Strolling down blog-memory lane, I came across the post copied below and laughed at something I had forgotten: that we ever had a hamster and that our oldest son, upon leaving to college, bequeathed the little pooper to his 7 yr. old sister…with a contract!
Although that had been lost to memory, I do remember well another aspect of his leaving as it related to her: she cried herself to sleep almost nightly for six months, even though she had two other teenage brothers at home to love on.
She’s now eleven, has none of her brothers left at home, and only cries for them occasionally. Her oldest brother has since graduated college and studying his Masters. The hamster? I’ve no idea…
Terms for Hamster Ownership – October 2007
My 18 yr. old son left to college in August and had to leave Rochester, his hamster, behind since his school for some weird reason doesn’t allow rodents…as pets anyway.
He allowed his seven-year old sister to become Rochester’s guardian, on the condition she sign the Terms of Hamster Ownership Contract. Mind you, she hardly knows cursive so I’m not sure the signature is legally binding. Below I list some of the clauses found in this contract (very useful should you need such a contract someday).
My comments are interspersed in green font within parenthesis:
I will not poke him through the bars, with my fingers or anything else.
I will not put anything in his cage except food and bedding or anything I buy at the pet shop.
I will only take him out of the cage when I’m changing the bedding or when my brothers are with me, provided they don’t do anything stupid (bound to happen…they’re teenage boys!) and Rochester only stays out for less than 6 minutes. (as if Katie has a stop watch!)
I will never leave the cage door open after I give him food, either with intention or by simple forgetfulness (huh?), because I know he can escape and fall and break his neck, or someone can step on him in the night, or he find a way outside where our cats will kill him and bite his head off. (great fodder for nightmares, son! And, btw, mom will be found doing the scream-and-smack- with-dad’s-shoe routine should she find it scurrying about in the middle of the night!).
I will change the bedding every 15th of the month, and give him lots so he can be warm and cozy. (oh brother, what is he, a man or a mouse?).
I will give him more water when the water is low, because he can die of dehydration, which is a particularly slow and painful death, within three days. (Thanks Dr. Doolittle)
I, Katie, hereby acquiesce (ack-wee-what?)to these requirements to keep Rochester safely.
There you have it. Yes, our seven yr. old signed this contract, even though she didn’t understand half of it, which led to an impromptu teaching on the dangers of signing your name to anything not understood. Brother or not!