Tag Archives: herve

The Scariest Morning I’ve Had In a While (Don’t worry. It ends well.)


For anyone just tuning in around here, I have one husband, two children and two pets. Sometimes I feel like we should get a third pet just for the rhythm and flow of that first sentence. Then I regain my sanity and realize you don’t take on another live responsibility so the description of your life is more poetic. Milo the cat and Herve the hamster are plenty. (shaking head at my own stupidity) Why am I explaining the cast of characters in my home? Because they all figure into the lunacy of my morning today. Prominently.

Milo (left) and Herve (right). BFFLs … I guess.


My day started like all others. Too early. With my eyes first opening around 5am. Followed by the realization that I had to pee. Nothing new. (Damn, peanut-sized bladder.) Then, for the next hour, my brain woke me every five to seven minutes in a cold sweat thinking I’d overslept. On a school morning. A school morning with exams. It just can’t happen.

I’m the rooster in the family. I’m the first one up every day. It’s my job to wake everyone up, one by one. And I always start with Dean, my 15-year-old son. Between homework, after school activities and televised athletic events, that poor kid never gets enough sleep during the week. As such, he’s hard to wake up in the morning so I usually spend a few minutes just hanging out with him chatting in the dark. (I don’t mind it one bit, by the way. It’s some of the best conversation we have all day.) And, while we’re chatting, Milo usually drifts in and out of the room waiting for us to get up and fill his food bowl.

Everything was following the usual pattern this morning until I exited his room to start getting ready. And I noticed Milo fixated on my daughter’s closed bedroom door. She was still asleep. But Milo was staring at the bottom of her door with the focus of an English Pointer voted Best in Show.

I knew something was up. A bug? Maybe even a roach? I didn’t know. But from the backlighting coming from within her room, I could see that something was pressed against the bottom crack of the door. The hallway was still dark and my eyes were still sleepy so I called my teenage son to come inspect the situation. He walked over and crouched down on the floor to get Milo’s perspective. Then he spoke. Nothing could have prepared me for his next words.

“I see a hand, a furry hand, much bigger than Herve’s, reaching in and out.” I stared at him in disbelief and my blood ran cold.

What was on the other side of the door to the room where my daughter lie fast asleep?!!?

For reasons of which I am not proud, I took off not into her room but down the hall to my bedroom where Dave was still asleep. “Get up! Get up! Get uuuuuup!!!! Dean said there’s something in Vivien’s room sticking a hand out under the door. And he said it’s NOT HERVE!!!”

Dave jumped out of bed from a deep sleep, totally discombobulated and ran down the hall …. past Vivien’s room, mind you … and into the living room.  He looked around, totally confused and likely still half asleep, when he got there. “NOOO! In your daughter’s room. It’s in your daughter’s room,” I yelled.

Dave ran back to her room and threw the door open a little harder than he probably should have. Given the fact that it WAS Herve. (pause for collective exhale) He was just on the other side of the door. Alive, I should probably add. Harmless, old man Herve who had a stroke last Christmas Day and now pulls to the left when he walks and falls over into a ball every few steps was the thing that had just scared the living daylights out of everyone.

Dave scooped him up, checked him out and declared him to be fine. I stopped almost swallowing my tongue and started breathing normally again. We hugged Milo and applauded his probably-not-intentional rescue efforts. And we instructed our obviously-more-blind-than-we-thought son to go put his contacts in immediately. Oh, and Vivien? She slept through all of it. The noise, the running, the panic. Good God, I envy that kind of sleep.

Of course, how Herve escaped his cage (I suspect the door wasn’t properly latched) and further how he survived the two-and-a-half foot drop to the hardwood floor unscathed (that would be like me falling four stories) will forever remain a mystery. Needless to say, there’s an extra latch on his little door now … should Houdini ever decide to go for an encore. And the cage? Well, that’s now located safely on the floor.


Seriously? You can’t tell me there’s a huge, furry hand coming out of my child’s room and not expect me to lose control. I think my heart’s finally starting to descend from my throat.

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My hamster is starting to resemble Macauley Culkin


And sadly, I don’t mean precocious, crime-fighting, scream-while-aftershave-slapping Macauley. I’m talking about the ninety-eight pound, chain-smoking, allegedly-heroin-addicted Macauley. Scruffy-haired, thin and always jonesing for … well, let me back up a little.

