**Updated 27 February 2017; because we live in a city of (mostly) tiny apartments – not exactly pet friendly… So you may want to check out The Secret Life of Pets (more below)
Rewriting the lyrics to that Oldie but Goodie, Hammer Time..
Just before this photo, Queen E fell off the piano bench. Twice. She thought the first time was hilarious, so then she tried it again..
But wait. Go back. Around the cacophony and fidgeting…… The hamster fell asleep.
Rockstar won’t admit he’s a little envious, but well, Queen E worked for it, he was busy with his tech. Interesting, because on the face of it Queen E is probably the most crazy energetic (read: scary) little kid to handle a small delicate animal –
Me (after seeing this, which is from a Jurassic Garage visit to her Kindergarten): I thought you said it wasn’t very big. It’s covering half your forearm.
Queen E: It didn’t look very big. They don’t even let you put it on your bare skin. Because…. the legs might be.. scratchy <trails off>. Only on the sleeve <mildly disappointed>
Queen E: Very cold and quite fat. And he’s a boy. There was another skinnier one that they said is female.
Me: You know this one eats hamsters and other rodents, right?
Queen E: Oh. In the wild? I guess he can’t help it if he’s a predator. Hamsters are prey, aren’t they… <brightens> But he doesn’t have to eat hamsters when he lives here, right? We can feed him chicken nuggets.
Cue Secret Life –
It’s a computer animated kiddie movie about pets living in New York, i.e. predominantly in small apartments. Some of it is erm, junk (but funny junk) – where the pets mess with the appliances, watch foreign language soap operas or have rave parties all day when their owners are out
– but some of it is useful for talking to the kids, about ageing pets, unwanted pets (cf “A Pet Is For Life”) particularly of the exotic variety who end up on the streets and in city sewers…
Anyway. So now it’s not uncommon for Queen E to go about her daily business at home holding Gemma in one hand. You’d think this means the poor ham is totally harassed, but you’d be wrong. When Gemma doesn’t want Queen E to pick her up, she lets out an awful blood-curdling, fingernails-to-chalkboard squeak. More like a screak. We can actually hear the thing from another room.
Hamsters are nocturnal, but when Queen E comes home from school in the middle of the day, if Gemma hears her voice, she’ll often start chewing on the cage bars to be picked up. And so it goes on til bedtime –
Gemma The Ham With An Attitude doesn’t do this with anyone else in the family, she appears to be umm, selectively narcoleptic. Even at night.
ps: Also note the keys of our cheap old electronic piano (still haven’t decided if piano is Queen E’s instrument, she does all manner of things with it other than actually play it). Yes she writes on the keyboard with abandon and marker, but is careful not to get the hamster’s paws caught between the keys (a few of us mums also have a designated wall/ piece of furniture that the kids are allowed to doodle or paste any number of stickers on with abandon which is another reason I can’t bring myself to change the thing (New And Pretty Stuff = Way Less Freedom For The Kids)).
Queen E: Are humans prey or predator?
Me: We’re the worst kind of predator, we don’t just kill to eat, we make coats and bags and even kill for entertainment and in the name of a “better-tasting” meal. I figure if you have to eat an animal all of it shouldn’t be wasted and you can stand to give up something in the way of how tasty the meal is, if it’s a more humane way to kill the animal…
Queen E: What about eggs?
Rockstar <from his laptop>: She has a point…