Games that Hamsters Refuse to Play 

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Matt and I thought we came up with the cleverest game ever to play with a hamster.

We thought the hamsters would play along.

Hamsters really like to make nests out of tissue paper; my hamsters get a wad of toilet paper a week to build their nest; thus, we concluded, a whole roll of toilet paper would be a dream come true to a hamster.

We thought we would document the daily unraveling of the toilet paper roll and that the hamster would fill up the cage with scrunched up bits of toilet paper.

It would have been so cute.

Last January, when Crenguța still lived, we awarded her with a whole roll:

Crenguța's Cage

She tore off a bit of toilet paper. Then she stopped.

Crenguța's Cage After a Week

You can see the nest in the top left corner. (All the black oblong shapes are hamster poops.)

This is as big as her nest ever got:

Gootz in Bed 2

This January, we decided to replicate the experiment with Lucian.

After a week, here's what his cage looks like:

Lucian's Cage

The little guy only took what he needed. In fact, less than he needed. He built up the rest of his nest with the newspaper that lines his cage.

The hamsters' lack of a sense of fun leaves me disappointed in their kind. It may be a generalization, but I suspect the entire species of being no fun.

Where's the wanton greed? Where's the unfettered extravagance?

Hamsters have a lot to learn from humans.

Here's something to keep in mind, hamsters of the world:
Each American [human] will consume 700,000 kilograms (1.5 million lbs.) of minerals (mostly sand and gravel), and 24 billion BTUs of energy — equivalent to 4000 barrels of oil (40% in petroleum products, 25% each in natural gas and coal). In a lifetime, an average American [human] will eat 25,000 kilograms (55,000 lbs.) of plant foods (20% each in vegetables, sweeteners, fruits & juices, grains, and other plant products) and 28,000 kilograms (60,000 lbs.) of animal products (70% milk, 7% each beef, chicken and pork), provided in part by slaughtering 2000 animals (>90% poultry).*
Hamsters, you only have, on average, a two-year lifespan vs. a human's 70-80 years. I highly doubt you're even close to a two-year-old human's consumption levels.

Yeah, sure, you are eating your way to that 25,000 kg of plant foods, but have you stopped to think about how close you are to slaughtering your allotted 2000 animals? I haven't seen any hamsters lately sinking their teeth into any fat juicy steaks.

And how about those forests? Sheesh, you're making us humans do all the work in destroying them. Can't you at least do your part? A whole roll of toilet paper and you're like, what, saving it for something?

Waste already! It's so much fun! That's why we live in a free country! We can do whatever we ---

Hey! Punk! I'm talking to you! Are you even listening?

Aww, screw it!

He went to sleep.

Sleeping Lucian

*From "The Environmental Consequences of Having a Baby in the United States", via Dave Pollard, himself via Darren Barefoot.

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regardless of his lack of entertaining you - he's still very cute.
I swear I don't remember ordering that much sand and gravel.
I asked Matt for a good response to your quip, Rurality, and he said, "That diet rocks!"
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