Monday, August 8, 2011
I was leaning towards guinea pigs, Mitch was leaning towards nothing. The Roborovskis seemed like a perfect compromise. They are the size of a furry marshmallow and they live in a ten gallon aquarium that thus keeps their paper strewing capacities to a minimum.
Although I cannot explain why I wanted even more pets, especially ones that need their cages cleaned, I fell in love with these little guys at the pet store a couple of weeks ago as did Lucy. I think Lucy would have forgotten about them but she had her mom to advocate for her position. JoJo is agnostic on the mini-hamsters and declares that they are "too jumpy and fast." Honestly I think guinea pigs would be better pets for the little people because they are larger and calmer (and they make all those adorable squeaking sounds) but they need a lot more room (modern guidelines say several square feet of cage per guinea pig and you shouldn't have just one given how social they are) and their cage has to be cleaned daily. So with limited room and limited time for cage cleaning, mini hamsters it is.
I have had several moments where I thought, "I am crazy. What have I done? Why? why? why?" But overall they are super cute, soft, fun to watch, fun to hold, and very low maintenance. The girls and I take them out of their cage at least twice a day for handling and exploration time, I give them small amounts of fresh fruit and veggies, and I watch them redesign their bedding every day or two. The sound of their running on the wheel at night is actually soothing and the dog thinks they are dog t.v. for her. I am teaching her they are only for looking at, not touching (there's a lot of "off" right now. no dogs on the bed while the hamsters are running around on the bed).
I will keep you posted on the comings and goings of the world's smallest hamsters. If you live near Ventura and are thinking of guinea pigs, there are many nice ones up for adoption here. If you want to learn more about Roborovski hamsters, look here. If you want to know why I am so crazy and like to have so many pets, I blame my grandma who lived on a farm with chickens, cows, cats etc.
And if you are wondering what their names are - I pushed hard for Charles and Alfred for the fathers of evolution by natural selection but Lucy picked Rocket and JoJo named hers Cutie. I call them Charles Rocket Darwin and Alfred Cutie Wallace. Yes, they are both boys.