This week I said goodbye to my best little friend, Happy the Hamster. After an illness of several weeks she is finally gone.
In Loving Memory of Happy
I remember the first time I saw her. (Wedding Anniversary and a Hamster.)
We were in Zhengzhou, hurrying through the streets in the sub-zero winter weather, on our way to celebrate our wedding anniversary at a restaurant. And I saw her.
I stopped to watch this tiny creature running for all she was worth in the icy wind, in her little blue wheel which was clipped onto the side of a cardboard box. Peter said, "I leave it up to your conscience."
Well, what would your conscience have told you?
Very soon she became quite tame. (mentioned in Semester End) She was the softest, gentlest little creature, and never ever bit anyone (not even Marilyn) no matter how you handled her.
But pets come with special problems, like when she escaped into the wall on a couple of occasions, and disappeared down the drain one night. (Hamster down the drain.)
And it gets worse if you want to travel. Travellers cannot afford the luxury of pets - even tiny ones. We went to Beijing and Qingdao on the train, and there was no one to look after her (and I didn't trust her to look after herself) ... so she came with us. First I crochetted a warm woollen bag that I could slip her tiny cage into it and carry it nonchalently onto the train. (New Year 2005 have hamster will travel.)
Here is Peter modelling Happy's bag on his head ...
Her little cage is on the table behind him. And so we went, and she was fine in the daytime - sleeping away in her warm little nest. Here she is on the train to Beijing. (You can see her bag on the table.)
In Beijing we stayed in a "Hostelling International" place, in a dormitory room with wooden bunks and wooden locker under each bed. It seemed like the perfect place for Happy to spend her active nights while we slept.
But between her desire to rearrange all her "furniture" during the night, and run in her wheel, and exercise her teeth on the edge of the door she managed to get hold of ... and the box acting as a huge sounding board, it turned out to be a bad idea.
We brought her with us when we left Zhengzhou (Leaving Zhengzhou) and our good friends in Wuxi, Leanne and Ryan, did a wonderful job of looking after her while we visited our family in Australia.
When we moved into our apartment here in Wuxi (New Home Wuxi), she really got going in the hamster wheel I brought back from Australia for her. And then she took up residence in the glass cabinet in our living room - Happy's New Home.
Now the cabinet is empty. So sad. I keep thinking I hear a little noise and I look over there ...