Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Douglas The Hamster Customizes The Couch

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
Looking for Douglas the hamster
When Douglas went missing, Catya knew to check under the couch, which was the hamster's favorite hiding place.

Photos Courtesy Catya
Douglas the hamster customized the couch by creating a hamster hole!

Hi again, everyone! It’s almost Thanksgiving, when my American readers like to be mindful of all the things they are grateful for. This year, I’m grateful that my dad’s hamster isn’t stuck in our couch!

It’s funny that I wrote my last blog about my dad’s hamster, Douglas, and his nightly playtime in the living room, because just the other day we had an interesting incident. It was time for Douglas to go home for the night, but we couldn’t find him anywhere — not in the playpen where he belonged, or anywhere else in the living room. The living room floor is about a foot lower than the rest of the house, so we knew he hadn’t left the room. But we still couldn’t find him.

Douglas likes to hide under the couch, so we looked there a few times, but even with a flashlight we couldn’t see him. Finally, while we were looking under the couch, I saw a weird motion. There was nothing on the floor under the couch, but the fabric of the underside of the couch was rippling strangely. Then I realized — Douglas had managed to get into the underside of the couch, through a hole in the fabric.

So now we knew where he was. But how were we supposed to get him out of there? At this point, Dad and I were lying on the floor with our heads under the couch, watching the fabric move as Douglas scurried around. Dad moved to the other end of the couch so that the hole was between him and Douglas, and started calling to Douglas.

Douglas is a well-trained hamster, and he will actually come when you call … most of the time. This time, he went to the hole in the fabric, but stuck just his nose through it. He seemed to be saying, “Why would I want to come out? It’s dark and cozy and fun in here, and bright and noisy out there!” Dad tried to coax him out, but Douglas just ran back in and kept playing. No doubt he thought the whole thing was very funny.

Undeterred, we kept trying to lure Douglas out of the couch. By this time, Mom had finished cutting the apple for the hamsters’ nightly treat, and she brought Dad a piece. Now we were on to something! Dad called Douglas back to the hole again, and this time when he stuck his nose through, Dad offered the apple. Douglas reluctantly squirmed out of the couch and toward Dad, and finally out from under the couch. Dad scooped him up and plunked him back into his cage, where Douglas happily tore into the apple piece.

Tomorrow’s project: repairing the underside of the couch so Douglas doesn’t get back in there again!

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