Monday, June 7, 2010

The Escape Artist

A while back, I’m not sure when exactly—I’m really not the best at keeping track of time—I listened to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels while working out at the gym. I swear not a single chapter went by that she didn’t mention the hamster, Rex, and what he was doing. Well, after having lived with hamsters all my life up until my late twenties (and later), I started to miss the little fellas. Thanks a lot Janet. I had to go out and buy a cute, cuddly, teddy bear hamster. Funny how a novel can do that to you.

The story doesn’t end there. Yesterday, I woke up to find Cookie, my hamster, missing. He’d escaped. I’m not sure, but I’m thinking maybe I didn’t quite latch the door on his cage. *smacking head* Our day was pretty much decided for us at that point. I mean, we couldn’t let the little guy die somewhere in the house. That’s just not right. So, we spent the morning going through everything, which forced us to clean the dust bunnies behind the fridge. Still no Cookie.

The funny thing is that I’d heard him scratching or chewing in the middle of the night and woke up thinking he was on the loose, but figured that wasn’t possible, so I went back to sleep. Too bad because hamsters are nocturnal and the best time to find him would’ve been when he was the most active.

We checked all the nooks and crannies with the constant question, “If we were hamsters, where would we hide?” going through our minds. I noticed the cabinet door in the kitchen was slightly ajar. That happens. In this case, the popcorn machine hadn’t been put back properly and was protruding, so I re-arranged things and shut the door. I told my husband, there’s a possibility Cookie was inside, but hamsters tend to race around following walls, so I doubted it. Not good. I really should learn to trust my first instincts. As it turns out, that’s exactly where he was. I found him because we made a point of keeping the house silent, no computer hum, no washing machine swishing, and no TV. I guess the noise we made looking for him, woke him up, so he decided to snack on my crepe maker’s electrical cord. Grrr… When I found him, he had sliced and diced it and was ready to add some salad dressing. There were bits of plastic and copper wire all over in the cupboard, and a collection of dog food. He must’ve stopped by my dog’s dish during his little adventure, filled his cheeks, and continued on his merry way. Once settled, he emptied his pouches and rested. Who wouldn’t after such a long jaunt? Not to mention the fall. Yikes. When he climbed out of his cage, which is positioned on the counter against the wall, he must’ve fallen straight down. Judging by the damage to my crepe maker, I don’t think he was affected by the fall. Thank goodness.

So, all of this to say thanks to Janet Evanovich who wrote so convincingly about that little hamster, Rex, that I HAD to get my own hamster and now have lost half a day looking for him. Just one more example of an experience I had to go through so I’d have a story to tell later on.

Do you ever feel like you’ve been put through certain situations or circumstances just so you’d have something to write about? Yeah, I know, that’s probably not the case, but it sure would be interesting if it were, no?


  1. You don't have a hamster, you have a mini ninja!

  2. I knew he looked different from the other hamsters when I bought him!

    Lynnette Labelle

  3. Wow, glad you found him! Poor little guy. Those hamsters can be tricksy sorts.

  4. Wow! Glad you found him!!!! I bet you could add that into a story one day!!

  5. When I heard your hamster story, I thought of Rex--didn't know he's inspired you to become a hamster mom! Does he have a soup can?

  6. I'm just glad you found him. LoL, the little guy didn't want to be found apparently!

  7. Not so much that we're put through those situations intentionally. As writers, we see writing opportunities wherever they land. Glad you found the little muncher!

  8. So glad you found your hammy! When I was student teaching, I bought the class I worked with a hamster as a going-away present, and it escaped its cage. The kids were devastated, but he was eventually found.

    Life always informs my writing. I try to think of every opportunity around me as something that could possibly become part of a book eventually. If you don't keep your eyes open, you'll miss something great.

    Thanks for the post and keep an eye on your little escape artist!