Thursday, January 22, 2009

Iterative development and hamsters

Hamsters have not, so far, proven to be the most robust pets possible for our household. Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of importing a rodent into a household that contains both a cat and a terrier. Especially when the cat sits on the hamster's aquarium.

So we came back from the holidays to find that Boss, our remaining hamster of the two initial hamster colonists, had passed on. Our 9-year-old daughter, owner of said hamster, was heartbroken for about as long as it took to figure out that she had enough money to buy a new hamster.

We went to Petco and discussed the situation with Hamster Pros and handled several hamsters before choosing a new one, larger than the last, and a female -- both factors we hope will improve the hamster experience.

That's how Marigold the Hamster has entered our life, and so far she's a big improvement -- lively and friendly, and hasn't bitten anybody.

You can't do this kind of thing with dogs and cats. I mean, you can, but it takes a lot more patience. I guess you could start with sickly animals or something, but that's no fun.


  1. We've been going through some of the same pet headaches here, so I sympathize.

    Prior to the holidays, we had a dog and 5 zebra finches that got along well. We added two kittens (one for each twin) that have adapted well to the dog but still think that the birds would make the best little meals.

    For now the birdcage got moved into a large cabinet that we can close off fully when we're out of the house and at night. But I wonder how long that will work.

  2. We had been spraying the cat with water to convince her not to bother the hamster, but that wasn't working; now we have a penny can, which DOES scare her, but I worry she'll learn that no actual harm results. Also I think she might learn how to remove the lid on the hamsterquarium. This is still better than the prior hamster cage, which would come apart if you shook it.