Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hanshi...a good hamster.

Sometime on Saturday afternoon, I came to the realization that I had not heard my two hamsters, Hanshi and Dusi, squabbling for at least a day or so. Concerned, I took their cage down from the top of the fridge where I have been stowing them for over a month so as not to a) tease my cat, Beomgye, with treats he can't eat nor b) give my hamsters heartattacks with being glared at by a cat.

I placed the cage on my kitchen counter and made my "squeaky-hamster-noise". Dusi popped his head out from the woodchips and blinked at me. Hanshi did not. I proceded to tap the sides of the cage. Dusi proceded to drink from the water bottle. Hanshi did not. I opened the top of the cage and prodded around in the woodchips, thought better of it, retrieved a spoon from my cutlery drawer, and fished around for...Hanshi.

Hanshi, curled up in his sleeping position, was found by my spoon, lifted by my spoon, and examined by me without moving. His eyes sockets were oddly...sunken.

"Oh." I said, and looked at Dusi. He didn't seem to care. In fact, he almost looked smug. I looked down at Beomgye who was observing me with a tilted head. "You want this?" I asked him. He meowed. It was an elongated, hungry meow so I glared at him. No respect for the dead, cats.

I spooned Hanshi's little body into a ziplock bag and placed - did not drop - it in the garbage. I remembered buying my hamsters, over ten months ago, with Dan Fietje at Carrefour. Dan had councelled me to buy two, in case one died. I guess it was like a "back up hamster" tactic. Even their names, Hanshi and Dusi, were given to them under the assumption that they wouldn't live past a month. "Hanshi" means "one o'clock" in Korean, and "Dusi", two o'clock. I could then carry on with "three o'clock", "four o'clock", "five o'clock", etc. until I tired of buying hamsters that only lived a month. Hanshi was always the sicklier one of the two: one of his ears was a little torn, one of his eyes was always a little closed, he was scrawny and very jittery. I half expected Dusi to finish him off within a few weeks.

But they had grown to tolerate, even to like each other. They still wrestled and squawked, usually over food or whose turn it was on the excercise wheel, but they always slept together in a combined little ball. And Hanshi had lived his little life like this for ten months.

Cause of death: unknown, although Dusi has been taken in for questioning.


robtegelberg said...

priceless, i love that your cats name is beomgay (i know thats not spelt write i cant type right now)
dude we gotta hangout. I think im going to come to church next weekend to sign up for that thanxgiving diner thing, we should hang after you guys finish "the stream."

andrew said...

I miss him already.

Kiki said...

I am extremely emotional from lack of sleep and well- quite frankly that tale almost brought me to tears...sigh. God rest his soul...