Hamster Farewells 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The last two weeks have brought me anguish.

Crenguţă's diseased body took a turn for the worse on my birthday and she died sometime in the night. Before she succumbed, I took a photo of her lovely little toes:

Crenguta's Back Paws 2

Then, as I was recovering from one hamster death, poor Valentina escaped never to be seen again alive. I set up four hamster traps around the house, looked in every nook and cranny, and finally decided I'd found her hiding place. Alas, she was in a different part of the house.

The thing that gets to me is that she died a mere two metres from one of the easily accessible traps, filled with seeds. Probably disoriented, dehydrated and starved, she could not make it this far.

Valentina's Back Paws

You can see above that the blood had already started pooling in her extremities. Rigor mortis had set in as well. She had been alive until recently and I failed her.

A mother whose son went down in an airplane in the Andes was struck with the feeling that her son was dead even before anyone else had known the plane crashed. Another family friend here in Vancouver had a dream of her father appearing out of the woods in her backyard at the same time he was dying in Romania. I believe very strongly in telepathy, especially in times of stress.

Yesterday morning I woke at 3:30 am, overwhelmed with depression and fear. It must have been at the time Valentina realized she would die and began her frenzied search for nourishment.

Valentina is laying on her funerary shroud within a perfume box, as she has been for the last few hours. I want to keep her with me for a few more hours. She only lived six months and all I will have of her now is this photo:

Munchy Valentina

hello, this is anonymous. i had a hamster too, for about 2 years, and she started getting pretty sick at the end of april. i went to vancouver mid may and my mother and boyfriend who were with me had discovered she had died from a text message. not 10 minutes after, we went for lunch, but i felt so terrible that i couldnt eat. i didnt eat for 2 days. my boyfriend was convinced i knew. i think animals have special connections with us, sort of like how a brother or sister may feel something when something bad happens to their sibling. i even took my $10 hamster to the vet, $85, gave her medication every morning, gave her special treats. i cried at work. like in front of my coworkers. anyway, i am stephanie in toronto, i wonder where we met? this url was written on a pad of my paper from a while back, not in my handwriting! how strange.
I am so sorry to hear of your double loss. I know you love your pets dearly. Thank you for sharing it here. Blessings - LJ
Oh my god, I am so sorry. [[hugs]]
Oh, how horrible. I am so sorry. Poor little C and V. :(
Oh my, what an upsetting story. No matter if a pet is a goldfish or a horse or a hamster, it always hurts when you lose something you've bonded with. It was so sad to read, yet the pictures were so artful, beautiful... really powerful. I hope you get a new pet very soon.

Also, I know exactly about that telepathy. It happened when my first lover (an ex-) died in the middle of the night when I was visiting his hometown and decided not to visit him. He came to me. I really do believe that.
This is one sad story. May I suggest getting a pet that is not as likely to scurry off too far from his lair - perhaps a turtle? My sympathies.
Stephanie: I am not sure where we met. Montreal? Japan? I am sad for your hamster - I appreciate that you are one of the few people who can really like hamsters. Most people just give them to their kids not realizing that they are cranky, bitey little dudes, then the poor hamsters get treated with such nastiness. Besides, hamsters have these funny individual personalities and it takes a cool adult to recognize them. :)

LJ and Mandy: Thank you for the kind words. PS Mandy, what's going to happen with the knitting group?

Proxy Indian: Thank you for the comment on the photos - I did get a new hamster but have not yet had time to finish the post on the new guy. How did your ex visit? Did you get a feeling? How did you know?

Jonathon: Hello, new Metroblogger! I have decided to get a more long-lived pet but decided, for a number of reasons, to stick with hamsters for now.
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