Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Balancing School And Hamsters

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 image to enlarge
two hamsters sitting in a hamster wheel
Photos Courtesy Catya
Hamsters Jasmine and Ariel await their evening snack.
girl helping care for hamsters
Catya's cousin learns about the daily responsibilities of owning hamsters.

Hello again, everyone! I loved harp camp, but it’s great to be home and see my hamsters again. I missed them while I was away, and I think that maybe they missed me too. Now that I’m back, it’s time to start gearing up for the new school year – memorizing my class schedule, shopping for school supplies and getting organized. In all the hustle and bustle, it can sometimes be easy to forget something or someone … or, in my case, several someones – the hamsters. It’s not their fault I have chemistry class this year and tons of homework to do. They count on me to be there in their daily routine, and I have to make sure I don’t let them down.

Having older hamsters means that in addition to getting myself ready for school in the morning, I have to check on them and feed them their morning treats. They get a piece of tofu to get them through the day, because they have trouble chewing the regular food.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does require me to get up a little earlier. Likewise, in the evenings, I have to save a little free time to hand out fresh veggies and check on each hamster again. Then, of course, there’s taming and cage cleaning; to be a successful hamster owner one has to be a whiz at time management. 

I certainly could use some more practice in that department. This semester, I’m taking some evening classes at the local community college. To avoid short-changing myself or them, I’ve started taking care of the hamsters before I leave for my classes. It took a while to figure out this system, though, and before I did there were more than a few times that I arrived home and dove into my homework right after class. It wasn’t until after I finished, sometimes after midnight, that I realized that I couldn’t just crawl into my nice, warm, comfy bed because there were hamsters counting on me. I might even have grumbled a bit about the work of taking care of hamsters on those nights. 

But in the long run – heck, even in the medium run – it’s well worth it. I love watching all the hamsters come out of their nests at once, waiting eagerly for my visit and the yummy things that I bring. I love sharing my life with my hamsters, even if it means that I have to plan my day a bit more carefully to include them. 

How has owning hamsters affected your schedule? What time-saving tricks have you developed to help you take care of them?

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Balancing School And Hamsters

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Reader Comments
I hope your hamsters don't feature as part of your chemistry homework...

Do you find that the process of taking care of the hammies gets quicker/easier with time? Now that you have so much experience, does it take less out of your day?
Fred, South Bend, IN
Posted: 8/28/2008 10:18:15 AM
waaaaa! Your blog made me sad because I have to go away to college next year and leave my hamsters behind at home. My little brother will take care of them but I will really miss them. Luckily I can come home on the weekends and I hope they won't forget me.
Sally, Fitzgerald, IA
Posted: 8/28/2008 10:13:11 AM
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