Wednesday, February 3, 2010
All In The (Hamster) Family

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
three Syrian hamsters
Syrian hamsters Oneida, Bossy and Sophie were Spoon’s daughters. Sophie and Bossy inherited the “talkative gene” from their father. 
Syrian hamster
Photos Courtesy of Catya
Jasper, a Syrian hamster, inherited some of her hamster relative Ossy’s color and markings, along with his sweet temperament.

Hi, everybody! Since my last blog, the California Hamster Association had their January show, and it was awesome. The show packed the house to its fullest, and everyone had a grand time. There were a few familiar faces returning, including the wonderful folks from Wee Companions (who I mentioned in an earlier blog), but also lots of newcomers. I’m so glad that all of them got to see the world of the hamster fancy and learn more about hamsters.

One of the fun things about going to hamster shows is that you sometimes get to meet your hamster’s relatives! Douglas, my dad’s hamster, is descended from my brother’s hamster, Spoon, and we sometimes see other “Spoon-spawn” at the hamster shows. As you might remember from way back when, Spoon was the ancestor of all the rex (curly-coated) hamsters in the CHA, so his great-great-great-grandchildren are easy to spot. Even now, so many generations removed from The Spoony One, himself, their curly coats and quirky personalities reveal their heritage right off the bat. It’s funny, but there really is a family resemblance in their temperaments.

Another hamster who left a mark on all of his descendants was Ossy. Ossy the Syrian hamster has been an important part of one hamstery’s bloodlines for many years. He was a carrier of all sorts of sought-after genes, but he was also one heck of a talker! You see, most Syrians won’t squeak or make much noise at all unless they are angry or afraid. But not Ossy — he would squeak, squork and chuckle up a storm at any little thing. If you picked him up and held him, he would sit there in your hand, cool as a cucumber, but “talk” to you the whole time!

The really weird thing about Ossy is that he didn’t just pass on his coat and color genes — he also passed on his talkativeness. To this day, at nearly every hamster show, you can find several Syrians who “chork” away merrily when the judge picks them up. Without fail, every single one of the talkers has been descended from Ossy! The sound of one of Ossy’s relatives giving you that kind of running commentary is a little tricky to describe, but it’s kind of like a cross between a piglet’s oink and a crow’s caw. Spoon was descended from Ossy, as were several other hamsters I have had over the years. When I hear that distinctive chatter it brings a smile to my face and many happy memories back to mind.

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cute pics awww
Tommy, pocatello, ID
Posted: 2/11/2010 8:18:36 AM
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