Opinion: On the lookout for emotional help? Don’t get a hamster | Arts + Tradition

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Peanut, a 6-month-old hamster from California, roams round her cage at reporter Haley Yarborough’s condo at ROAM Scholar Residing in downtown Missoula on April 16. Peanut received her identify from her miniscule measurement when Yarborough first purchased her. 


I’m right here to warn you of one thing really evil, harmful and maybe the very reason for Earth’s sixth mass extinction: hamsters. 

Don’t be fooled by their furry, marshmallow exterior. Behind these beady eyes is a satan in disguise, with extraordinarily acidic piss, flesh-piercing buck enamel and the acrobatic talents of a spider monkey. 

I do know, it’s terrifying — particularly when the enemy is sleeping in your bedside desk, scheming her subsequent escape (or subsequent homicide). A number of months in the past, I drove my hamster, Peanut, all the best way from California to Montana with the intention of getting some emotional help throughout my rigorous spring semester. Let’s simply say, I don’t understand how one thing so small might be such an enormous ache within the ass. 

Their cuteness and likability as alleged “starter pets” are all a farce. They’re evil, conniving little bastards with a ledger stuffed with the explanation why they do extra hurt than good.

First motive: They’re crafty escape artists.

Within the quick interval of some months, Peanut has escaped 5 occasions. The primary time, she managed to crawl by a small gap on the prime of her cage and spent the subsequent 4 days hiding in an inaccessible nook of my lavatory, screeching. I attempted all the pieces to get her out, from humane mouse traps to peanut butter-covered carrots to lengthy straws I used to poke her behind. 

Ultimately, I used to be clever sufficient to name upkeep, then they actually needed to tear aside half of my lavatory cupboard to search out her. When she emerged, screeching, with matted fur and a feral look in her eyes, one of many upkeep males — a tall, burly trying man — instructed me he “ain’t selecting it up.” 

Even with a strengthened, duct-taped cage, Peanut would escape 4 extra occasions (one in every of which was to the identical place, the place I needed to pry out a loosened board with my naked fingers). What pissed me off was not the escaping itself, it’s that she has a greater home than me and nonetheless has the AUDACITY to flee. 

Second motive: They’re nocturnal. 

No less than a number of occasions an evening, I get up to the roar of Peanut working on her wheel. It’s like a revving automobile engine subsequent to my ear, and regardless of how loud I blast my soothing nature sounds, the squeaky wheel is indelibly burned into my mind. These days I’ve been gently eradicating stated squeaky wheel at night time and placing her in her ball in the course of the night. 

My technique doesn’t work. Whereas hamsters can adapt to cage life and shift their pure life rhythms barely, you may’t make them diurnal. The satan incarnate simply sits in her ball half the time, shitting. By the point night time comes round, it’s like she’s on crack, making as many potential sounds as she will to drive me to the brink of psychological madness.  

Third motive: They’re susceptible to well being points. 

Proper after I recovered Peanut from my lavatory wall, I drove her to Animal Blessing Pet Hospital to deal with her for one thing the veterinarian referred to as a type of “moist tail.” I received’t go into the nasty particulars, however Peanut mainly had a parasite in her intestinal tract that affected her digestion. After the veterinarian carried out pseudo-surgery, I paid $90 for antibiotics to deal with the illness and needed to spend a full month feeding her medicine out of a syringe (she didn’t admire the trouble). 

This, sadly, is nothing uncommon. “Moist tail” is the most typical sickness in hamsters, adopted by different digestive issues, continuous incisor progress, pneumonia and pores and skin issues. With an sufficient weight loss plan, housing and sufficient train, a hamster is much less prone to endure from these sicknesses, however they aren’t exempt.

Hamsters are usually not starter pets. They take time and care — and generally much more cash than you bargained for. 



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Peanut takes her pink ball for a fast little spin across the condo. When Peanut is not on the transfer, she likes to snack, in line with Yarborough. Opposite to her identify, Peanuts’ favourite snack is sunflower seeds.


Final however not least motive: They’re EVILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

There are evil individuals; then there are evil hamsters. 

Whenever you look right into a hamster’s beady, bottomless eyes, you’re trying by a window into their nonexistent soul. Judging from the best way Peanut appears at me, I’m fairly certain she’s plotting my homicide. She is nothing wanting a bloodthirsty killer, who will chew my finger with out a second thought. 

The animals are so evil, in reality, you typically can’t depart a male with a feminine alone in a cage with out them combating one another to dying (or mating and consuming their infants).

Oh, and likewise hamster piss is SUPER acidic and aromatic. If left for only a week, it could possibly cake, stain, permeate and even erode plastic. I’m shocked there hasn’t been a horror film about these murderous rodents pissing acid. 

Ethical of this story: DON’T GET A FUCKING HAMSTER, particularly in case you don’t need to get murdered in your sleep (however don’t fear, the squeaky wheel will hold you vigilant). 

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