Seafarer Mama/Karen has been writing since she was ten. She is a published author & finds inspiration from a variety of sources & settings.
Fun in the Playground
Hello, My name is Elsa
Hello. My name is Elsa Piper Annabeth and I am a black and brown Syrian hamster belonging to a human girl named Jasmine. She loves to play with me and comes to my cage every evening when she hears me moving around in my townhouse.
My human girl has a mother and a father who also love to play with me. All three of them pet me and let me climb around their arms and shoulders. They tell me I'm beautiful and pamper me with lots of affection and play. They give me fresh fruit and veggies, rolled oats and sunflower seeds as treats. Jasmine loves to build me playgrounds out of blocks or a cardboard box with a rainbow arch in it to climb around. Her friends love to come over and play with me, too. Everyone is very gentle and kind to me and tell me how much they love me.
I am taken care of very well by Jasmine and her parents. They give me fresh filtered water to drink every day and clean my cage every week. Sometimes they change my nest bedding several times a week, for I am sometimes lazy about climbing down the tube and I pee in my nest instead. They let me climb into my clear runabout ball to explore their house safely while they clean my home.
Where my treats come from
My human girl mommy has a big white box in her kitchen with a door that opens and closes. She calls it a refrigerator. That's a long word. From that box she and her family take out yummy treats for me to eat. She chops up carrots, snap peas and berries that are delicious to feast on. They usually give me small bites to nibble in addition to the food that they leave in my pantry bowl.
One of my favorite times of the day is when one of her parents holds me and she takes my treats out of that big white box to give me my favorite nibbles. I know what is coming and I usually scurry around their shoulders, arms and laps with excitement when I see those delicious treats being cut up for me. Yum!
The best treats for me are vegetables that help me keep my teeth trim, like carrots. Cucumbers are okay, too. Lettuce gives me lots of fiber. My family knows enough to not feed me celery because it is hard for me to digest and would make me sick. Carrots are my favorite because they give my teeth lots of chewy action and taste sweet. The humans love to listen to the sound of my nibbling.
My townhouse and sleeping nest
Jasmine bought me a triple-decker luxury townhouse for my first birthday this year. It's a colorful home that gives me lots to do. I love to climb and to chew, and have a potty area separate from my food and toys.
My first floor is where my toys and hamster-shaped day bed are. I love to chew on my pretty wooden wheel-and-axle toy and hop across the building blocks she puts in there for me. My food bowl and pantry area are filled with my daily dry kibble, a hay cube, and hard protein chews to keep my teeth trim. I like to hide them around my home so that there is always something to nibble wherever I am.
The two red shelves are fun to hang out on. One of them is the place I sit to drink my water, which is always fresh and cool. She usually leaves me a chew toy to play with on the other one. Since I prefer to run around in the ball, I use the wheel as a walkway between the red platforms so that I can roll from one to the other as often as I want.
My bedroom is in the penthouse of my home. Jasmine gives me bedding and cotton balls to tear apart and mold into a cozy, warm nest that muffles sounds so that I can get enough beauty sleep. When I leave my nest to run down the long blue tube to the first floor, the nest keeps the shape of my body. The space feels oh so comfortable and cozy and I feel safe to fall asleep there. Sometimes Jasmine's mother plays her wooden Native American flute to help me relax, especially when I start biting on the cage bars ~ which really isn't good for me to do.
My Birthday and other Special Occasions
My First Birthday
Jasmine made a birthday cake for me when I turned one. She melted some yummy yogurt nibbles and spread the goo like icing on top of a hay cube for me to nibble. She also created little balls of my kibble held together with melted yogurt chew goo. She gave them to me once a week so that I wouldn't get so much sugar, which is not god for me to have any more often than that ~ if at all.
At harvest time in the fall, Jasmine gave me roasted pumpkin seeds and apple slices as treats. In early winter, around the solstice, she gave me lettuce and sunflower seeds. In June, when the strawberries ripened in her family's garden, she gave me a taste of one. She did her best to give me only the most healthy treats she could find to supplement my diet, so that I could stay healthy and lead a long and pleasant life with her as my mommy.
Elsa's Valentine Greeting
The Care and Feeding of a Healthy Hamster
|Home Environment||Food||Human Handling/Play|
Cool, fresh water changed daily
Scoop up from underneath
Food bowl full of kibble
Offer run-about ball 1/2 hour at a time
Plenty of apple sticks and hard chews
Build playground to scamper around
*A place to hide
Small treats of garden veggies and fruit
Provide chinchilla dust to bathe in and keep cool
A bed to make a nest and sleep
Oats, organic toasted O's & hay blocks are okay treats
Gently hold and use body as a playground
*Clean; refreshed weekly
*No sugar ~ can cause diabetes, which can lead to premature heart failure!
* Only handle if hamster willingly climbs into your hand!
Friendship is a Delicious Berry
For the Love of Hamsters
Rest In Peace, our little Friend!
Our sweet little hamster friend, Elsa Piper Annabeth was born on January 16, 2015 and passed over the rainbow bridge on June 23, 2016. She lived 17 months, 15 of which were spent in our care.
Elsa was easy to tame and gave us many moments of sweet, cuddly friendship. She eagerly climbed up our arms and legs and burrowed herself down into the crooks of our elbows. There were so many things she loved to do with us and we have many happy memories of our time spent with her. She was a magical creature as far as we were concerned and we thought she was destined to live a very long life.
Her death was a shock to us, for we were certain that she would thrive longer in our care. My daughter found her lifeless body in her cage one early summer afternoon when she attempted to coax her out to play with a friend. She immediately buried her near our wooded labyrinth with lots of flowers, sticks, rocks, and leaves for her lovely little spirit to run around on. We hope that she is happily playing in hamster heaven with our late Chocolate Chip and other hamster friends. We miss her!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2016 Karen A Szklany
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on September 29, 2016:
Thank you, "teaches." Glad that the chart was helpful. Yes, hamsters are prone to developing diabetes.
teaches12345 on July 08, 2016:
Sorry for the loss of such a sweet pet. However, I enjoyed your story from her perspective. Your chart is helpful as I didn't realize sugar is harmful for these little ones.
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on June 29, 2016:
Hi Jodah. Thank you for writing, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Hamsters generally live 18 months or so. Two years is considered a long time and three years is exceptional.
My daughter and I went to the pet shop yesterday to adopt a new young hamster named Samantha. It's so nice to have life again in our cage....so hard to keep it empty for very long. She is the same age Elsa was when we adopted her. My daughter knows that she has a limited time with her and is prepared to love her for as long as the hamster has life in her. With each little pet we adopt, we learn more and more about how to care for them...which I hope helps us keep them healthy for longer periods of time. She will adopt an even younger, baby hamster from the same family pet store for me as a birthday present when the baby has been weaned from his/her mother. I plan to name a male hamster Rumi and a female hamster Galadriel. ~:0)
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 29, 2016:
This was a nice story to read. I am sure Elsa enjoyed her comfortable life with Jasmine and the rest of your family, even if it as only a short time. We have never had hamsters so I am not familiar with how long they usually live.
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on June 28, 2016:
Thank you for stopping and reading. I really did mean to publish this hub way before Elsa left us, but ran out of time. Glad you enjoyed reading it despite the sad ending.
We are well...and enjoying summer. Hope all is well with you out there in Washington State. :0)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 28, 2016:
An enjoyable read even though it ends with the passing.....thanks for sharing and I hope you are well.