One time when I was in college, I was at my parents house for the weekend and found out that my little sister had inherited a hamster. His name was Harry and he had been abandoned by a friend of hers after a sleepover. She had called the friend, but apparently after leaving the the sleepover and the hamster, her friend and her whole family had moved out of town with no forwarding address. I should have taken this as a sign.
The first time I met Harry, he was sitting in his cage on top of the dryer in my parent’s laundry room. I asked why he was on the dryer and my mother replied that that was the hottest part, and the heat would most certainly kill him. I should have taken this as a sign.
I believe that most college aged guys wouldn’t have thought twice and forgotten all about the hamster. Well, I’ve always had a big heart, or at least a heart that was at most, hamster sized, so I couldn’t stomach the thought of this poor little furball dying a hot pine scented death in that lonely room.
In retrospect I should have done a lot of things. I should have considered the price of pine chips, the price of food, the reaction of my roommates, the date of my last tetanus shot, the ferocious tenacity of a small burrowing rodent and the Ike and Tina-esque relationship that develops between a battered wife and husband, a hostage and captor or even a man and his hamster.
But that day, all that I saw was the murderous intent in my mother’s eyes which stood in stark contrast to the two shiny black dew drops suspended in that brown tuft of Harry fur. The hamster beckoned, I scooped him up, loaded the rusty Grand Am and we hit the highway, non-stop direct to Purdue. That is until he chewed his way out of the cage somewhere around Badger Grove, In.
To be continued….