Wednesday night last week. I bought a pair of hamsters for me and my best friend. We have been together for almost a year now so I decided to buy something to mark our first year anniversary, aside from the cute little Tedi Bear I gave him upon returning to Manila from a two-day visit in our home for my two younger brothers’ graduation. I only meant well when I decided to buy the said pair of cute rodents, but for some reason we had a big fight that drove me really mad, causing me to throw my phone and the box which housed the two hamsters.
I continued walking to the jeepney station. Inside the jeep he sat next to me, handed me the paper-box, and paid our fare. I said nothing, still enraged on how meaningless my simple act of appreciation had become. My eyes were already teary but it was when I felt the box and checked inside did I start crying. The other hamster was already limp and still. Its legs were obviously affected by the impact when it hit the ground. And knowing how fragile those creatures were, I knew right then that something was wrong.
Preparing them a home was one the of things I did upon getting home. Since the cage was still unavailable when I bought the hamsters, I needed to improvise one. I took the medium-sized box and made a large rectangular cut-out for a window, which I covered with a hard clear plastic film. I then made a small box for a bed, so that they can sleep together while the other one is still alive. I placed the two hamsters inside their new home and watched their initial reaction to the environment. I knew that it wasn’t that big but it’s comfy enough as a temporary home for the little hamsters.
I watched how the injured hamster regained its strength after I fed them with a piece of bread and a slice of carrot. I could see that it can no longer use its hind legs, so I was surprised when I saw it dragging its body using its front legs. It crushed my heart to see the damage I’ve caused the injured hamster. The other healthy hamster, on the other hand, was busy exploring the box, looking for holes or any chance of escape.
By morning, I visited the cage again to see if they had already downed the food I had given them the other night. I noticed that the injured hamster was no longer moving. I carefully took it in my hand. It was still breathing. I was again teary eyed as I gently stroked its fury head. There was nothing to say but “sorry.” And it died. The other one followed the next day.