Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Is A Hamster a Pet? For Real?

I didn’t blog about my trip TO Pensacola.

I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to fit an entire Christmas into our van and haul it up to Pensacola. I’m telling you, it was a damn miracle. An entire tree’s worth of gifts, 2 parents, 3 kids, and a hamster... oh, and luggage.

Until the last minute, it was undecided if dear old Fiona would make the trip. The one neighbor we entrusted was to be out of town, so that left us wondering whether we could create a 10 day supply of water and food. It wasn’t an easy decision, for to decide to take our lovely hamster with us meant… one MORE thing in the car… one more LIVING thing in the car… as well as potential for dis-as-ter, also known as the ‘food chain’. My sister’s cat was to be at my parent’s home too.

Before the big trip I sat down with the boys and put the fear of God into them… they needed to understand, Fiona could not escape, be let out for a free roam or anything of that nature. For her to be let out or for a prison guard to aid in an escape meant Fiona would most certainly become a snack, as in Dead. Their eyes widened and the first two boys immediately didn’t want to take her. They were scared that their pet was going to become cat food due to the youngest prison guard, and quite frankly, so was I. But in the end, it was decided that the probability of her dying in our home unattended was greater than being in my folk’s home with a cat since my boys had now had the ‘food chain’ talk.

My husband planted her behind my seat and his; I could look over my left shoulder and see her. And I could ONLY see her for about 15 minutes… when my car suddenly started to smell musky. There was no doubt there was a rodent living in my car. Déjà vu. At least this one was invited.

As we proceeded up the state, it got colder and colder. We left West Palm at 75 degrees and arrived in Tallahassee at 39. This posed a problem. I had reservations to stop, but if we left Fiona in the car, would she freeze? How cold was it REALLY going to get? Fur or not, I could not take any chances of permanent emotional damage to my three young sons. What if we came out in the morning to find a frozen ball of dead fur? No thanks. I feel certain just the fact I am the Mom person in their life means counseling is a given for their futures, I don’t need to frickin’ add any potential topics to the counseling couch. I can hear it now…

“And when I was 7, my Mom left our pet hamster in our mini-van overnight and when we went out the next morning, there she was, all cuddled up, trying to keep warm, but frozen, stiff and dead.”


That meant Fiona had to come into the hotel with us. It’s now 1AM, we are beat, we have three sleepy children, did I say it was 1AM?, and 39 degrees and I am from S. Florida which means I’m wearing clogs, jeans, and a t-shirt, but happen to have a jean jacket with me. Thank God for small favors. And now… and now we have to take a hamster to our room. We leave her there while we take our kids and overnight bags, but we were greeted with the sign on the door that said, “No Pets”. Great. Who woulda thunk that when I acquiesced to our five dollar pet, who by the way lives in a forty dollar cage (there is just something SOOOO inherently wrong with that) that I would have to worry about getting kicked out of a Fairfield Inn?

Up the elevator we go, and I’m stressing about frozen rodent in my car tomorrow morning. But here is the beautiful thing about the difference in how men and women think…. We get up to the room and I’m trying to figure out how to hide her big ass round cage and get it into the room unnoticed… either visually or… or.. what is the word for smellurlary… you know, sensing by smell. Well, figure it out and place it in that sentence because it’s lost on me tonight. I was afraid they’d frickin’ smell her. There.

So as I am looking for blankets to put on her cage, and trying to figure out if I’m big enough to carry it and hide it well (I’m short), my husband says something like, “You’re worried about sneaking her up here? Hell, I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about bringing her down in the morning in front of all those people eating breakfast.”

Huh? Seems the lobby was empty at night, but not in the morning and that’s what he was concerned about. I laughed and said, “Hell, in the morning they CAN’T kick us out because we’ll have already stayed the night!”

So he brought her up, with no event, other than her cage rotates… it’s this big spinning cage and the noise of her spinning all night combined with the fact we were sleeping on truly the worst bed ever made, ensured we received no sleep.

The next morning, it was cake getting her to our car… where it was 32 degrees and my boys were begging for snow and my teeth were chattering and body was shaking… I looked like I was having a walking seizure.

We made it my folk’s house where she was safe for the week… but you could tell… you could tell the predator KNEW the prey was there. We could see the cat lurking close to that closed door, sniffing, knowing there was a potential morsel on the other end. It was very funny to watch, but we kept her safe.

And as much as a miracle that it was that we were able to get all that crap up to Pensacola, even a bigger miracle is that my husband was able to fit all the new stuff into the van and we could close it up. As we were leaving, The Great Omnipotent One looked at my spouse and said, “You have a list to the port side.” And indeed we did.


Blogger VW said...

Welcome Home! Glad to hear Fiona made it. Along with all of your gifts, kids and husband. ;-)

7:41 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Happy New Year and Welcome Home!!

Glad to hear everyone made it.

You were correct to fear for predator and prey. I had a standard dachshund growing up and my sister had a teddy bear hamster.

The dog slept with me. One night I felt him jump up to alterness and in the darkness I could see a light cream colored furry thing moving across the floor. The dog jumped down to investigate. I thought I was dreaming and went back to sleep (I was only eight or nine).

The next morning I found the hamster on the floor. I was just grateful the dog didn't return to my bed with it.


9:13 AM  
Blogger Harvey said...


Hey, Shakespeare made up words, too :-)

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to hear you are ALL back safely from the cold northern climes... Had to laugh at: "...I looked like I was having a walking seizure." I do the same thing now, after being down here so long. ;)

Next time you travel just leave the Princess with me. I promise Zoe won't get her. Really. No, really! :D


1:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home