Today’s word is Chagrin … oh, and I’m talking about hamsters

cha·grin (sh-grn)

n. A keen feeling of mental unease, as of annoyance or embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or a disconcerting event

As in … Much to the chagrin of our family cat, my girl is hell bent on bringing a hamster into our household.

Okay, whatever. Milo would probably be positively giddy about this delicious new member of the family, even though I don’t think his fat ass is cat enough to catch a cold … or a drift … or innuendo. (Fine, I’ll stop.)


Either he’s drunk or I rest my case

Anyway … my girl’s been bellyaching about adding a rodent to the mix for years. We (meaning she) have entertained the idea of ferrets, guinea pigs, gerbils, field mice (also known as Snake Chow) and now, finally, dwarf hamsters. And, after pussyfooting around with starter pets like goldfish, tadpoles and hermit crabs, I purposefully jumped ahead to cat, hoping to skip the intermediate vermin level.

No such luck.

Her birthday just passed which, I’m ashamed to admit, we haven’t really celebrated yet. I mean, we did have cake and a few small gifts but her party (likely of the roller skating variety) won’t happen until later this summer. At that time, she is planning to ask if she can “hamsterize” her room. (Feel free to use that verb liberally. It’s mine. Let’s see how long it takes ‘til we get it in the dictionary … or at least on Modern Family.)

She keeps reminding me that the hamster is “only $10.”

  • “I’ll pay for it myself! “ she offers.
  • “I’ll keep it clean so the cage won’t stink!” she promises.
  • “And I’ll guarantee that Milo doesn’t eat it!” she pleads.

Aww, that’s not how the world works, sweetheart. You can’t make that last promise. And, frankly, neither can Milo. Trust me. He’s got plans. BIG plans, my dear.


But we promised we would consider it.

So, we’ve both been Googling rodents (relax, it’s more humane than it sounds) to determine things like (1) which ones suck the least as pets? (2) which are least likely to bite off your fingertips? and (3) which are the best escape artists and, subsequently, the best wall and wire chewers? Thus far, Dave has found some truly useful and interesting information. He’s actually helping my child and family with this decision.

I, on the other hand, have proven to be completely useless. Here’s where I wound up by mistake last night:


It’s from Craig’s List and it’s 100% real, but the phone number was deleted for the sake of the writer. After reading it … during my girl’s play rehearsal in a CHURCH, mind you … I fell over laughing and completely lost my train of thought for “real” hamster research.

Will we or won’t we?

Only time …and my love for cedar shavings …will tell.


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25 responses to “Today’s word is Chagrin … oh, and I’m talking about hamsters

  1. I say go with the stuffed one. See if the guy can’t also install wheels on its feet so your daughter can drag him around on a leash!

  2. Sadly, it’s been my experience that hampsters don’t last long…this even in the Vigee Home for Geriatric Pets (the place is famous for its long-lived critters.) Advice? Get a common looking hampster in case you don’t feel like dealing with the inevitable. Sometimes it’s a good lesson; sometimes it’s not a “convenient” time. 😉 Let me know…would love to add a hampster accessory to her bday present. Should you decide to go the taxidermied route, would love to provide stuffed critter accessories….Hula skirt & mini flip flops? Purple & gold feather boa? Possibilities are endless.
    Laughing at you having a rodent in the house! So not you.I CAN see the calf grazing in the backyard tho…

    PS – hampsters are pretty slow & easily caught. gerbils are fast as lightening…better to get away from Milo, but super hard for you guys to catch. I had a gerbil that lived in my closet for days b/c he was so fast & wily.

    • Wily. 🙂

      That’s good stuff, H.

      P.S. And good point about their speed of escape. Honestly, I’d rather that we (even Milo) be able to apprehend him. Or her.

  3. When my sister and I were growing up both of us got hamsters for some random “Hallmark holiday” one year, I believe it was Valentine’s Day? Not sure what about Valentine’s Day screamed out to my parents “buy your offspring small rodents” but I will cut them some slack as this was, *cough*, ages ago! Well the things lived for 7 or so years and I was at the age where I no longer wanted a burrowing rodent as a pet but my sister advanced to a guinea pig! This thing was horrific! Not only did it smell it was psychotic and it’s name was Foofer! Foofer would lunge at the cage everytime someone other than my sister walked by. Also did I mention that Foofer smelled like low tide? Fast forward a few years and my sister started to lose interest in Foofer which only seemed to make Foofer thrive! My parents took us to Hawaii over the summer and my boyfriend at the time stayed at our house to “babysit” our cat and Foofer! When we returned home my boyfriend met us in the driveway looking ashen! When I asked him what was wrong he told me that my father had offered him 200 dollars to make Foofer “disappear”(my father could not stand Foofer’s aroma and had been bitten by the thing several times attempting to clean his cage)! Well Foofer became ill why we were away and my boyfriend was so scared that he somehow might have inadvertantly made this guinea pig sick that he brought him to the vet!! Bottom line; Foofer lived for another 3 years and my Dad was out 500 dollars for emergency vet care for an animal he despised plus the wrath of my mother! 🙂

  4. OMG that is hysterical – FOOFER LOLOL

    I got a NASTY bite from the hamster once…he snuck out one day (i.e. I didnt fasten the door) and he was running loose upstairs in the bedrooms. Being nocturnal, I would hear him running in the middle of the night. I heard him chewing on a shopping bag I had on the floor, so I grabbed the flashlight, snuck up on him and grabbed him. With that, he turned around and bit my thumb to the bone. Screaming, as I would not let him go because I didnt want to lose him again, my husband jumped up, threw on the light, and there was literally blood everwhere….I couldnt hold on anymore and he scurried away. This was the ornery one in my blog above, not the sweet one who was preggo and I didnt know it.

