Notice the message the little critter chewed in the lettuce and how it left the pretzel? I see hearts. Amazing,
huh? Yeah, so my heart has been shanghaied by those beady little eyes and the twitching whiskers.Blain was humoring me over this sudden obsession with saving the stinky little critter's life. After all the research on what he/she was, getting votes in from everyone who saw it on the Internet, we went to the woods to release what we thought was a wild animal. We thought it was so friendly because it was a baby, but since it ate regular food, drank water from a jar lid, and seemed to take good care of itself, we didn't want it to die eating the wrong kind of stuff. The quicker it got back to its home the better. Dumb idea. Never act without enough information. Don't judge us. Hindsight is always 20-20, right?
Well, when we got it to the woods, it just meandered around slowly, came back to our shoes, went out some more and looked around, checking out the taste of grass and leaves, but it was just absolutely not an animal that would last long if a cat happened by. After watching it for about 15 minutes and discussing if it was going to make it (it was sooooo cute how it skittered around on the ground checking everything out but not trying to find a hiding place), Elder Blain thought it would and I said I'd never forgive myself if we let a domestic animal loose. After surviving against all odds, it would be horrible to let it go only to die. Elder Blain finally said it was up to me to do what I felt I needed to do (big sigh and eyes invisibly rolling in his head). I followed the little thing for a bit and put down the tiny box we had carried him to the woods in and he walked right in!! There's no way that was a wild animal. Good thing he didn't run away. Lucky hamster.
We went to the nearest vet clinic (all the while I am apologizing for adding trauma to Don Quixote's life as he just stares at me like I'm something out of a horror show (Elder Blain named him D.Q. because of the fan fight thing). The lady at the clinic identified our beast as a hamster! Oh, no! We almost killed it! She gave us a bag of food for free. All the way home, I stared into the hamster's pleading eyes and I thought I heard it saying, "How much more abuse do I need to suffer by the hands of this so-called rescuer--crazy lady--can't even tell I'm a hamster?"
The next thing was to finish checking the other apartments to see if anyone lost a pet (okay, we had at least checked the one apartment above us the first day we found him). We had to wait for the England football game to end. You don't dare knock on a door during the game. The missionaries were all confined to the apartments during the game today. Meanwhile, the hamster curled up in a little ball and pulled a paper towel over its head. It was worn out from being so-called saved.
I zipped out the door to talk to the neighbors as soon as we heard the game outcome. If England had lost, it wouldn't have been a good thing to knock on any doors for a while. I knocked on the next door neighbor's door and about the time he opened it, a woman and little girl walked into the main door at the front of the flats and I hollered out to her, "Did you lose a pet?" and she said, "Yes!" I couldn't believe I'd heard her right. It turned out to be her little four-year-old daughter's hamster that was lost a week and a half ago! Can an animal live that long without food or water? Seth said they get dehydrated very easily. It really is a miracle it lived. Lucky hamster.
The little girl asked me if I would bring Holly back if she ever got away again and I told her she'd better not let her get lost again because she'd probably never find her a second time. She has no idea the miracle of her pet being found alive. Lucky girl. Her dad said Holly was half the size she was before getting lost.
Seth sent me hamster tips, one of which said it can kill a hamster to give it a bath. I would have washed it because of the stench of it after being in its own waste for almost a week, but I didn't want to traumatize it anymore after its rescue. If I'd known it was a domestic animal, I may have given it a bath. Whew! Lucky hamster. According to Seth, it seems I did almost everything right as far as providing a temporary home. Must be the mothering instinct. It is a good thing that the man didn't get her out of the fan without me there (that almost happened, except I got sick that day and was home--another strange coincidence in favor of the rescue). Lucky hamster.
A side note since we're on the hamster subject, Seth sent me the tips because his daughter, Alexis, has one named Pipsqueak, which just recently returned from Utah where he had been stuck since their last visit from Sacramento. At least he had food and water. It seems they took the cage without Pipsqueak and didn't realize until they were in Reno that Pipsqueak was somewhere in the house in Utah (where cats and a dog live). Luckily, they called and Darlene went looking, finding Pipsqueak in a closet. Marie and Alexis were in Utah last week visiting the new grand baby and got Pipsqueak to take home to California. My, these hamsters are escape artists. It is a wonder they survive long. Lucky hamsters.
So, there you have the story. My last duty as the rescuer of Holly was to take a note up to the third floor and stick the tips sheet in their door (it is midnight). I hope they haven't given her a bath . . . or her luck may have run out!
Oh, please just don't tell me about it . . .