My husband and I have a spontaneous lifestyle. Bear and Missy fit into it quite well because they didn’t seem to notice, or care, when we left them alone for long weekends. I knew there were few pets that would easily adapt, or be able to adapt at all, to the type of life we lead. A dog was out of the question. If we got another cat we would have to get two, and now that we were “cat box free” did I really want to get back into all that? Memories of fighting a major flea infestation which was ongoing during Bear and Missy’s last days made the answer a definite “no”.
Neither Missy nor Bear had fleas until one apparently came in on someone’s clothing, dropped into the carpeting, and established a colony. When the colony was well populated and ready to dine, they attacked all of us with a vengeance! I used Frontline (which might have been a mistake and may have been a factor in their final illnesses) on Missy and Bear, but it didn’t stop the fleas. I used a number of flea preventions and remedies but could not eradicate them. I tried safe flea control methods because I was afraid of harming Missy and Bear with strong poisons. Regardless, the flea problem was not resolved until both Bear and Missy were gone and I finally used the strongest flea poisons available.
Last year, having been without any type of living pet for a year (I have a lot of robotic pets but it’s not the same), I tried to figure out what type of pet might best suit my needs and fit with our spontaneous lifestyle. Fish? No. I’d had both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, knew the work involved, and also knew that they needed daily attention. A bird? No. I’d had a parakeet, several cockatiels, a bare-eyed cockatoo, and a rooster. Birds don’t do well by themselves and they also require daily attention. Lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles, and other similar creatures didn’t appeal. I’d had a Leopard Gecko, which disappeared after a few weeks, and while he was an interesting pet it wasn’t what I was looking for either.
I ruled out rabbits (I’d had one), ferrets, guinea pigs, and other animals of similar size. They were all good pets but they required larger cages or hutches, roam time, and daily interaction.
Hamsters seemed like a possible option and an online search turned up a wealth of information regarding the proper care of these cute little rodents. As a young teen, I’d had a hamster for a while. As most children who don’t understand how to care for such a creature, I fed him candy cigarettes and other things that most likely helped cause his death. Other than the candy cigarettes, I don’t remember too much about the hamster except that I named him “Freddy” after my first boyfriend.
The more I read and the more photos I looked at, a Teddy Bear hamster seemed the perfect pet. Step 1 was setting up a proper home for a hamster; Step 2 was finding one to adopt.