    I gotta tell ya, Mr. Rat was great. THEY DONT BITE AT ALL. I even had given him a bath and he SCREAMED the whole time, but never put a tooth on me. They are VERY smart and VERY social. They love to hang out on your shoulder and just chill. BEST Part was that HE DIDNT SMELL AT ALL. I had to clean the hamster cage 2x a week as the urine was atrocious. Mr. Rat could go 2 weeks, sometimes longer. They are VERY clean.

  5. Actually, as I just noticed the obvious – have you considered a ferret? My screen name is a bit of a misnomer….well, boy ferrets do smell more than girl ferrets, but its really not terrible at all…..VERY fun pet and could give Milo a run for his money…

  6. This is just too damned funny for words!

  7. Those Hamsters would be great for a Frat-House, too.

  8. I had a dwarf hamster in my classroom one year. He was really sweet, soft, easy to care for and low key.

    Chris and I owned a ferret (Mojo) for 7 years. He slept 20 hours a day, but the 4 hours he was up he was like a toddler. He was always getting into something and the older he got, the stinkier he got.

  9. I would definitely get the stuffed hamsters, mainly because my kid is four and while it would be exciting for a day or two, she would quickly turn control over to me – I already have a fish that refuses to die, a cat that hunts everything in our yard, and the chickens that the neighbor quit taking care of that moved over to our house. Funnily, the cat brings me birds, snakes, and other vermin, but won’t touch the chickens or fish. Sigh.

  10. First of all, excellent post. I laughed so hard my coworkers are staring at me.

    Secondly, you made me miss my hamster who has been dead for almost 3 years. I absolutely adored my hamster and was so sad when he passed. 😦

    Finally, as a former vet tech who used to work with rodents and other exotic critters I can’t resist chiming in seriously on this subject:
    (1) Do not get a dwarf hamster. While you might occasionally be lucky enough to meet one that likes people and enjoys being handled, 99% of these little cuties are crabby little bastards with very sharp tiny teeth. They generally despise being handled by anyone, especially children, and will not hesitate to bite you every time you try to pick them up. If you decide to get a hamster, go for the teddy bear hamsters – they are the most docile and are also fluffy and adorable. Plus they are larger than the dwarf hamsters so they are less likely to get out of their cage and get lost in an air vent. Yes, this really happens.
    (2) The average hamster only lives to about 18 months of age. I have known hamsters who lived as long as 4 years, but they are the exception by far. Most of the hamsters I’ve known have not made it past a year, despite being very well cared for.
    (3) If you do end up getting a live hamster, don’t use cedar chips (or pine). They smell great, but the thing that makes them smell so great is also a respiratory irritant and can make your critter very sick. Go for aspen chips or a paper bedding like CareFresh instead.
    (4) Do not under any circumstances buy the food that is a mix of pellets and seeds and corn kernels. It’s like feeding a kid a bowl full of candy, ice cream, and cookies, with some brocolli mixed in. They will eat all the tasty stuff and ignore the important stuff. Instead, get a fortified pellet like Owxbow or something of the sort.

    If you don’t buy those taxidermied hamsters, I might just buy them myself.

  11. kelleysbreakroom

    Oh, that is hilarious!! That cracked me up. It also sort of made me a little sick. 🙂 That reader above me knows about hamsters! If we ever go that route, I’m coming back here to read that comment again.

    (Thanks for linking up with us over at #findingthefunny this week!)

  12. Too funny! We had several hamsters growing up – they’d always get out and live in the walls. 🙂

    You were one of the most clicked links at last week’s Finding the Funny party. We’re featuring you on Wednesday! Anna @ My Life and Kids

  13. Pingback: Happy Birthday, ODNT! | Guapola

  14. Nothing says “kid’s pet” like a taxidermied hamster! And think of the savings on hamster food!

  15. Oh my word, that is hysterical!!!!
    It’s funny how it’s usually a very thin line between idiocy and brilliance. These “stuffed” hamsters could go either way. 😉

  16. Don’t do it! For all the reasons you already know, don’t do it!

  17. bahaha! um, that taxidermied hamster nut is freakin’ crazy!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Oh. My. Goodness. The internet really is the source of all joy and happiness in the world. Love the pics of the cat and the fact that he doesn’t get “innuendo”—silly puss. Great piece. Erin

  19. I am mounting a resistance against the growing Hamster-need movement at my house. I might consider the stuffed ones, though. Ha!

  20. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m
    looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

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