Friday, 19 February 2010

Having a Ball

Yesterday, Thursday, Dad and I went back to the pet shop because Dad thought Hephzibah the hamster would be happier with another hamster to keep her company. He chose a black and white one.  We told the man in the shop that I had bought one yesterday and he explained that two hamsters together would fight - even two females. Female mice, rats and rabbits are OK together but not hamsters. So that was that. However while we were there we got a ball for Hephzibah. The shop had a range of them and I got the cheapest as there didn't seem to be much difference between them.

We went to the bus stop in time to see our bus leaving without us so while we were waiting I checked out the ball. I couldn't get the hatch open. It seemed to have locked solid. As I hadn't used one before I didn't know whether the problem was with me or the ball so I took it back to the pet shop to ask. Dad waited at the bus stop on the understanding that if the bus came before I got back he'd get on it and I would catch another one.

The lady who was on the till told me that they sometimes had problems with that design so I decided to buy one that cost a bit more.  This one had a stand with it which the other one didn't.

I rushed back with my purchase and just caught the bus that Dad was already on.

That night when Hephzibah woke up - hamsters like mice are nocturnal - I put her in the ball and put the ball on the floor. Here she is in her ball

It only took Hephzibah a few minutes to learn how to move the ball, steer it and stop it where she wanted.  Over longer runs through the living room she got quite fast. The only thing she couldn't manage was the doormat we've had in the living room since the kitchen flooded. It was too high for her to roll the ball over it.  She didn't give up.  She backed her ball up and tried again... and again... and again.  It took her 5 or 6 attempts but in the end she won and rolled her ball onto the mat.  She's clever and determined and I'm very proud of her.  What was next to impossible was getting her OUT of the ball. Just as she'd obsessed over the wheel in her cage, she had a mania for her ball. When I got her back in the cage she wasn't interested in the wheel at all and was desperate to get back to her ball.  She had a few more sessions with the wheel with me either cuddling her or making her rest in her cage in between.  Cuddling isn't quite accurate. Wednesday night when I had her in my hands she ran from one hand to another and I became a human hamster 'wheel'.  Thursday night she did pause from time to have a look round.

Hephzibah is 7 weeks old and the past two days must be so exciting after being in the shop in a cage with plain white walls and a glass front, wood shavings on the floor, some paper bedding and no toys whatsoever. She reminds me of the little robot in the film Short Circuit who kept saying "Input! Input!"

I tried her in her ball on its stand as well and if we could use her as a power source we wouldn't need the electricity company!  lol  She was so fast! 

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