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My mother is a teacher with a big heart. One day, a student's mom came to school with a cage of baby hamsters, that were found in a dumster. The mother couldn't keep them, but thought that it would be nice for classroom pets. My mom agreed. Well, my sisters and I just had to have a hamster, well, two hamsters so they would have a friend to play with. We took home a white one and a black one. We named the white one, Snowflake and the black one, Midnight. We watched them grow up as we played we them almost every second of the day. They knew our smell and always came to the cage door when we walked by. And, of course, we couldn't walk by without taking them out to play with them. Well, the two of them were still in the same cage...and I didn't know that when the became more of adult hamsters that they would fight until death for their own space. So, I had to separate them until we got a new cage. Snowflake was put in the bathtub, with all his belongings and Midnight stayed put where he was.But, in the process of separating them, Midnight bit me. I had gotten in the middle of their fight. I pulled my hand out quickly, as Midnight clenched to my hand, unknowingly. I blew in his face and he looked at me and immediately loosened his grip and covered his face. I thought that it was so cute and so human-like that I couldn't punish him. I could only laugh. After I stopped laughing,I did pop him gently on his nose and pointed to the blood on my hand. He made these little squeaks and backed up and covered his face, almost as if he was saying sorry. Both Snowflake and Midnight are now gone. In Remembrance of them, I'd like to say that they were so opposite of what the books said. Like they would bite you if you woke them up or whatever. They were the BEST hamsters ever. I miss them very much.

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Comment 1:

I think their names are nice! They sound like such a great pair - like salt and pepper!

It's always dangerous to separate fighting hamsters cos altho they don't want to bite you they are in a frenzy trying to attack.
July Feature
Abandoned hamsters and breeding
Recently, I was at a pet store where someone had left 6 adult hamsters and a mother with babies outside the store at night for the owner to find in the morning - kind of like how people once used to leave babies on the doorsteps of orphanages.

This was surely disheartening and I really want to remind people that breeding hamsters for sale is far from lucrative! However, I'm doubtful that this owner did this. It appears rather that the owner wanted to breed a pet and probably initially wanted to keep them (concerning the adults, I mean). As for the mother with babies, I cannot really fathom - perhaps the owner was scared of the new commitment? 

This picture below is of one of the hammies that was left there. He is the oldest and may have to be put to sleep if he can't find a good home. The picture next to that is another abandoned hammy, having a good afternoon nap. Isn't he a beautiful color?

The price of syrian hamsters has really gone down recently, especially after the introduction of dwarf hamsters to the market. Sometimes, they are also given free. There have been ads asking for people to adopt syrians.
Syrians hamsters are also difficult to keep together and most are fiercely solitary. Syrian females can give birth to numbers ranging from 1-20 and this means that each little bundle of joy needs a new functional cage, together with accessories - can you imagine 20 cages at home!!?

Pet stores cannot keep the hamsters for too long as there is limited space and they usually end up cramped and start to fight. The females also become pregnant when they are too young. I've heard people commenting that pet store owners do not sell syrians anymore because they are not profitable - one owner even told me he was "doing it for charity"....There was another store offering me a pick of all the hamsters in their cage for free and another their mice. I adopted one hamster. That is really the story of Toffee.

Pictures by Hui Jen

June 99

Hello  my  name  is  Sarah  Wheatcroft  and  I  am  Ten years  old. I have a  hamster    his  name  is  Hercules.

I  chose his  name because  when  he  was  a baby  he  looked strong  and  reminded  me  of  the  Greek  legend  of   Hercules .

He eats  nuts  and  hamster food  and throws  all  his  food  around  . He  is  not  allowed to  eat  Green  food  because  it  will  give  him  diarrhea  .

Hercules  is  a  golden  hamster  with  black  eyes  and  a  pink  nose,  he  is  Eighteen  months  old . He  has  some  pouches  in  his  mouth  which  he  uses  to  store  food   and  then  he  goes  to  bed  and  has  a  midnight  feast.  In  the   wild  hamsters  eat  grain  and  destroy  crops   .

You   must  clean  the  Hamster  out  every  week.  Because  if  you  don’t  keep  his  cage,  food-bowl  and  toys  perfectly  clean  he  can  catch  diseases.  To  clean  out  my  Hamster  first  of  all  I  put  him  in  his  play-ball  for  a  run  around.   Then  I  tip  his  food-bowl  bedding  and  saw-dust  in  the  dust  bin  and   soak  his  cage  with  warm  water  and  dettox.  While  this  is  disinfecting  I  wash  out  his  food-bowl   ,  bottle  and  house.  Everything  has  to  be  dried  thoroughly  because  Hamsters  can  catch  colds  just  like  Humans.  When   everything  is  dry   I  put  in  some  clean  sawdust  and  fluff-bed ,  fill his  food –bowl  and  get  him  some  fresh  water.  Then  the  cage  is  clean  and  tidy,  ready  for  him  to  go  back  in. As  soon  as  I  put  him  back  in  his  cage  he  dives  straight  into  his  food-bowl  and  chucks  his  food  all  around  his  cage .

Hercules  is  a  very  tame  Hamster  he  does  not  bite  and  you  must  never  scream because  it  will frighten  him .  We  play  with  him  every  day  so  he  is  used  to  children  and  this  has  helped  him  be tame.

Hamsters  are  nocturnal  that  means  that  they  usually  sleep  during  the  day  and  play  at  night  just  like  foxes  and  owls.  But Hercules sleeps and plays just when he  feels  like  it.  Hercules likes to play  in  his  ball   although  he  likes  to  bash  it  against  the  fire-place  so  that  he  can  escape. He is a bit of a thug really.

It  doesn’t  cost  a  lot  of  money  to  keep  a  hamster.  I  saved  my  pocket  money  and  went  to  a  car-boot  sale  were  I  bought  a  cage ,  food –bowl  and  water  bottle  for  five  pounds .  It  does  take  a  lot  of  time, love,  care  and  attention  to keep  ahamster  happy  and  healthy  just  like  Hercules.