He doesn’t bite, and he doesn’t squeal…

Hammie

I was going to whip up a quick 10-minute drawing for tonight, but then I decided to add color and “fur,” and it wound up being more like 40 minutes. Oops. Here’s a little hammie, reminiscent of the ones I had when I was young. Those little guys were endlessly amusing, especially the old doddering ones that seemed especially eccentric. I had one that was allowed to roam free in the room because she always went back into her cage if it was open (and always escaped anyhow otherwise). She managed to get stepped on a couple times (never by me, I’ll note), but really didn’t seem any worse for the wear, living longer than any of her relatives in the end. She also had an amped-up version of the hamster’s love of hoarding — some time after her death, we discovered a huge larder of seeds she’d stashed in a rarely-used dollhouse beneath my dresser. She also once attempted to take a huge, admittedly tasty-looking red button home and hide it in her nest, but I gently dissuaded her.

Somehow I managed to name two of my rodents — I later received three mice somewhat against my will — after Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters, despite never having watched more than the tail end of an episode at that time. It was Too Grown Up for me, and I certainly didn’t spend much time thinking about the few character names I did know, and yet I ended up with Buffy the blonde hamster and Willow the shy (though, for what it’s worth, not redhead) mouse. Buffy’s siblings were rather warlike, though I felt Buffy herself was something of a peacekeeper. She did wind up with an alley-cat-style notch in her ear as a mark of her exploits; if she’d been her sister Tawny she’d have had three of them to match Gellar’s piercings, but apparently coincidence will only go so far. (And if you’re wondering, yes, they were just named for their colors — Tawny was yellow-gold like the others, and Buffy was a fairer buff-cream shade.)

This drawing isn’t really based on any of those, though. He’s a sturdier fellow, while the females (aside from the beloved teddy-bear-like Pumpkin) tended to be slight. He looks most like Winnie, a pleasant — if occasionally greasy — male who lived in admirable harmony with his chubby albino brother. I made them a hammock, which they ate, but I think they enjoyed it before (and probably while) they destroyed it.

Hamsters are massively destructive in so many directions; they chew through, shred up, dig under, drag around, and generally just completely eliminate whatever order you’d attempted to create in their tiny habitats to give you some sense of godlike power. They can, I discovered surprisingly soon, chew through both wire mesh and glass if you forget to make that impossible. They are built like smallish pieces of construction equipment and can overturn just about anything they can fit under, given enough time and boredom. If water can get through an opening, it is entirely possible a hamster can. If your fingers can get through, it is highly likely a hamster can. Hamsters will inexplicably chase cat toys. Hamsters will inexplicably chase *cats.* Do not let a hamster actually catch either of these things if you want to keep them.

I miss hamsters. Hamsters are fun.

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