rodent central

So now I have eight hamsters and seven exercise wheels. Only Lita (the momma) and Algernon (the pup I suspected of having developemental disabilities) still share. Mostly they get along, probably because Algernon is so passive. I may or may not have mentioned that when she was a week old, I thought Algernon was dead, and actually removed her from the nest. A last minute blink saved her life.

Giving evil Lita credit where it’s due, she not only succeeded in raising six of eight pups in her first litter, she never rejected the oddball even after I handled it.

So, now I have Mom Lita and Algernon in one bin. Speedy and Jadis, both winter whites, live in the next bin. Then there’s one of the crittertrail cages I got used on craigslist, with nameless opal #1, and the other used crittertrail with nameless opal #2, who was the bully. She’s bigger than all the rest, including her father/uncle Zandy, and I don’t think she likes her new digs much. After Nameless #2 comes Rocky, so-named because Jadis gave her a bloody nose and I relocated her to Dmitri’s old cage. And then Zandy, the sweetest hamster ever, even more gentle-natured than Dmitri. His new white trim makes him look kinda grizzled and mussed, but he’s still adorable.

I’ve listed them on Craigslist and Petfinder, but I won’t give them away for free (unless it’s to someone I know) because I don’t want them to end up as snakefood. Intellectually I get that snakes have to eat, but my heart says, “Let ’em eat strangers.”

Some of these guys have personality. Jadis isn’t much one to fight, but the one time she did, she drew blood. I really hope she and Speedy continue to get along, because I am out of cages and room to put them. My husband named Speedy, who was a runt, but who zipped so fast on the wheel it was kind of hard to believe if you didn’t see it.

Unnamed Opal #2 picks (picked) at the others kind of relentlessly, but never did any actual damage. I gave her a wad of toilet paper to build a nest in her new cage and she immediately tried to drag it “upstairs” to the “petting area,” but she couldn’t fit it all in the tube. I opened the cage and moved it for her. Now she’s busily trying to drag it back down, and of course it still won’t fit through the tube.

Unnamed Opal #1 is a dedicated hoarder and comes to the petting area to be picked up.

Rocky does this wild thing where she leaps off the shelf in her cage onto the top of her wheel and rides it half way around, leaps to the top of her igloo, and then leaps again into the wheel. After a brief zoom, she gets off the wheel and climbs up the bars to the shelf and repeats the whole thing.

Zandy is a pudgy little guy who can’t be bothered to make a hoard. He usually ignores his igloo and sleeps in his wheel, or under it, although he’s in it now, and has turned the door opening so it faces away and I can’t see in. I’ve been trying to get a picture of him with his changing coat, but he’s not out and about much when the light is good.

Algernon is less passive than the little thing I almost discarded for dead. Living with her must agree with Lita, who is much calmer and more agreeable now than at any time since I brought her home. I wish they weren’t both opals; sometimes the only way I can tell them apart is to flip them over and see which one looks like she’s given birth, and who knows how long I’ll be able to tell that way? At least Jadis and Speedy are different sized. If I see them both at once, I can tell them apart.

And that concludes this episode of the “Overrun by Rodents Show,” ha. All I can say is, it’s a good thing they’re cute!