December 7, 2014

May you forever rest in peace.

This past Friday, the 5:th of December 2014, Gumman laid down for her final rest in the emergency ward of Blå Stjärnan animal hospital.

Gumman was a pearl-white Djungarian dwarf hamster (Phodopus sungorus), also known as a Russian winter white dwarf hamster. She was given to me two years past, when I moved into my current apartment. I never thought I would bond this much to something so tiny. Despite her small and fragile body, she made me feel safe and at home.

A tiny, lazy, inquisitive and generally happy little ball of fur. The veterinarians were always surprised at how calm and kind she was. When set loose, she would speed over the floor looking for treasure. She even converted my bookshelf into her own personal mine, for what resource she was digging I can only but guess.

For food, she loved maize, tomatoes and sunflower seeds. And, of course, anything that I was going to eat. Bread, meatballs, green peas or soup. She wanted it all. And most times I let her have it, though always in much smaller portions than what she had in mind. At one time she got so curious she bit into a piece of raw onion, which resulted in sneezes and desperate attempts to clean the vile taste from her nose and mouth. Which to me looked absolutely hilariously cute, though she later decided to blame me for the event…

Though she got quite old by her species reckoning, she never quite got over the stress of having her cage cleaned. After I had cleaned the cage and put everything in order, she quite often rebelled by moving all the bedding to a completely different spot. Or move her sand from her tub, and into my bed by which her cage still stands.

It has been two days since the vet put her to rest and my mind have yet to fully realize that she is gone. I can still hear her tiny paws at work or the cute crunching sound when she chewed on her carrot. I still take the detour to the bedroom every time I go to the kitchen or the toilet, just to see that she is ok. And at numerous times, I have had to put my hand into her nest and feel the cold bedding to verify that it is no longer occupied.

What ended her happy existence was an infection on her ovaries. This sapped all her strength, and the veterinarian could do nothing but offer her a quick and painless end. I hope she could recognize me through the haze of the tranquillizer. That she could hear my voice, feel my fingers stroking her tiny cheek. And I hope, that she passed without fear or regret.

Good night, my sweet. You were the light of my life. Good bye.

© Sebastian Hörberg 2018

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