You guys remember Herve, right? Vivien’s sweet little pet rodent who has actually become such an important part of the family that he’s appeared on not one, not two but THREE Christmas cards. Even Milo loves the little guy. (Fine. I’m lying about that last part. Milo is a cat. And you can’t tamper with the food chain, right?)

Anyway …. last month, something sad happened. And I haven’t wanted to write about it until now. On Christmas night, after we returned home from a long day of gluttony and family togetherness, I went to Viv’s room to check on Herve. And what I found there was a little disturbing.

I took one look at Herve and knew he wasn’t right. His head was upturned to the right, he was woefully unbalanced and he was manically active. I panicked. And I called out to Dave and Vivien. They both came immediately but Vivien was so upset that she fled the room in tears. Dave thought I was crazy for calling her in to see him in the first place. Honestly, I didn’t think Herve was going to make it through the night. And I knew she’d never forgive me if I kept him from her on his last day.

She was crying. And I was crying. Me. About a hamster. Honestly, I was as surprised about that happening as you probably are reading that it happened. It’s just that we all really care about the little guy. Not only is he adorable, but he’s one of the sweetest, gentlest little creatures I’ve ever met. He’s only nipped me once (pardon the pun) and that totally was not his fault. Seriously, what’s not to love?

The next three days were sort of touch and go. Viv and I both stayed close to home and checked on him often. Truth? I was so certain every time that I was going to find him dead that I made Dave accompany me … every time. But then he didn’t die. We made it through Friday, Saturday, Sunday and even Monday … and he was still wobbling around a lot but still going strong.

I was stunned. I had already stashed a small red box from one of my Christmas presents in the back of my closet in anticipation of …. well, you know. (I still feel absolutely TERRIBLE about that, by the way.)

 When he was still with us on Monday morning, I decided it was time to take action. For those of you who have been around a while, you may remember that there’s actually an exotic vet in my neck of the woods. And, last summer, I actually took Herve to that exotic vet for a much lesser issue. So, needless to say, I called the veterinary office to explain what was going on with him. They agreed to see him that very afternoon.

Both kids came with me to his appointment. And, unlike Herve’s last visit, we all three got to go into the examination room with him this time. The doctor was great. It turned out she’s married to an old co-worker friend of mine. She was wonderful with our little guy. And she explained that, while it was possible that Herve was dealing with an inner ear infection, it was more likely that he’d suffered a stroke on Christmas Day. Exactly what I suspected.

We left the office with three different medications and special food that we were supposed to administer to him with a syringe. Were we up for it? Well, of course, we were. What you guys don’t know is that I had a diabetic cat named Toby who required two daily shots of insulin a day for EIGHT YEARS.

And how hard could it be to administer three prescriptions medications to a hamster, right?

Actually, it really was easy. Especially for one of the medications. The first  was for infection. He liked it okay. And now he’s finished with that one. The second was for imbalance. He liked it a little less than okay. But it’s also finished. And the third? The third is a pain medication. Notice I said “is” because he’s still on it. Think of it as a morphine drip of sorts. Something to “keep him comfortable for the rest of his days.” And he absolutely LOVES THE EVERLIVING CRAP out of it.

He knows when I’m coming in to give it to him. He runs to the door of his cage and jumps (read: stumbles uncoordinatedly) into my hand. He can smell it. Sense it. Already taste it.

Don’t believe me?

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See those grabby, little hands?

That’s the pain meds at work. We never saw that kind of passion with the antibiotic. He’d take the whole syringe into his bulging cheek pocket if I didn’t keep such a a tight grip on it.

My poor little junkie.

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The ODNT, Jr. “Vote for My Mom” Campaign (Part 3)


Maybe it’s because it’s a big election year.

Maybe it’s because she loves me.

Or maybe it’s just because it provides yet another platform for her to showcase her two favorite little varmints.

In any event, my girl is determined to help me secure my position in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms Contest. Previous campaign efforts include Herve in the Kitchen and Herve’s Crippling Food Issues. And now she’s back with a third creation, her latest pro-ODNT propaganda entitled “The Case of the Missing Hot Pocket.”

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Confused? Don’t be. It’s a pretty simple concept. She draws something funny, you laugh hysterically and then you think to yourself, “Gosh, what a funny blog! I wonder if there are any nice people out there who give awards for this kind of crazy stuff.” Well, wonder no more. The answer is yes. You can vote right here. Every day until February 13. And here’s how:

1. Click here.

2. Scroll down to ODNT.

3. Click “VOTE.”

Silver Circle – Vote daily AND pressure friends to do the same.

