I let a rodent into my house. In fact, I spent a decent chunk o’ change to create the right habitat to welcome this rodent. It’s a Russian Dwarf Hamster and its name is Nutmeg, which would sound like something I should like but which, in fact, is still a rodent and still makes me want to visit the trap department at Ace. I caved because the 7 year old spent a year feeding and watering the dog to prove that she’s responsible. And she is, by comparison. Just today, she cleaned the cage, replaced the bedding and washed off the hamster poop that has accumulated over the last week, all without a single word from me. Of course, she washed the poop off by using my kitchen sponge, the one I use to wash dishes. Is it luck or the love of the Kitchen Gods that told me to walk into her room at just the right moment? I’m doing some anti-nausea breathing even as we speak so I don’t throw up. Just think of it: “Mom, what’s the tiny black thing on my toast?” Oh, why that would be a bit of hamster poop. Eat it and call yourself lucky, child.
The perky, eerily rodent-like worker at PetSmart said to us, "Oh, you must love pets!" To which I replied by making a vaguely threatening gesture and muttering under my breath, "Gotta raise kids, gotta compromise, better than a snake."
For my part, I’ve never wanted a hamster or a mouse or a rat or a guinea pig or any other kind of animal that normally requires a homeowner to set bait. Wait, scratch that. I never wanted a rabbit, but I was never opposed to the idea of them as pets, either. Maybe that’s because, knock on wood, so far I haven’t had one in my garden.
On the other hand, I have had my children in my garden. They eat a lot of the stuff I produce and they don’t offer that much help. I let them stay in my house and they make a mess and spread disease and germs. So, maybe I’m not so far removed from loving rodents after all.