Since my childhood, I have been a pet lover. As a six year old child, I begged my parents to let me have a guinea pig, which they allowed after some time. She lived in an outdoor hutch, with easy access to fresh green grass. I spent afternoons after school playing with her, becoming good friends. On the odd occasion when she would escape, she would only return to me.
Some years later, we moved and the school I attended had a pet rat who lived at the back of the classroom. We all took turns looking after the rat in class, and taking it home at the weekends. It was fun watching the rat’s antics as it played inside its cage, and running on its wheel. Sometimes we spent more time watching the rat play, than doing our school work, much to our teacher’s dismay.
As a young adult, living in a small flat, having a dog or cat was not allowed, so I turned again to small furries. This time getting three fancy mice, who all lived together in a small mouse house. Although these mice were lots of fun to watch, their wheel constantly squeaked, so at night it was sometimes quite annoying. Over time they became quite friendly, and I was able to carry them around on my shoulder or in a shirt pocket.
Many years later, after getting married, when deciding on pets to live with us in our small flat, the small furries came out on top yet again.
Over the last eighteen years my wife and I have had two Syrian hamsters, three dwarf Chinese hamsters, six dwarf Russian winter white hamsters, and four gerbils.
We have loved each of them as if they were our children. They have each had their own personalities and quirks, and as each has passed we have mourned their passing, but their memories live on.