One Saturday in September, I wrote my shopping list for the day, washing powder, coffee and three hamsters.
I was due to go to a birthday party the next day for my Godson and his two sisters. They loved our hamsters so I asked my friend, their mum, if I could get them some as presents and after much laughter, she agreed.
I went to the local pet shop and asked the shopkeeper.
“Three hamsters please.”
“We don’t have any hamsters at the moment.”
“But, I need three today,” a panic rose in my voice.
The assistant gave me a sideways ‘cuckoo’ look.
“We have some out the back but they won’t be ready to sell until next week as they are too young.”
“Oh no, where am I going to get them from?” The dilemma escaped from my lips.
“Please could I just take three hamsters from ‘out the back’ early?”
“No, I’m afraid you can’t. Sorry about that.” She wasn’t sorry at all.
I looked at the hamster cages instead and was mesmerised by the jungle one which looked like Disneyland for vermin. I thought to myself about just buying it and my Godson and his sisters could fill the cage at will with hamsters but it didn’t feel right. Also, he wanted a male hamster in it’s own cage and they wanted female hamsters who could share a cage.
I drove to a massive store in town and it turned out to be a wonderland for pets. I got talked into buying a pink plastic castle cage for two girl hamsters then and a space ship style one for another female hamster, who I would have to pretend was a male because they had run out of boys. What was with this shortage of male hamsters?
At the till I paid for a travel case, straw, bedding, food, bowls, water bottles, cages and hamsters. Good job I love my Godson and his family very much.
I drove home and my daughters assembled the hamster cages while the animals looked on from their travel case. Four hours later the mission was complete and they disembarked into their new homes (the hamsters, not my children).
Much hilarity and excitement ensued when the presents were handed over the next day at the party and my friend was shaking her head and cracking up unbelievingly. My friend’s brother and dad later asked incredulously who bought the hamsters and I sheepishly put my hand up.
A few weeks later I was beside myself with the giggles when my friend told me that after all the faffing about, she had to go out and buy new cages as the hamsters are so tiny, being dwarf ones, that they couldn’t climb up the tube leading from their bedroom over to their dining area, so were starving hungry.
Maybe next year I’ll buy them conventional toys.