The festive season is upon us, so I thought I’d share a merry tale with you all.
Last week I was away at a conference and left my family to fend for themselves. I gave them a ring on the second night and found out that the hamster (a male Syrian hamster called ‘Tickles’) had escaped. My middle daughter had left the cage door open and Tickles had gone for a wander, anyway disaster was averted and Tickles was found safe and well.
The night I got back Tickles seemed to be ‘going for it’ in his hamster wheel and all seemed to be well. In the morning everyone was ready for school/work when there was a sudden scream from my middle daughter (it’s her hamster – and she keeps telling us as much too). Tickles was lying flat out in her cage and looked dead. I sent the children away and gave them the old “animals can’t live forever, he’d had a good life” talk – which wasn’t strictly true as he was only 6 months old. I figured he’d eaten something while being out on of his cage the other day. I took the children to school and told my daughter’s teacher about the situation. We decided we’d bury Tickles that evening. Sat at my desk ready to work I sent the following tweet:
I then received this reply from @glittrgirl
Was I wrong, was he still alive?
I got up and took another look at Tickles – he was limp and cold like a cuddly toy, but he was still alive. His cage had been in our conservatory, which although OK during the day was pretty cold at night. The manic running around in his wheel could have been an attempt to stay warm. It looked like he was hibernating.
I did some research on the Internet (hamsterific.com) and found out that this can happen when there is an extreme drop in temperature and that I needed to wake him up to save his life. I sat put the lifeless hamster onto a hot water bottle and started massaging him. Not a lot happened but I managed to get some sugary water into his mouth. By lunchtime there were signs of recovery but when I put him back into his cage he went all limp again, almost like he was in a coma. I ended up putting him on a towel on my modem (nice and warm – probably not a good health and safety tip) and spent any spare moment I had rubbing his and talking to him. I was now determined to bring the hamster back from the dead!!
By early afternoon Tickles was showing real signs of recovery and I was able to tell my daughter the good news at the school gates. She was very ecstatic (and only slightly disappointed that the grave stone she’d coloured at school would go to waste and that a guinea pig was now out of the question!)
So Tickles lives to fight another day and it’s all thanks to @glittrgirl and Twitter.
Merry Christmas to y’all!