Thursday, June 30, 2005

Truths behind the Truths Part II: The Spike Saga

So on to little stories/explanations about the bits that were true from Tuesday's post.

Yano guessed that I was lying about my one-eyed hamster and my two birthmarks. She was wrong on both counts, yet at the same time, both were wonderfully good guesses. One super gooey E-For-Excellent-Effort brownie point* for Yano!

Wait, you say? A one-eyed hamster? Really?

Unfortunately for the hamster, yes.

But first, some not-so-interesting information about the birthmarks (because I'm a tease like that.)

5. I have two birthmarks.

I have one on my right shin and another on my lower back. When I was a baby I used to have another one above my eye, and my mom swears she can still see it when I get really sick and pasty, but I've looked in the mirror and there's absolutely nothing there. Silly mommy. :)

8. I used to be the not-so-proud owner of a one eyed hamster.

I didn't buy him with one eye. He poked it out himself by accident (unless he had self-mutilating issues I was unaware of) about a year after we got him.

My first ever hamster, Ralph, was a gift from The HB. Why he gave me a fucking hamster I have no idea. He had a bunch of hamsters/guinea pigs when he was a kid so I think he thought it'd be cute to give his girlfriend one. Whatever. The little fucker bit me the first day I had him and we never really got along well afterwards (we as in me and the evil hamster, not we as in me and the boyfriend).

About a year later me and the boyfriend moved in together and as a symbol of the everlasting love we shared for one another we bought another hamster. Actually, its more like the HB really wanted another pet to play with and I got suckered into tagging along to the pet store. I just couldn't say are you fucking crazy no to him with all that little-boy joy radiating from every pore at the thought of getting another hamster. (But I could now after being together for several years, let me tell ya! Well, except there was that whole 'I wanna motorcycle' incident so... maybe not so much. Cute little boy joy from the HB is my kryptonite it seems.) Besides, the hamster was like our child, our experimental 'test-drive' child.

And 'why experiment on a plant when you can buy a smelly biting hamster?' is what I always say.

The second hamster, Spike, never bit me, but I didn't give him much of a chance to. He was a handful and quite the daredevil. He liked to jump off of really high places, like the top of the couch. He managed to escaped from his cage a few times when me or the HB didn't connect the connector tubes correctly after a cleaning. We actually had to resort to lots and lots of scotch tape to keep Spike from popping them apart. Stupid hamster.

Since we blocked off that escape route, Spike took to chewing up the back corner of his little plastic habitat condo. He must have been gnawing on it for days (or nights actually, because we never noticed it.) Then, one night/early morning, when the hole was big enough to try and squeeze his head through, Spike tried to make a prison break. He must have been too impatient because the hole wasn't quite big enough. And the craftsmanship of the hole wasn't well done either because it had sharp pointy edges and... well, I didn't see it happen (thank god) but I assumed that's how the eye got damaged.

It still gives me the willies to think about it. The poor hamster looked so pitiful and sore and out of sorts, what with its poor little shriveled up eye. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.

And the vet we went to emotionally blackmailed me and the HB because when we mentioned putting the poor animal to sleep the vet got mad and said he wasn't in the business of killing animals. No, he was in business of extorting money from emotional pet owners. Let me tell you, that little self-righteous speech made me feel like complete shit. I didn't want to be an animal killer! So the HB and I agreed to the recommended surgery. To fix a fucking hamster! A hamster with half his life expectancy already lived! It's embarrassing to admit I was so gullible, but Spike the Hamster was looking up at me with his one good eye, with a pitiful look that said, 'help me!' and the vet said he wasn't an animal killer, and somehow all sense of rational thinking flew out the door.

I will never do it again, though. (At least not for a hamster that's reaching retirement age!) I've learned my lesson and paid over a hundred bucks for it. (A hundred bucks for a stinkin' hamster!) And if I ever have a dog or a cat I will find a vet who is kind and believes in doing what's best for the animal, even if that means putting the animal to sleep. My mom has that kind of vet, and when she told her vet about our vet, her vet was completely appalled that our vet would ever say such a thing.

Spike the one-eyed hamster lived for about another year after that , and was as crazy and daredevil-ish as ever. And before his death, even before the whole losing-an-eye tragedy, he starred (along with Ralph) in a short film I directed for an intro to film class, so he will be forever immortalized on the little screen (it went straight to video - heh) as a healthy, tough, two-eyed hamster.

I think I have a picture of Spike in one of those cone-around-the-neck things they put on animals so they don't lick their stitches. If I can find it (and if I can remember to even look for it) I'll try and post it here later.

* actual retail value of point = still undetermined

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