Sunday, June 1, 2008
First Hamster Memories

By Catya
Catya is a judge with the California Hamster Association. She shares her experiences in hamster ownership from a high school student's perspective.

Click images to enlarge
hamster held in hands
Photos Courtesy of Catya
Boo, a Campbell's hamster, was named after a videogame character.
hamster in housing unit
Catya named Tom Bombadil from the character in the Lord of the Rings.

Who can forget their first hamster? I have heard hundreds of hamster owners tell me the stories of their first hamsters. Although I have loved every hamster I’ve owned, there’s something special about the first time you bring a new hamster friend home, the first time you name them, the first time you watch them run in their wheel and groom themselves and hide their food in their cheek pouches and all the wonderful things that hamsters do. For me, that time came when I met my first pair of dwarf hamsters, Tom and Boo.

My name is Catya. I’ve been a hamster owner for five years, starting with Tom and Boo. Tom and Boo were Campbell’s dwarf hamsters, the most common dwarf species. I was 4 years old the first time I saw Campbell’s dwarves. They belonged to my sister’s friend. They were so cute as they ran every which way in their wheel and through the colorful tubes on their cage. It was then that I decided hamsters were the pet for me.  They are fun to have, easy to take care of and they don’t bother my mom’s allergies. If I keep up on my cage cleaning, they don’t make the house smell, and I never have to vacuum fur off of the furniture.

Of course, 4 years old is not the right age to own a rambunctious pair of dwarf hamsters. I would have to wait. Once I turned 11 years old, my parents said that I could finally get hamsters – if I could prove that I was mature enough by keeping my room clean, staying up to date on my homework, and practicing the piano faithfully. I worked really hard to meet their requirements, until at last the day I had been waiting for arrived. I was going to have two hamster friends to call my own!

I was so excited on the trip to go pick out my hamsters.  I held each of the Campbell’s in the cage, to see which ones I liked best. One of them was a brown and white guy with a loopy personality. He was crazy and funny and seemed interested in finding out who I was. The other one I liked was much calmer, a sleek gray hamster. He had a dignified air about him, curious and interested but not hyperactive.

These two also got along together nicely, so I chose them. On the way home and as I set up their new cage, I thought about what to name them. As you may have guessed, the brown guy got named Boo and the gray fellow was named Tom. Boo was named for a videogame character and Tom was short for Tom Bombadil, from Lord of the Rings.  When I put them in their new house and watched them explore it for the first time, I knew that we would spend many happy days together.

What about you? Do you remember your first hamster? What kind of hamster was it, and what did you name your hamster? I’d love to hear your stories about your first hamsters! 

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First Hamster Memories

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Reader Comments
My first hamsters wer Winter White hamsters from PetSmart. They were sooooooooooo SWEET!They were 5 or 6 months old. The guy didn't really know. Their names were Faith and Cotton.
Brooke, Noblesville, IN
Posted: 10/22/2009 9:54:23 AM
My hamster was a (female) normal colored Syrian named Hercules. Very nice pet, never bit!
R, S, CA
Posted: 7/29/2008 7:48:27 PM
I think it is great! my first hamster was a panda hamster. her name was Tinsel. she died. i will really miss her.
Raeanna, Nampa, ID
Posted: 6/6/2008 7:34:03 PM
Great article! I have never had hamsters but i hear they are just great. Really good writing!
Markelle, New Berlin, WI
Posted: 6/6/2008 6:26:19 PM
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