A fact you might not know about the Frugal Upstate family. We are a two rodent household.
That’s right. Princess has a guinea pig named, well, Princess. The pig is over 4 years old which is frankly amazing. I’m surprised she hasn’t passed on to that big cage in the sky by now. And last July for his birthday Buddy received a Teddy Bear Hamster and a cage (which she bought at the yard sale across the street) as a gift from his sister.
Yes, Lovona (or is is “Loveona”? I’m not sure). You know how kids pick out a name when they are little that they think is “Bee-yooo-teee-ful”. . .and then whenever they play pretend and have to pick a name, that’s the one they pick. Well for some reason when Princess (the kid, not the pig) was little she decided she loved the name Lovona. I don’t know if she heard it somewhere or if she made it up–but that was the name. I guess she comes from a long line of girls who make up interesting names–her Nana had a doll she named “Oberika” when she was little!!
So anyway, for some reason when Buddy got his hamster he decided that he’d use the name Lovona for her.
Well, on to the story. Having only had experience with guinea pigs (who are like a platypus–they don’t do much), I didn’t realize that hamsters are total spazzes. They pretty much don’t stop moving and they constantly try to get OUT of whatever they are in. And due to kiddo negligence (not securing the door or lid) and cage defects (a tube that popped off too easily) Lovona has escaped a few times. One time she spent the entire day out, we just couldn’t find her. Luckily for us, she has decided that under the dresser in Buddy’s closet is one of her favorite places, so it’s a bit easier to find her (even though you have to take out the bottom drawer to get her out and to remove the store of food she has inevitably moved to there. Yes–she will climb back to her cage, fill her mouth with food and then bring it to her hidey hole. Repeatedly)
So Sunday evening Buddy noticed that her cage door was completely open and the hamster was gone. He went over to his closet, opened the door and she was just sitting right there on the floor. He scooped her up, put her back in the cage and took a little snap link he had and used it to secure the door (pretty good problem solving if you ask me).
In the morning when I went to wake him up, the door was open again (only about an inch and a half-as far as the snap like would let it go). I went to the closet, turned on the light and said “Loveona, where the heck are you?”. I was just pulling out my phone to use as a flashlight when I felt something on my foot. You’ve got it, the damn hamster was right there with her paw on my foot. Seriously. So I scooped her up and put her back in the cage and tried to secure it even more tightly with the snap link.
Buddy came down a little bit later to get his breakfast and told me “I know how she’s getting out of her cage!”. She has a little wooden house in there, and apparently she was climbing on top of the house, then pushing at the top of the cage door, which gave her enough leverage to pop it open.
“So what did you do?” I asked. “I took the house out”.
I figured that MIGHT have done it, but went up to check after Buddy had gotten on the bus.
Go to closet.
Hamster sitting there looking at me.
So I scooped her up again. Put her in the cage AGAIN. This time I barricaded her in:
I don’t think she was amused. It was obvious we needed a new cage. The thing is, his grandma had already gotten him a new cage for Christmas–we were hoping to be able to attach the two cages together with some tubes to give her a really cool environment to run around in. I called grandma and asked–was it ok to open up the new cage and then I’d go and buy a different one to be from her before Christmas. Grandma is cool, so it was no problem.
The funny thing was, when I opened up the new cage that she had ordered online and had shipped to us. . .IT WAS THE EXACT SAME CAGE.
Well the exact same cage with some security improvements. A spring loaded latch door. All of the pieces snap down and don’t push out. So it’s much better and the Hamster is going to stay put. . . That’s the saga of “The Great Hamster Escape”.
And you thought my life wasn’t glamorous. . .