Yesterday morning when I got up and went about the business of feeding and watering all the critters, I noticed that Dolittle’s hamster had finally gone to hamster heaven through the night. It was not unexpected. He was a very very old hamster — years and years old — probably defying hamster lifespan records the world over. And he had become blind and was sleeping a lot more in the months leading up to this.
Dolittle would like to have a funeral for CoCo.
So I found her a little gold chocolate box and she lined it with woodchips, carefully placed in a few of CoCo’s toys (which were actually chew sticks, but being blind I guess he thought they were toys and just played with them), and she went into the office because she wanted to write him a note and put it in the box with him. Rainbow remained in the kitchen with me.
Rainbow: Why is she doing this? It’s a hamster. Just throw him in the garbage and get a new one.
Me: Well, CoCo has been her pet for a very long time, and sometimes a ceremony helps people feel better about their loss.
Rainbow: So what is she doing now?
Me: She’s writing him a note.
Rainbow: Mommy… He’s dead. He can’t read. And even if he wasn’t, he’s a hamster. It’s not like he’s the dog.
So apparently the dog can read? Perhaps the ancient hamster isn’t the only critter breaking records in our house.
Burial arrangements for the beloved hamster are pending.