I Should Not Be Held Accountable For Killing My Hamster

It’s blatant admission time.

For as a child, I had a small cute adorable little hamster named Sleepy. Yes, the lack of knowledge in my still growing brain had no idea that hamsters were “nocturnal” animals — who sleep all day and play all night. Yes, I went ahead and named him Sleepy because despite some nighttime fun and excitement, this little adorable apple-chunk eating fluff-ball was like an unemployed roommate in the daylight hours.

Yet sadly, I would be responsible for his ultimate sleep.

Still, I shouldn’t be held accountable for killing my hamster. There was never any autopsy or any vet who came to the scene of the crime, broke out their flourescent hand held blue-light thingie and determined that my drool had been found near the habitrail and that it was me who was responsible. I wasn’t pursued on my Big Wheel by local authorities. I woke up one morning, looked over at my little caged pal, and realized that he just wasn’t moving.

So I squirted water on his tail, big deal.

Here’s the thing. If you decided to build your home on top of, oh let’s say, an old Indian burial ground and then suddenly family members started to die because of the spirits and ghosts who were buried in that Indian burial ground, and you actually happened to know you were building your house on top of an old burial ground (unlike the family in Poltergeist who had no idea they were building their house on an old burial ground) then it’s your fault you and your family died while living atop Chief Walks With A Limp’s burial ground. It’s not the city’s fault (who owned the land before you) and it’s not the local law enforcement’s fault (just because they didn’t show up to help you) and it’s definitely not the fault of anyone in that neighborhood who saw what was going on and just didn’t help.

All. Your. Fault.

So if my hamster Sleepy happened to build his little home of wood chips right under his own water bottle right there in the corner of his little plastic cage…and if periodically I happened to squeeze that water bottle and watched giddily and adolescently as water hit his tail and made him do a little shiver-dance…who is to blame?

Not me.

Because had you, Mr. I Can Build My Wood Chip Home Wherever I Want hamster, actually built your home on the opposite side of the little plastic cage then there’d be no dripping water on your tail, no potential sickness and definitely no death at the hands of your owner, some guy who will remain unnamed for this portion of this piece.

Yeah yeah, so you’re saying out loud to the screen something like, “Well dude, you were still the bratty little kid who squeezed the water. That’s like saying, if you build your home somewhere and then some kid breaks the damn upstream and it floods your house and kills everyone that it wasn’t your fault.”

Let’s not get carried away here, okay?

A hamster cage doth not equal a home downstream from a dam. But while we’re on the subject of building your home downstream from a dam, can we go ahead and agree that if you build your house on down stream from a dam, on stilts, near a fault line, right on the beach, in the hills of a country where guerillas often control the political system instead of the elected officials, or near a Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater — it’s your fault, no matter what happens.

That being said, I should not be held accountable for killing my hamster.

Was I sad when he died? Yes. Do I regret my potentially fatal actions as a child? Of course. Do I think that when my parents got me a second hamster it contained the very angry soul of the hamster I potentially killed and that’s why the second hamster was always trying to bite me, always trying to escape, and eventually did so in the walls of our family’s two story house? Probably. Was giving away the second hamster a way for me to forget the entire situation and wipe my hands clean of the situation? Well, yeah. And also because that second hamster was psycho.

Am I sorry? You betcha.

But I just can’t help it when I say that if hamsters were smarter they’d build their wood-chip beds in better places, and had Sleepy been a smart hamster such as that he probably would have lived at least a few years more. And again, who builds a house under a water bottle?

I mean, seriously.

(It’s obvious I still haven’t come to terms with this.)

22 comments on “I Should Not Be Held Accountable For Killing My Hamster

  1. Hilary - June 5, 2006 at 8:19 am -

    Thanks Pauly. Now I’m feeling badly about overfeeding my goldfish (which resulted in his death) when I was 7.

  2. Pauly D - June 5, 2006 at 8:21 am -

    Hilary – I hope you were reprimanded for that. That’s, honestly, a pretty heinous thing to do to a goldfish.

  3. Kevin - June 5, 2006 at 8:38 am -

    My brother can be held responsible for killing our gerbil, though. He was running through the house with the gerbil in his hands, tripped and let the gerbil fly. It struck his Bigfoot R/C car and snapped it’s neck (I’m assuming… there was no official autopsy).

  4. Jacquie - June 5, 2006 at 9:40 am -

    So are you using us as your therapists again Pauly?

    Well, hopefully you feel better now. RIP Sleepy!

  5. sandra - June 5, 2006 at 9:41 am -

    I never killed any of my animals — because I’m not an evil animal hater…! That said, I did raise guinea pigs who committed — repeated — incest…and had several goldfish commit suicide. I’m not sure which one of us sucks more, actually.

  6. Nicole - June 5, 2006 at 9:42 am -

    I won a goldfish once at a carnival. I had never had a fish before, but I looked online for instructions on how to care for my new pet.

    The first time I changed the water in his bowl, I carefully poured him into a cup of the old bowl water while I washed out the bowl and refilled it with clean water. I added the recommended number of drops of whatever that solution was, and it was fit for inhabitance once again.

    But then I had a thought — I couldn’t pour the old, dirty water into the new, clean water. That would defeat the purpose of the cleaning I had just completed. And furthermore, my little fish had been swimming around in his own filth. So I decided he should have a bath before he went back into his newly-cleaned home.

