Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Adios Fifi

August 8, 2012

Fifi just left.  Sniff.

Fifi is the pet hamster of CJ's friend Rowen.  We hamster-sat Fifi for the past week.  She is an example for Beth and myself as to why we should not buy a puppy.  How can we fall in like with Fifi after just a few short days together?  She is a hamster.  She is a nocturnal rodent who sits in a cage and runs on a wheel in the middle of the night.  Yet, here are some of the absurd things we have done for Fifi.

First, we read the food list of what hamsters can eat and what causes hamsters to run to CVS for some Pepto.  Broccoli, cauliflower, celery-yes.  Watermelon-no.  We noticed that after a refreshing meal of broccoli or cauliflower, Fifi would go on a 20 mile run on her wheel instead of her normal 10.  Therefore, Fifi got a fresh vegetable every day.  Sure, her owners left us with a Tupperware full of hamster food, but she just didn't seem to like only having a seed-based meal instead of adding a starter salad. 

Second, Beth made sure that Fifi had a fresh cotton ball for her stay.  Rowen's mom suggested that Fifi likes to have a cotton ball and Beth supplied one.  Hamsters, as it turns out, do not use cotton balls to remove their makeup at night.  Cotton balls serve as a nest maker.  A nice soft nest.  Fifi has built one in the corner of her cage where she can shield herself from the light during the day.  She has really made a home for herself down there even though the cage is akin to a hamster prison cell.  I think she has a picture of either Alvin or Simon on her little prison wall down there.  (I can never tell those two rodents apart, and yes, I know they are chipmunks.) 

Lately, in the middle of the night Fifi has been making a different sound in the middle of the night.  Instead of the normal marathon wheel running session (her time in the prison yard working out), she has spent more time in the corning making a scratching sound.  My guess is that she has gotten hold of a spoon and is trying to dig a tunnel.  I am very curious to peek under the cotton nest to see what is going on.  Beth would rather be Colonel Klink over there and not notice that the whole Stalag is standing over there in the corner having a smoke at the same time.  "I SEE NOTHING!"

Finally, the other kind gesture we performed for our house guest was to temporarily place her in the hamster relocation program.  While my niece Julia was here, there were times we grew fearful that Fifi would be scooped up and later turn up missing.  Instead of living in the front room of our house, Fifi became Pepe for a couple days and moved to our bedroom.  Behind closed doors, Pepe was safe and not just another notch on Julia's "look what I found" belt.

Rowen's mother was convinced that there was no way a 4 year old would have been able to accomplish this feet, but Beth and I know better.  We have seen Julia in action at the rabbit farm with the sign clearly posted, "Don't touch the rabbits."  Yet, every 15 minutes my sister was heard to the utter the statement, "Julia, please put the bunny down." 

We also heard the story of Julia walking into the family garage holding a reptile and telling her dad, "Look, I caught a gecko!"  Catching a caged hamster would be child's play for this mighty hunter.

Thus, an assumed identity was forged and Fifi went a way for a couple days.  And today, Fifi/Pepe left us.  Beth needs a hug.  We are absurd. 

Then to top it off, much to the protests of Beth and myself, Rowen's mom decided we needed to be compensated for our hamster sitting.  We tried to explain that keeping a hamster for a week without having to clean the cage was not a big deal.  However, you know who had his hand out?  CJ.  Dude.  A lot of hard work went into that $20, huh?  If we had left it up to him, Fipe would be missing a limb right now after either having to gnaw it off for some food or after having met up with the hamster hunter.  Another life lesson accomplished.  Good grief.

Buy Pefi.  Sniff.

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