Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Return of The Prodigal Son

On a lighter note, here's a little story with a happy ending.

On our second morning in Texas, I got a call from my mother. She'd been babysitting the dog, the fish, and the hamster, and when I heard her voice, my heart sank. Turns out darling Dr. Frizzle the hamster had gotten out of his penthouse, and was gone. Nowhere to be found. My poor mom was in a guilty panic, turning the house upside down looking, but to no avail.

Anyway, Dr. Frizzle didn't turn up, although my mom put out food and water for him and dutifully kept searching. This wasn't the first time the Friz had escaped, and once Pippin even sniffed him out. He'd never gone missing this long, though, and I prepared Hedgehog for the fact that he might not return.

We arrived back in Brooklyn to his sad and empty cage. I slept on the couch the first night to try and hear any sign of gnawing or scampering; no luck. Sgt. Pepper, however, claimed that in the early hours of the morning, a little shadow passed by our bed, moving more slowly than a mouse. I didn't believe him. Then, last night, I woke at 3 a.m. to Sarge shouting "He's here! He's here!" I ran downstairs, and Sarge was poking around under the radiator; he'd been unable to catch Friz, or maybe unwilling--he's a little unnerved by the rodent to begin with, and now that the rodent had reverted to a possibly feral state, the fear was greater--still, Sarge was intensely invested in the rescue. And in another moment, sure enough, there was Friz, trundling across the bedroom floor, a little dusty but without a care in the world.

Thus Dr. Frizzle was "rescued" (although I'm not sure how psyched he was about this), none the worse for wear--not dehydrated, seemingly well-fed. So, I ask, what was the free-ranging hamster doing for nearly two weeks out on his own?

21 comments:

Spider Lady said...

Free range hamster? I bet he was enjoying life free of bars! LOL, I had a rat that loved to escape and hide out under my bed!

BTW, I'm your granny!

Leah said...

Hi Granny! I think that might be where Frizzle was for all that time...however, I do think that rats are much much smarter than hamsters!!!

Suzanne said...

Dearest Leah,

That is too funny. And of course you write about it beautifully. I was just over on CSI's blog and commented about his 'glorious return,' only to see your name and think, "God I need some Leah." And you know what my Jewish sista? You never disappoint. Never.

When I went home to NY a few years ago to take care of my sister's family, I had to learn to love a hamster. Yup. He was in my nieces room and an adoptee from the class room. He spent every night churning on that wheel and I'd lay awake thinking "KNOCK IT OFF!!!!" I'd go out and sleep on the sofa for a few minutes of sleep before I had to get up and run that whacky household all over again. But I loved that hamster. He was in the wrong sort of enclosure, so I took the kids after school one day to buy him a new one. I also research on Google and learned he didn't have the proper bedding. It was good, but not perfect. I also bought him a new wheel. He also needed more veggies. He was such a happy camper in the new digs and stayed up all night, every night. I learned to slept on the sofa all the time. About a month an a half after I arrived back in CA, I received a very sad call. The hamster had died. I questioned everthing, but realized I'd given him the best end to his life, ever! But more importantly, I loved him.

On that note, I think Frizzle needs to be free range. Can't he just be litter box trained and roam around the house free and clear? Who wants to be in a stupid enclosure (prison) with a wheel? As long as he's loved and cuddled, fed and watered, he'll never go feral, he'll just be happy. Just a thought. You can Google that idea and probably come up with lots of options. Or perhaps free range part time?

Wonderful, funny post. Loved it. so glad you're back from Texas in one piece!

XO

Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

I will admit that I am really freaked out by hamsters. Long story short, bad experience with a newly purchased and pregnant (unbeknownst to me) creature while a sophomore in college. Gross results ensued. I won't elaborate.

Suzanne said...

Leah, not to worry. I deleted because for some reason I posted twice!

Suzanne said...

I was just reading through your profile on the way our because as you know, you backtrack. You like Amy Winehouse. Me too. Way too much. You're probably surprised, but as a sista, probably not. She's killin' me. If she dies from all the abuse she raining down upon herself, I'll never forgive her. How can creative people sometimes be so distructive?

I was listening to my two favorite videos over on youtube a few nights ago after a few months hiatus (because I was so pissed at her) and fell in love all over. I have loved her forever and can't believe that voice comes out of that body. I'm grateful we share her. Perhaps we should inform her she has two really amazing fans! That'll fix what her hubby and parents can't. Right? I laughed when Maxim magazine readers voted her one of the top 10 least desirable women. Why? I supposed because when she's well and at peak performance she could knock the socks off each and every one. Those men are such wimps. If they can't manipute a Playboy bunny, they don't know what to do with a real woman!!! Always makes me laugh. Let's hope she's on the road to recovery.

XO

Leah said...

Suzanne, Amy Winehouse rules! That poor, tragic girl. But she is very young--practically a baby, so maybe she'll "age out" of the lunacy. I always worry about her, you know? That is laughable about the Maxim list. And I agree with you.

Just this morning over waffles, Hedgie and I had a serious discussion about letting The Friz go free-range. Hedgie likened it to homing pigeons kept on the roofs of Brooklyn--they go out during the day and come back at night. But then we realized that he's like a will o' the wisp, and we might never see him again. As it is, he actually has an enormous habitat--three large cages all multi-level, attached with a series of tubes. He also has a large play pen. But I guess rodents really do want to roam...