Gold Circle – Vote daily, pressure friends to do the same AND post on all social media.

Platinum Circle – Vote daily, pressure friends to do the same, post on all social media AND wear sandwich board whenever awake to help promote the cause.

You can vote for as many women as you like. I recommend AccordingToMags, HotMessMom and Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms … to name just a few. Take a minute and look around once you’re in. There’s a whole mess of funny at that party. Just remember to vote. So ODNT, Jr’s efforts aren’t all in vain. Thanks.


* * * * * Got five seconds? * * * * *

Please click that FANCY PANTS PINK BALL (above) to visit the Circle of Moms site and vote for ODNT for Top 25 Funny Moms.

I need this, people! Someone stole my Hot Pocket!

Vote daily ’til February 13. Thanks!

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The ODNT, Jr. “Vote for My Mom” Campaign (Part 2)


Remember my sweet girl’s plan to get me named a Top 25 Funny Mom? Well, her efforts continue with this second drawing … depicting Herve the Hamster and his overeating disorder.

20130131-094436.jpgSeriously, how can you resist a campaign poster with rodent poo all over it? 

So, please take what I guarantee will only be two minutes of your time to throw a vote my direction. It’s really important to … (cough, sputter) … my daughter. And, as with most things in my life, I’m going to need EVERY SINGLE VOTE to keep up with the powerhouse of funny ladies with whom I’m nominated.

Here’s what I’m going to PATHETICALLY  BEG of you until February 13:

1. Click here.

2. Scroll down to ODNT. Lower … lower. Yep, there I am.

3. Click “vote.”

Please do it every 24 hours. And call your grandmother, your high school chemistry teacher who tried to fail you because you confused Mendelevium with Manganese, even your plumber … and ask them to do it, too. I’m not kidding. I love your plumber. He’s a riot and I think he really gets my sense of humor.

You can vote for as many women as you like. I recommend AccordingToMags … and HotMessMom and … well, you just can’t go wrong with any of them. Just vote. Often, please. And TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Thanks!


* * * * * Got five seconds? * * * * *

Please click that FANCY PANTS PINK BALL (above) to visit the Circle of Moms site and vote for ODNT for Top 25 Funny Moms.

I need this, people! I’m using vermin feces to gain votes!

vote daily ’til February 13. Thanks!

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There should be a weight limit to determine who gets to be on the Christmas card


Last week, we finally got around to celebrating my girl’s birthday … which was in May. Don’t judge. We all have busy lives, right? Anyway, we had a roller skating party for a bunch of her little girlfriends. And I LOVE how important it still is for her to say “Mama, come skate with us!” I DON’T love that my butt still hurts from the two spills I took at the party. (The first was a shoelace malfunction so I chalk only the second up to genetic spazzery.)

Anyway … my point is that we’ll pretty much do anything for our kids. Right? Of course, right. Which is the perfect lead in to today’s post. Remember that hamster my girl’s been angling for since last Spring? The one she swore she could keep Milo from ingesting?

Yeah, THAT one.

Well, a mother can only take so much begging. I guess I kept thinking about the cats … and dogs … and birds … and gerbils … and newts … and fish … and whatever else we managed to coerce MY parents into getting for us as kids. And I broke down. As always, Dave was there long before I was. But he had a pet nutria as a kid, for freak’s sake.

So, with my boy sleeping out the night of the party, it was just Dave, my girl and me. And naturally, I thought “What better way to pass the evening than to bring a rodent intentionally into the house?”

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Three pet store visits and $50 later … and we had him.

We must have seen at least 30 hamsters that night but my girl honed in on hers immediately. She liked him because he was the runt and he was all wet because he kept spastically falling into his own water bowl. (Sigh.) Do we really need another clumsy little freak around here?

So, anyway, without further ado, please allow me to present the latest member of our family …

  • the one Milo is most excited about …
  • he poops in your hand but not in your … (Bet I could turn that into the world’s grossest M&M slogan)
  • your hamster … and mine

Herve!

(Pause for applause. or laughter. your call)
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Are you thinking of Fantasy Island, too? Because I just can’t shake it.

I just know this little varmint is going to provide me with miles and miles of blog fodder. So, thanks in advance, Herve. I realize you might actually be a female but my girl said your name would still work because it’s “HER-ve.” … What’s that? Please just shut up and go with it. You’re a hamster. What do YOU care?” … (cough, sputter) I mean, uh … Welcome …

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… and please don’t kill me.

(Sigh)

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read to be read at yeahwrite.me