    I ran some room-temperature water, gently cupped him in my hands, and ran him underneath the stream twice, back and forth. Then I gently slid him into his clean bowl.

    But he just floated there, on his side. I thought maybe he was in shock, or maybe he was playing possum. But when he didn’t move after a few minutes, I realized I had killed him.

    Regrettably, this was only a couple of years ago. So I can’t even blame childhood innocence for my crime.

  7. Syd - June 5, 2006 at 10:21 am -

    So essentially your hamster died of “Wet Tail”? That can happen.

  8. Pauly D - June 5, 2006 at 10:28 am -

    Syd – I try not to give the situation or accidental death any kind of “name” like Wet Tail. I prefer to just say that my hamster accidentally built his bed in the wrong place and paid the price.

  9. Syd - June 5, 2006 at 11:16 am -

    Pauly would that hold up in court?

  10. susan - June 5, 2006 at 11:45 am -

    GUILT is a terrible thing. It can chew away at you like a hamster nibbling on an apple piece. It can make you shiver-dance like cold water dripping on you. GUILT GUILT GUILT.

  11. Neil - June 5, 2006 at 12:48 pm -

    Paul Davidson — blogger, author, animal killer.

  12. better safe than sorry - June 5, 2006 at 1:04 pm -

    i see, it’s chucky cheese that killed your hamster.

  13. john - June 5, 2006 at 1:17 pm -

    My cousin killed her hamster by vaccuming it up. She was trying to keep it from running away and pointed the vaccuum tube at it. It got sucked up and we found it crushed inside the duster bag.

  14. Kiki - June 5, 2006 at 6:07 pm -

    When I was a child, I had two gerbils and two cats. I kept the gerbils in a wire cage atop a high shelf. One morning I found one dead gerbil stretched under the wheel and one slightly bent wire. I never found the other gerbil. I kick myself for not keeping those gerbils in a cat-proof cage.

  15. Pauly D - June 5, 2006 at 6:12 pm -

    Kiki – See!? You did your due diligence. I wouldn’t accuse you of killing those gerbils. It was their fault for getting caught in the first place and becoming domesticated.

  16. Anne - June 5, 2006 at 8:06 pm -

    I had a rabbit once that had a heart attack and died because the neighbors’ dogs came and teased her. Her name was Maxine but we called her Max.

    Hm…I drowned a deer once! (That’s quite another story!)

  17. Jerry - June 6, 2006 at 7:44 am -

    late entry for sure but, I once received a hamster as a gift from a college roommate. It was a rare “russian dwarf hamster” that I think was an overpriced gray mouse with its tail docked. He ran all night slept all day and stank to high heaven 24/7. He also bit like a ravinous cannibal. I put up with him for the better part of a year.

    One day I just decided rodents, regardless of what the pet store says, are not pets so I released him onto the patio of my ground floor apartment. He looked at me only briefly before scampering off beyond the concrete. Not even a second glance back as to say thanks for allowing me fullfillment of my naturally destined life in the wild.

    The next day a stray cat sat on my patio with a lifeless “field mouse” in its jaws. Well, I tell myself it was field mouse so as to sleep soundly at night.

    Pauly, as one who grapples with the same guilt of negligence (and abandonment), I absolve you of any part in Sleepy’s death.

  18. monkeyinabox - June 7, 2006 at 9:13 am -

    I killed a fly only. Later I felt back and named him ‘flew’

  19. Jenny - December 29, 2006 at 5:52 pm -

    My hamster, Hemi died two days ago. Everytime I think of her I want to cry. I don’t know if she was psycho or normal because she was the first hamster I ever had. She would bite people and then try to escape her cage so eventually I gave up trying to handle her or take her out of her cage. Two weeks ago she stopped eating, a week ago she stopped drinking water. Then yesterday morning I found her stuck in her tube with her little legs stuck out like a chicken. I wanted to die. I guess I resented her for being aggressive and being the smelly thing in the corner and just ignored her after I gave her food and water. But I think ultimately her untimely death was the result of what a lot of people lack in this world.

    A lack of love.

    Rest in Peace Hemi. 9-20-6 to 12-27-6.

  20. Brittany - March 21, 2007 at 7:15 am -

    I have owned many pets over the past few years, and right now I own a rabbit, a budgie, 13 fish, 3 gerbils and a dog. the fish are living over there time and my rabbit who’s previous owner had no clue how to feed it is finnaly becoming a nice sized rabbit… i mean they over fed it!
    I’v owned 2 hamsters, chipper, silver both died of old age, and just to tell you people hamsters and gerbils that bite are a bad case pet, unless that hamster is a dwarf hamster then thats just natural, if you are ever wanting help looking after a pet or something email me at brittchip@hotmail.com
    I named my email after my first hamster ^_^

  21. […] Perhaps a story about the time I got my foot caught in an escalator. Or the time I accidentally killed my hamster. Or about the time I tried to watch The Ring in the middle of the daylight hours (in an attempt to […]

  22. Eatmyclit - March 24, 2018 at 10:21 pm -

    Wet tail isn’t literally when your hamster dies because it has a wet tail you fucking retard! Wet tail is an illness hamsters get due to stress where they get diahrea its called wet tail because they get diahrea and can’t clean themselves properly because of it. They usually die of dehydration. Ita not cuz you PUT WATER ON ITS TAIL YOU ARE A FUCKING RETARD.

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