Not So Cynical, I'm positively terrified to imagine what the experience with the preggers hammie could have entailed...I too had a hamster in college, named Patsy Cline. When she died, I made Sgt. Pepper go out behind the dorm and dig her grave and bury her...all by moonlight. What people do for love...but Sarge is overall sort of horrified by hamsters, although like you he's a total animal lover. He doesn't like the way they stare at you with blank, beady eyes. And the way they sort of flatten themselves out and scuttle... I sort of know what he means, although I'm quite enamored of the Friz...

CSI Seattle said...

Excellent wildlife recovery story. I have no idea how Dr. Frizzle survived his Weekend at Bernie's, but I suspect that the mice may have provided food and shelter until his discovery.

faycat said...

G & O told me the story of his return last night, we were all so relieved that he was back. I wish we could know what kind of adventures he had these last few days. And I love the idea that he has reverted to a feral state in just a week.

INNER VOICES said...

hmmm... its a good thing frizzle didnt get sizzled. thats what happened to mine as a kid. i was told he let himself out for a walk and days later found him cooking under my radiant heater... and sorry suz, if you let them roam around the house you will find little chocolates everywhere to clean up and keep out of kids mouths... not to mention little sticky circles of dust and dirt, hmmm... but its nice to hear of the stories about them coming back and being found!!

Lisa said...

I'm laughing so hard I don't know where to start. Having raised hamsters for a number of years, I know how not-so CKG feels about the mishaps that can come with a mommy to be hamster. Enough said. They are remarkable creatures and can live with what we would consider little or nothing. I'm glad that he seems no worse for the wear. I bet his domain is wonderful! He really shouldn't be "free-range". Not to be all gross, but the little poopies are just as harmful for you to breath as mice. He needs to be some place safe so that he can leave you things to clean up where you can find them.....As for Amy, I love her too, but I fear that she is her own worse demon. What are we to do? Glad that you are safe and sound again and that your visit to the other parts of Texas didn't kill you!

Robyn said...

Yippeee! he was found! Was hedgehog over joyed! He is a cutie pootie! And hey, I just read your post on the 'beast'! You had me rolling! You and me babe and our MIL's...aren't we so lucky! NOT!
Hugs,
Robyn

Robyn said...

Leah! What happened to your swap blog?! Hmmm...well it was enjoyed by me. :) thanks for sharing when you did!
Hugs,
Robyn

Skeeter said...

Dr. Frizzle, the free range hamster, out for an adventure. What a great story! It was fun. Glad he's back and safe though.

Leah said...

IV, your hamster got sizzled? Are they dumb or what? Why didn't he just move when he started to get hot? Oh, well, maybe he couldn't. Eurgh.

CSI, we speculated too that the mice took care of him...then Sarge suggested to me that maybe he ATE a mouse. After all, he's like a little bear compared to them!

Faycat, I think he actually has gone a little feral! He seems weird!

Lisa and NSCG--I had a sudden memory of someone's class hamsters and her babies--they cannibalize their young if they can't take care of them or if they get stressed out!!!!! Right? OMG.

Skeeter--I like to think he had a fun adventure. Maybe he was cavorting...or maybe just sleeping...

Hey Robyn! Hedgie was overjoyed but not as overjoyed as I was! I think I love that hamster more than she does even...I'm not sure why, he's just loveableish...

Cecile said...

Hamsters are too close to rats for me. I just look at them and think about all of the diseases they carry. UGH, you need to invest in a nice quiet hermit crab. I have three of them. It has never been documented that they carry transmittable diseases. I did my homework. Plus, they are quiet, very easy to maintain, and can feel quite creepy crawling up your arm. My three are named Hermie (I named him), Bluey( he came in a blue shell, Forrest named him), and Scooby Doobie Doo (he came in a shell with Scooby painted on it, Nathan named him. And he was a replacement crab for Redey. You see, Bluey trapped Redey inside a bigger shell and Redey died of dehydration, stress, and starvation. So we replaced him with Scooby, Scooby pinches BIG TIME. ANyway, enough of my rambles, I gave you an award on my page. Talk to you soon.

ShutterSpy said...

Thank you so much for your comments on my photos and on my guestbook. It means a lot to me :-D

The reason I don't post larger versions of the photographs is so that no one can steal them. I know my usual readers wouldn't, but there are some horrible people out there who might steal them. They might not be worth stealing, but who knows? I don't want to risk it. I'm sorry about that :(

I did put clickable pictures for the 'games' photos, but then took the links away just in case.

I will read more of your blog by the way, but I don't often have time to read the text ones, only the photo ones...but I'll try ;-D

Thanks again. See you around :-D

Leah said...

Shutterspy--that does make sense about the picture size, unfortunately! I think you're right.

Thanks for visiting!

Mr. Shife said...

Well he is a doctor so maybe he had to make some house calls? Glad Dr. Frizzle made his way back home.

The Queen said...

I'm so glad Dr. Frizzle was found. During the years of raising children and their pets we have had many unhappy tails (tales) to tell! Maybe you need to pen a tale of Dr. Frizzle's Adverture for your little one to illustrate?
I smell a cute children's book!