Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hamster Deathwatch 2010

Good grief.

We are dealing with hamster end-of-life issues this summer.

I think S'more had a stroke yesterday.

She was staggering around her cage, and looked pained every time she took a step. There was just no way she was going to be able to climb the ramp to her high-rise to get her food and water, so I re-arranged things, and she's now in a one-level rancher, with everything easily accessible to her bed.

I picked her up yesterday afternoon, and cuddled her, thinking she might just be blind, and need a little reassuring, and she snuggled down into my hand, and nosed around, but she was like ice. It was like her metabolism had just shut down, and her body temperature was like the hands of a child who had gone out to play in the snow without mittens. I wrapped my hands around her, and held her to my chest, and told her she'd had a good life with Kelly, and she calmed right down, and went nearly to sleep, her sides shuddering with shallow breaths. I doubted that she would still be alive when Kelly got home from horse camp.

I think this will be a cruel, cruel summer for hamsters in the Parker House. First Cheddar expired in the night, then Oreo went while Kelly was in Canada, and I doubt that S'more will still be around by the weekend. Souffle' is getting all mangy on his haunches, and looking kind of haggard. He was older than Oreo, but always just a little bit more robust.

In happier news, Kelly was offered a third week of Horse Camp by the ranch where she's been going these last 4 years, because of all the additional campers she has brought to the ranch over the years. This week is a small crew, and they're all veteran campers, so they've been doing more exciting stuff. Yesterday, they were in the arena at a nearby ranch, doing an introduction to barrel racing. She is in horse heaven.

I need to get back into the habit of writing. There is a lot of stuff happening here, and I don't want to forget because I neglect writing stuff down. So often, I've referred back to this diary to discover who was doing what, when. It's like my external brain.

For a little taste, I give you this:

Skip went off to High School Camp this last week, taking J-jumping's son with him from Canada. I was worried that he'd be a wallflower, not having much fun.

I think I was happily proven wrong: ( I stole a few screen captures from the camp web site. They had a completely fab photographer)

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