Thursday, February 19, 2009

Truce Declared in Hamster Wars

History, it is said, is written by the victors; or in this case, by the side with opposable thumbs.

At 7:26 a.m. Wednesday, the insurgent Bugsy the Hamster was nabbed in a recessed well where the seatbelt retracts in my truck. He was asleep. I had a pair of work gloves. He never had a chance.

He could very easily have become a casualty of our little war, but I am nothing if not humane and respectful of the creatures with which we share this planet, especially those that are supposed to be cute, cuddly and less trouble than a puppy. He had committed a number of crimes: desertion, evading capture, chewing through the wire to my cell phone ear bud. He certainly deserved whatever punishment I desired to mete out.

But Bugsy and I sat down for a little tête à tête, our own local Camp David Peace Accords of which even Jimmy Carter would have been proud. I signed a non-aggression pact. Bugsy laid his paw print upon a rodent non-proliferation agreement. All that was left was the prisoner exchange.

This time I imprisoned Bugsy in a 13-gallon plastic trashcan with sloped, slick sides. As an added measure of protection, I attached the can to the bed (not the cab) of my truck with bungee cord. He didn’t much like it, so I tossed in my phone ear bud with which, had it worked, he could have called someone who cared.

I pulled up to PetSmart and the pneumatic doors flew open as if they were some glorified Check Point Charlie. On either side stood a column of festooned employees, a marching band, and color guard to welcome home Bugsy, the conquering hero, the prodigal rat, their own little Nelson Mandela formerly imprisoned and persecuted by the human with the gas-guzzling truck. Bugsy trotted through his phalanx of supporters, the last of whom in her powder blue PetSmart smock scowled at me, ever defiant in my “1001 Uses for a Dead Cat” t-shirt. Sic semper tyrannis.

By the grace of God and the prevailing of a compassionate heart, peace reigns again in Hamsterland and in the House of Morton.


  1. You conquering hero, you! Peace managed - down to the wardrobing - I don't know that I've ever been more proud to call you friend. LOL

    Next time, just get the puppy.


  2. I hear that goldfish make nice pets.

    Bobbie Hinman

  3. Oh Lord, I think I just pee...nevermind. You my friend are a true prince among frogs...but frogs, jump...skip that.

    You are not only a good man, but an excellent Blogger.

  4. What a happy outcome. My brother's philosophy is that if its heart beats faster than yours, it is creepy and should fear for it's life. I'm quite sure if he had caught it, the hamster would not have made it back to Petsmart...

  5. Yay, Sam! Your moral highroad through all of this has served as a true inspiration!

    Still, the puppy would not have disappeared as easily....