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Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Appreciating The California Hamster Association

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.

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Judging at the hamster show
The California Hamster Association owes a lot to these two leaders.
dwarf hamsters
Photos Courtesy of Catya
Hamster shows are a great opportunity to make new friends! These are Campbell's dwarf hamsters from Linda's hamstery.

Hello, everybody! This weekend, the California Hamster Association just had another successful hamster show. We had a lot of new faces and people who were just getting their first hamsters here at the show, but we also had a lot of returning club members. My favorite parts of a hamster show are actually after the judging, when all the hamster breeders and owners get to “talk shop” and catch up with each other.

Over the years that I’ve been in the CHA, I’ve gotten to know the other breeders and their lines by listening to their hamster stories and getting the latest news from their hamsteries. Now that I’m about to go away to college, this will be my last hamster show for quite a while, so I was glad to get a chance to see everyone in the CHA again.

When I’m away at college, I’ll miss my friends and mentors in the CHA, like Linda. Linda is the president of the CHA, and the judge at almost all of our shows. She really got me started in the hamster fancy. My first Roborovskis were from her lines, and she taught me almost everything I know about Roborovskis. She encouraged me to start helping out at the hamster shows from the very beginning of my time in the CHA. Linda has always been dedicated to the cause of educating people about hamsters and hamster care, and trying to improve conditions for hamsters everywhere.

Another CHA friend I’ll miss while I’m gone is Nichole. Nichole has been the CHA’s secretary for years and years, and the hamster shows couldn’t run properly without her. She’s bred some of the best hamsters anyone in the CHA has ever seen, and she’s done wonderful work in figuring out the best way to feed and house Roborovskis. Whenever I hit a snag in my Roborovski genetics research, she was always eager to help me puzzle it out, or just offer support whenever the hamster breeding got frustrating.

chinchilla
Photo Courtesy of Catya
Sometimes, other types of critters tag along at hamster shows; this is a rescued chinchilla!

At the show this weekend, Linda and Nichole were telling me about what’s new in their hamsteries. Nichole had a sudden surfeit of baby hamsters, but, fortunately, she found good homes for them all. Linda has recently started raising and breeding chinchillas — in fact, she brought two of them to the show! It was really fun to meet Linda’s chinchillas, partly because I’ve never seen one in person before. The two she brought to the show were adopted when their previous owners gave them up because they had to move. Of course, Linda also brought some of her magnificently bred Campbell’s dwarf hamsters, who were way too cute.

That’s one of the cool things about hamster shows — you never know what cool things you’re going to see or learn, or who you’re going to meet!

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Appreciating The California Hamster Association

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Reader Comments
What a great organization!
Mickey, Tucson, AZ
Posted: 7/6/2010 7:34:03 PM
Cute
jill, wpg, MB
Posted: 7/5/2010 12:04:55 AM
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