looking normal. Then it got worse, developed an odour, and I didn’t know what to do. People told me she was losing hair but I pretended not to notice. Should I take her to the vets? The vet is so pricey where I live, almost $100 just to get them looked at. So I didn’t want to go down that route. I tried online, found nothing. To this day I still regret it, saying I could’ve done something differently and it’s all my fault. But even if I took her, would they have known what it was? Probably not. The day before she died I actually made an appointment for the next day to take her in. And she died. I could’ve taken her that day but I didn’t want to.
It was February 12. I just got home from getting my nose ring changed from black to green. My mom made perogies for dinner and put a piece of lettuce on it, pretending to be fancy like how a restaurant does it. I gave a piece of the lettuce to Hammie, and she (in her sick form) gobbled it up right away. Even though she couldn’t walk, couldn’t clean herself, couldn’t do anything, she still loved her food. I didn’t take any pictures. It was too sad. Her bones were deformed, she lost a lot of her hair, she had open sores all over her body and she looked so sad. It was terrible. A few hours later I was watching a movie, and saw she hadn’t eaten her fave treat yet. Weird. This was at 11 PM. I picked it up (she was in her green hut) and I tried to show it to her. I poked my hand in her hiding spot, but she didn’t grab it. I peeked in, and saw her lying there, not moving, eyes open. I bawled. I thought she was already dead. I threw open the cage, took off the hut, and saw her. I picked her up and noticed she was breathing. Now, I have no idea still and never will if she was concious or not. I watched a video on YouTube of someone’s last minutes with their hammy so I knew what them dying looked like. This was it. So I don’t know if she was really there, or if her soul had gone already, but her body was still physically alive. She was barely breathing, and gasping for air. For three hours. She lay in my hand for three hours until she died. My boyfriend came over at one in the morning, an hour before she passed. It was Friday the 13th, the day she died. I hate that day even more now. Before she died, her muscles tensed and she grabbed onto my finger. Then she was gone. The moment I was fearing for months instead of just enjoying her being alive. I think it sort of prepared me, though. But I feel so bad. She didn’t die healthy, happy. She died sick and unrecognisable. She loved food until the day she passed, her last few days she’d just sit in her foot dish and snack. I miss her so much. It’s weird not coming home anymore and seeing her. Sometimes I still look to where her cage used to be and half expect to see her, then it hurts when I realize I just forgot she was gone for a second. It still feels like she’s here.
Some would say she was just a hamster, but for all of the hamster owners out there, you guys know how it is. Hammie made me so happy so I just want to tell her thanks for that, and that I loved her so much and I hope wherever she is now has a giant wheel, all the treats she can ask for, and maybe a friend or two. I only look back on good memories. The day she finally let me hold her, her favourite spot in a desk I had to get rid of, the look on her face when I showed her a treat. The way she cleaned herself, chewed on the bars, ran around my floor. I’m glad Hammie was a part of my life, even though it was only for a short time. I wish she would’ve made it to two years. But I’m glad I got to have her. She gave me eighteen months of happiness and joy. She meant everything to me and I adored her to the ends of the world. In the spring we are burying her and having a memorial. Right now the vets are keeping her body safe. But I feel an empty spot now. I got a locket that says “I Love You…” and I will put her picture in it so she can always be with me. A video tribute will be uploaded soon.
Goodbye, ❤ Hammie. ❤ Rest in peace wherever you are. I wish you could come home. I’d do anything to see you again even for a minute. ❤
Listen to Hammie’s little squeak here:
Thank you for reading. R.I.P Hammie ❤