A hamster is a rodent belonging to subfamilyy Cricetinae. The subfamily contains about 18 speciess, classified in six or seven generaa. Most have expandable cheek pouches, which reach from their cheeks to their shoulders. Because they are easy to keep and breed in captivity, hamsters are popular pets. Oh and they're also nocturnal by nature.
Exactly two weeks ago, a friend of mine, Bart, had asked the Missus to take care of his two pet Campbell's dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli), with the main intention of breeding them. Apparently the missus, before meeting God’s gift to women, had been a rather succesful hamster breeder. She was so good that at one point, she was putting up hamsters- for- sale- signs around the neighbourhood because she was running out of space to put them all up in her house.
Bart, who has had some experience over the years in keeping hamsters, has nominal success in propagating his hamster popluation. As such, he had asked whether the missus was interested in adopting them for a while, with the hope that his two babies, Papa and Kecik, would produce a large number of offsprings.
Bart supplied us with all of his hamster-ing equipment and the two rodents have been at the house for the last 2 weeks. One thing about this particular species is that, unlike their larger cousins, Dwarf hamsters are very unfriendly towards strangers. Unless a person has been handling and taking care of one since it was a juvenile, their reponse to any fool (ini this case, the fool would be me) would be with extreme prejudice.
It so happened that the Missus was ill the first week when we received the two and so it fell to me to do all the washing, feeding and playing (read: getting my fingers bitten off). My first task had been renaming them, much to the chagrin of Bart as I had named the larger male, Bart, after its owner and the smaller female, Ene, after Bart’s RL girlfriend (also a good friend of ours).
Due to the risk of severed digits I face everyday, I noticed that as of yesterday, the two little shites have started to show some affection towards me. More so with Ene. Although Bart still tries to remove a finger or two , I’m now able to hand feed him without too much trouble.
I have also noticed that Bart have started, and I quote; “mengejar si kecik dari belakang dengan rakusnya sekali”. After a few days of chasing, I further noticed that Ene have been easily lethargic and spends most of her time inside her small plastic house. A quick with Bart’s (human version) hamster handbook revealed that the females, during gestation, would not allow the male to copulate with her and is very passive. Ditto.
Ene, (the hasmter) if pregnant, would gestate for about 16 to 18 days. Therefore, in about 3 weeks time, hopefully we would hear the tiny patters of hamster feets running around the cage.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to replace the bandages on my fingers.
*until Ene (the human) sends me the pics of the hasmters, we will have to make do with a plagarised version from Wikipedia's.