Groom your hamster
My daughter has a hamster, Nebuchadnezzar. It’s a long-haired, grey animal, about three years old - which means that it is approaching the end of its life. We have never been able to positively figure out if Nebuchadnezzar is a he or a she. Oh, well. When we first acquired“Nebu chan” from a school friend I had my own personal pets - four “imori” water lizards. They were fascinating, just like green pond turtles (which I have also kept as recently as five years ago) are also fascinating. But the water lizards are not cuddly like a cat or a hamster. Currently I have no pet of my own so I like to cuddle and play with Nebu each evening when Emma re-fills its food dish, or changes the litter.
I hold Nebu in my hands and rub my chin and cheek against the length of its warm, soft furry body, using my bristly whiskers as a kind of comb to groom its fur. I like to imagine Nebu enjoys this, like a cat seems to enjoy being petted. Anyway, I like it, and that is enough. I don’t tell Emma that when I watch her trying to kiss Nebu, the hamster recoils in front of her face. She can’t see it recoiling because it’s so close to her. Maybe Nebu also recoils when I’m rubbing my face against its body, but I like to imagine its not.
One recent evening after playing with Nebu Emma commented that it smelled like papa. She didn’t elaborate. Was it aftershave? Sweat? Bad breath? Testosterone? When I’m grooming the hamster the only smell I detect is the vague odor of hamster urine.