My friend and fellow University of Nebraska MFA Graduate David Atkinson posted a link to an article about a man with too many hamsters, noting that it reminded him of a story of mine.
Here’s the link, and below is the story. It goes better for the hamsters in the link.
Lonely Days Are Gone
It started with one hamster because he was lonely and wanted companionship and his landlord would absolutely not allow a cat or a dog but instead suggested a bird that would stay in a cage such as a parrot but the lonely man’s aunt had had a parrot when he was younger and quite possibly she still had it or probably it died but maybe she got another one he really didn’t know he hadn’t visited her in quite awhile which saddened him since he now knew what it felt like to be lonely but at any rate it had always seemed that the parrot was taunting him and it wouldn’t shut up and the thought of it reminded him of his ex-wife and that quickly turned him off of the entire bird idea so he opted instead for a hamster but of course after a few weeks the hamster was not as peppy as he too had grown lonely and needed companionship so the man went out and got another hamster that the first hamster could hang out in the cage with but the first hamster was kind of mean to the new hamster and wouldn’t share the food with him and one day the man found the second hamster dead so he threw it in the trash and went and got another hamster but this time also got a bigger cage with a retractable partition so the hamsters could play together during the day but be separated at feeding time and the hamsters seemed very happy and so the man felt happy but that night he was awakened by a lot of scratching and thrashing coming from the direction of the trash can and it turns out the second hamster hadn’t died after all but had passed out due to malnutrition but since there was plenty to eat in the trash can he was revived and so first thing in the morning the man went and got another even bigger cage with yet another partition and he put his hamsters in it and all seemed very content but one day after some time had passed he came in to find that the third hamster had had six baby hamsters and it seemed that the first hamster was helping her take care of the babies which was enjoyable for the man to watch but eventually he began to notice that the second hamster acted as if he felt left out like a third wheel so the man went and got more cages with more partitions and a girlfriend for the second hamster with whom he got along great but time passed and passed and no babies so the man took them to the veterinarian who told him that no babies were born because both hamsters were girls but this confused the man because when he had just the first and second hamsters they did not get along and had no babies so he brought in the first hamster and the veterinarian told him that that hamster was also a girl and this is when the man realized he had the first and third hamsters mixed up because hamsters kind of look alike so he went back home but not before stopping at the pet store to buy more cages with more partitions plus boyfriends for the third and fourth hamsters and over time all the pairs had babies and the babies grew and formed new pairs and more babies and before he knew it the man had lots and lots of hamsters and was very busy feeding and cleaning and buying cages and retracting partitions but the man eventually realized that the hamsters had not kept him from feeling lonely and soon after he spent a week locked in the bathroom crying and no one fed or watered the hamsters and they all died.