My daughter and I are animal lovers. We pretend that the circle of life consists of the grocery store creating meat in factories and then we give them money so they’ll make more.
Living in Missouri, this is a rough time of year for us. Deer season is upon us which means my entire Facebook feed is full of photos of dead deer carcasses. Not to mention the horror we see just driving down the highway with deer limbs and heads sticking up out of the back of pick up trucks.
A few years ago, my daughter and I sat in line at a drive thru. In front of us was a pick up truck, hanging off the back was a dead deer head just staring at us as we painfully ordered our sausage breakfast sandwich. Neither of us ate much.
This is how Charlie entered our lives. Not through deer season, but through guilt over dead animals.
Two years ago, our cat Herman was frolicking outside when he decided he needed a play toy in the form a cute little mouse.
He found one.
We named him Ron.
While I completely appreciate, and can relate, to a cat’s personality, I wholeheartedly disagree with their fascination of torturing small rodents for fun.
Kill it, eat it…okay. Batting it around my back porch just because it’s fun…no.
When I found Ron, he was barely breathing, in shock, but still alive. No visible wounds.
Ron was promptly brought inside where my daughter immediately took over with her rodent intensive care unit and loving gave him the name “Ron.” She cared for Ron and loved him for his remaining 8 hours of life. But alas, when she woke up the next morning, Ron had gone on to a better place…..where there are no cats.
This lead to many tears and the pleading for a hamster. I was opposed at first. But Mommy guilt took over at her broken heart over Ron.
That’s when Charlie “Chuck” came into our lives. Charlie quickly became my favorite pet. He never required veterinary visits, he kept to himself, he didn’t need to be let outside, he minded his own business, he was never needy.
I loved him because he could care less whether I was dead or alive.
My daughter’s friends became obsessed with Chuck. He was the first thing they went for when coming to our house.
Chuck passed in his sleep this weekend. He lived a long life in hamster years.
My daughter cried a little, but I think she cried more when Ron, the cat toy, died. She felt that being a hamster guardian for Chuck was too much work. Feeding him and cleaning his cage once a week must have been SO exhausting for her. So it seemed to be a little bitter sweet that Chuck moved on to be with Ron, in rodent heaven.
To announce Chuck’s death to all of our friends and family, I posted his obituary on Facebook. It was meant to be humorous, but it turns out people were deeply saddened by this news.
All I received were 😢 😢 😢 and comments like, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” “RIP Chuck, you will be missed.”
I wanted to just say, ” People! It’s a hamster….with an obituary!” But I didn’t want to be ‘that person’ during their mourning process.
Maybe it turns out I’m not the animal lover I thought I was when compared to my friends. Maybe I just need new friends.
Obituary of Charlie “Chuck” the Hamster
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Charlie “Chuck” the Hamster. Charlie passed away in his sleep somewhere between November 10th when we last fed him and November 12th when we noticed it was too quiet.
His life consisted of nearly two full years of trauma and joy spent with Abigail and her entire girl squad.
Charlie was loved by all, dropped by all, squeezed by all, starved by all and most importantly, survived daily stares from the cats licking their lips.
His favorite past time was stuffing an entire baby carrot in his cheeks and then trying to fit through small openings.
He is survived by Miss Abigail Keller, Enzo, Herman, and Howard. He has been buried in the back yard lovingly by Abigail’s brother who then concluded the burial session by playing “Taps” while stifling his laughter.
All of the 8th grade girls have been notified and are saddened by this loss. He was always the life of their parties. In leiu of flowers, donations to the Hamster replacement fund can be given directly to Abigail’s Mother.