Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Hamsters As Recovery Buddies

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
Kevin and hamster Cubbins
After surgery, Kevin hung out with Cubbins the hamster.
Angela with hamster Ursa
Photos Courtesy of Catya
When Angela had her tonsils out, she spent a lot of time with Ursa the hamster.

Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a happy Mother’s Day. And as the school year winds down, I hope we all make it through all of our standardized tests and finals!

The big news in my house these days is that my brother Kevin is currently recovering from an orthodontic jaw surgery. It’s the second of two surgeries he’s had in the last two months to correct his epic underbite. After the first surgery, Kevin had to adjust these big metal screws they put in his upper jaw, turning them twice a day. He’s been a real trooper about the whole thing, even when it was rough. Part of the reason he’s been able to keep his spirits up is that while he’s stuck lying down to heal, he stays in the living room with the hamsters.

Throughout the day, we’ll grab him a handful of hamsters to visit with whenever he gets bored or frustrated from playing “charades” when he can’t talk. Like a charm, a whiskery visitor cheers him up every time. Now that his recovery has progressed, he can get up to go visit with them, or just sit and watch their antics. He had to take several incompletes in his college courses because of the surgery, so he has work for those classes he has to do at home. But doing his coursework is never lonely with a hamster helping him out. He’s doing a great job of resting up and healing, even though he’s getting a tad sick of chocolate shakes. We all know that his great progress is thanks in no small part to the hamsters.

Hamsters are great recovery buddies. When my other brother Joe got his wisdom teeth out during spring break, spending time with the hamsters helped him too. He liked to watch them playing together, and sometimes he would lower his hand into the cage for them to run around or sit on. He also enjoyed holding the hamsters up to his ears and listening to them make their cute little “squeefle” sounds. Visiting with the hamsters always made him feel better.

My sister Angela has also seen the restorative powers of hamsters firsthand. When she had her tonsils taken out, she spent a lot of quality time with the hamsters. At the time, Ursa, a Syrian hamster from another breeder, was living with us, and Angela loved to play with her. Ursa spent many happy hours on the couch with Angela, burrowing around in Angela’s pillows for treats. Angela had us going back and forth from the kitchen all the time, bringing cheese, carrots and other snacks for the hamster. Ursa became quite tame from all the attention she got, and Angela was kept cheery and on the mend.

Hamsters may not be featured in official prescriptions any time soon, but they still help out if healing is your goal. As long as you’re not contagious, hamsters are always glad to visit with you and help you feel better.

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Hamsters As Recovery Buddies

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Reader Comments
Lol! I like that last paragraph!
Elie, ---
Posted: 7/27/2010 10:27:50 AM
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