Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rowdy Artesian...Traveler Extrordanaire And Jezabel , My Cross Eyed Kitty

Have you ever had a pet that you just REALLY connected with?
I have had two. If the two had met, there would have been chaos.
You see, one of them is a cat (I'll tell you about her later) and the other is a hamster.
But if the lion and the lamb can lie down together, I suppose a cat and a hamster can too.  (I am grinning here at the image. )
I got Rowdy Artesan (RA RA  for short) when I was 13. From day 1, he was a traveler. Somehow after we bought him he got loose in our car and we had to tear apart the seat cushions to get him back. We looked everywhere and couldn't find him but could hear him hustling around, digging.

Finally we caught him.

When we found him he just sat up and looked at me with those little black eyes winking merrily, whiskers twitching as if to say..."Hey...I MEANT for you to find me".
My mom didn't like hamsters. One of the biggest kicks I would get when I was bored was holding my hamster behind my back, walking up behind my mom  and when she turned around I would thrust out my hands with RA RA In them and yell "SURPRISE"! Poor RA RA...he had no idea what to make of the screaming woman who was waving her hands around saying "GET THAT THING OUT OF HERE!
One time mom was asleep and I snuck up and put RA RA on her belly. She woke up and the poor hamster actually FLEW across the room...that stopped me pretty quick.

I had been giggling from another side of the room when a flying hamster suddenly came at me Poor thing.
When we went to Pennsylvania to visit relatives from Idaho, guess who I missed most?
That hamster.
When I was out of state I wrote about it all the time in my journal. I even drew a picture of him so I could look at it when I was lonely.
I was such a strange child. 
That hamster was different from any other hamster I ever had. When he wanted me to pick him up (Which was a lot) he would chew on his water bottle especially hard until I picked him up. Then he would sit on my bed with me, completely still.  I'd lay down to take a nap and he'd be sitting beside me. I would stroke his eyelids and little by little he would fall asleep.

Then I would fall asleep, the kid and the hamster, side by side. Best friends. 

Some kids had dogs, I had a hamster.
We had one of those hamster balls that you get to put them inside so they can run around the house.. At first when I put him in it he would run all over the house, literally bouncing off the walls  and spinning dizzily till he stopped and then he would run off in another direction, crashing into the walls again.(One day he actually bounced down the stairs and escaped because the ball opened up) After a while he got pretty good at it, and I would see him  deliriously running, head thrown back in ecstasy, totally spread out like a racehorse running for all he was worth. 

It made me laugh so hard.
One day he got loose and got behind the walls of our heater. (He was quite the escape artist.) I was so worried. He was gone for DAYS. I was in the shower one day when I heard a familiar sound. 

I could hear him in the WALLS. 

Under the shower, moving around the shower. I was frantic. I kept saying RA RA but I couldn't get to him! Would he ever get out? 

I missed my little buddy!
If I could have been inside his little hamster head I bet I would have heard  "JUST HOW in the HELL do I get out of here"??? (If hamsters could swear)
One day I was sitting in my bed and suddenly, beside the heater vent, my little friend popped out.
He looked stunned and looked at me weakly and if he could have said anything...I think it would have been "Hey... I did it...I found my way out!"
He just collapsed in my hand, he was SO exhausted. But he trusted me.
Another time when he got loose (he somehow would get  out of his cage, even though we put a book over the top) I couldn't find him all day. I went to sleep sad that I hadn't found my little friend. In the middle of the night, all of a sudden, I felt something fuzzy by my leg. Somehow during the night he had  gotten up into my bed, under the covers with me.
One of the times my dad got angry  at me he actually took the glass aquarium cage (It had wire mesh top...with a book on top) and smashed it on the ground. Then he took away my hamster, and was squeezing him so tight I thought he would kill him. I was sobbing, terrified of what he might do to him. I remember for hours afterword’s I searched for him. My father told me he was gone. I was SO afraid he had killed him. The strangest thing happened though. I went outside, just really sad, and I looked over at the garbage can in the garage, and he was just sitting there, on top of it. Who had put him there, or if they did, I don't know. But I was relieved.
If I'm remembering right my mom went out to a second hand store and got another aquarium.
 My sisters liked to torture him, especially Lillian, They would either pick him up and squeeze him until him eyes bulged, or they would throw him up in the air and catch him, or NOT and I would be screaming for them to stop.
I remember one specific time I was in the bathtub and Lillian came in, evil grin on her face, with my hamster, and proceeded to squeeze RA RA right in front of me until his eyes bulged so bad that one of them started to bleed. I was TERRIFIED and kept screaming for her to stop. It wasn't funny to me, at ALL. She finally gave the hamster back to me when she saw his eye was bleeding and I wiped off his eye with some water.
Strange for me to say, but that little hamster was my confidant. I would tell him everything.
One day, I was holding a very tired RA RA and his little whiskers stopped twitching.

He wasn't breathing.

I would blow on him and he would start breathing again. It scared me SO badly. I woke up that morning, and clicked my teeth at him...(he would actually click back...we has such a strange little human hamster connection)that day, he didn't click back. I went over to his cage and blew on him. 

He was gone.

 I spent the whole day sobbing. I missed my little friend.
Animals make the best friends. They're like Gods little messengers. Somehow the ones you love the most know JUST when you need them. 
They leave, and a part of you goes with them.

There are no hamster balls in heaven. (Well...maybe there are...who am I to say ?)  

Only if they can't be locked in .
But I suspect by now he has explored every inch.:p
He’s probably sneaking around under some angels robe.
The image of that in my head makes me grin.

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