11.26.2006

The best hamster ever.

My hamster Chess died over Thanksgiving weekend. She looked very peaceful, like she fell asleep and forgot to wake up.

I tried to think of ways to send her off. She was a calming presence, a constant in the hullabullooo of the past three years. I used to spend many evenings reading and listening to her run in her tub. I wanted to do right by her. I thought maybe I could bury her in a park. Or maybe I could put her in a little boat and set fire to it as it drifted off, ancient nordic Viking style. The more I thought about making these decisions, the sadder I got. I remembered I once drove Chess to Stockton to meet my baby cousins, but they were so scared of her. My mom played with her the most, and fed her bits of melon when she thought I wasn't looking. I realized I couldn't bury her in a park, because there are laws in place preventing that. I don't have my own little yard to bury her. There are no rivers in Los Angeles in which to set her adrift, and the Pacific Ocean's currents won't let her travel very far. The more I got tangled in these details, the more I cried. I just couldn't deal with all the logistics; all I could picture are little paws and fluffy fur. Whenever I laid my hand flat in her tub, she'd crawl right into my palm and sit there expectantly, waiting to be put in her ball for her excercise.

In the end, I put her in a little box, and put her in the trash. It involved the least amount of thought possible, and I really didn't want to think anymore.

I wanted to do right by her. In the end, I couldn't.

No one should have to be practical after losing someone they love.

2 comments:

Jill said...

I'm sorry about your hampster. I followed a few of her adventures, when Spiffy was babysitting and somehow developed an affinity to your hamster.

sasstastic said...

Thanks Jill. And yes, Stan often stole Chess's affections. You were supposed to babysit my pet, Stanley, not make her like you more than me.