So Little Master has a thing for animals. Let me confess: if I could live my life without a single pet I’d be fine…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. We used to have 2 dogs. One died and Dad got custody of the second one. I really did not put up a fight. Although, when he (the dog that is!) passed a few months ago, I have to confess, I felt a moment of sadness. That dog was born when we were breeding dogs to raise cash to build our house. He was the dog that my fearless toddler used to harass.
Perhaps my apparent antipathy towards pets is really a (sub)conscious attempt to mask and subdue pretty strong emotions deep, deep down when it comes to animals and their lot in life. I remember when I was in primary school, at about age 9, I saw a group of boys huddled together, shouting excitedly and my utter dismay when I realized that the object of their animation was an injured bird. So there I was, horrified and totally torn up in the face of the suffering of this poor birdie. I shouted and rushed in with one single aim: to rescue the bird. I scooped it up while bawling and marched to my classroom cradling Birdie with the stupid, shouting hoard behind me. Thank God my teacher was on my side and I was allowed to take it home. I placed it in an empty chicken coop (we had layers, broilers, goats, bees, rabbits, dogs and cats!) and nursed it back to health for a few days. I happily set him free once I realized he was good to go. I also remember when my dog Polly was hit by a car and succumbed to her injuries. I grieved for that dog.
Anyways, I reluctantly agreed that Little Master should get a hamster for Christmas. Sigh. He already has a pet-the ideal pet in my view!- a little turtle. No noise, no running up and down, low maintenance. Sweet.
|The ideal pet: Low Maintenance Turtle
So Harry joins the family (be sure to say “Harry” with a British accent please…Little Master’s dictate of course). Harry is a rat…damn. He is scary. Ugh. Look at his toes! Look at his beady black eyes! Have you ever held him? Have you felt how soft his fine, little bones are? But, because I am absolutely in love with Little Master, I help in the cage cleaning and the feeding. And, yes, I’ll confess, Little Master has caught me on more than one occasion sitting in front of Harry’s cage watching his feeding, drinking and playing habits.
So earlier this week I was in the kitchen preparing lunches and making breakfast when something caught the corner of my eye. No way!, I thought…a white furry rat on the ground in my kitchen? Oh hell! HARRY IS LOOSE! So there I was at 5:30am shouting to I really don’t know whom: “ HARRY IS LOOSE! THE HAMSTER IS OUT OF HIS CAGE!”
To my eternal credit though, I switched into Wonder Woman mode very quickly. I grabbed the green bucket and cornered Harry who looked totally bewildered, by the way. I covered him and got his cage. Somehow, his climbing tube had come apart in one place and the little creature had squeezed out. I then re-set his cage and tubes and opened it up to receive its tenant once again. I held that little rattus and placed him back in, none too gently I must confess, as even with gloved hands, it still freaks me out tremendously to handle Harry. My sigh of relief that Harry had not gone AWOL in the house was very quickly replaced with a sudden startling revelation: Harry was hanging out by a rat poison block I had placed in a corner of the kitchen! Lord have mercy! Did he eat any? Would he be ok? By this time, Little Master was up and I was brutally honest with him: we could come home to a dead Harry in the afternoon. We hoped and prayed (yes I did!) and we were on Harry Watch for the next 24 hours. If Harry was too quiet, we prodded him out of his little house and cheered as we watched him forage and feed and run. Poor Harry. He had very little rest as we sought to assure ourselves that he would live. Today Harry is as energetic as he ever was, much to Little Master’s joy. And yes, I’m glad too.
|Drink up, Harry