In Memoriam

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re probably familiar with my least favorite, family pet, Butterscotch.

What started off as enthusiasm for a cute and unique, (non-mouse) first-pet for our daughter, quickly evolved into a loathing disdain for a too-fast-too-hold, quick-nipping-nightmare of a rodent.

The divide widened when my daughter—whose only chance to bond with her pet was by sitting in a dry bathtub together while he darted around seeking an escape root—lost interest in the weekly cleaning of his cage and then abandoned feeding him daily rations all together. Guess who got saddled with hamster duty?

DH and I selected this pet for two reasons: 1. because our daughter desperately wanted two mice and this was as close as we could come to a mouse without the tail and infestation issues; and 2.  life expectancy for Robo dwarf hamsters is 1-3 years. More


Operation Butterscotch Freedom

[Continued from yesterday’s post…]

Yet again, I was cleaning the 21st Century Cage. As usual, I placed Butterscotch in his ball and left him to explore the floor. Thirty minutes later, I realized it had been a while since I heard the familiar rolling sound of ball against hardwood. Assuming  yet again he had lodged himself between door and wall somewhere, I didn’t panic. I placed the clean cage back on the shelf and though it was merely mid-morning for Butterscotch, I was ready for bed.

A quick glance across the room revealed why I hadn’t heard Butterscotch rolling across the floor lately for there sat his overturned hamster ball, the lid several inches away. It had finally happened: Operation Butterscotch Freedom. More

Butterscotch: the Century’s WORST pet!

[A post in two parts]

Last year, our daughter asked us for a pet mouse. I, who grew up with every ilk of rodentia, found her request charming. DH, on-the-other-hand, whose most exotic pet was a cat, said no. His reasons were simple, you can read about them here.

He and I discussed her request for the better part of a month and finally agreed that Santa would deliver the encampment for her ward, her parents would help her determine the resident. We settled on a Roborovski Hamster. She named it Butterscotch.

In hindsight, I wish I had done a lot more research on Robos than I had. Instead, in my eagerness to fulfill my child’s wish, I concluded: they’re small, cute and from Asia; terrific, so was she. What I discovered, post facto, was: 1. Robos are the fastest of the hamster family; 2. they’re nocturnal (in other words, the moment More

Butterscotch: the 21st century pet

For Christmas, my four-year-old asked Santa to bring her two white mice and a purple cage. Santa, being the omniscient and clever old elf he is, brought just the purple cage.

(He also thoughtfully left a note explaining that he was pretty sure mom and dad weren’t as keen on the mice as our daughter but had fulfilled the purple cage wish in hopes that we could all decide upon the perfect inhabitant together). Nice work, Santa.


The purple cage is super cool. I’m pretty sure if the Jetsons had owned a hamster instead of Astro, this is what his cage would have looked like.:

(Note that this is the Extreme Challenge edition–clearly targeting 21st Century parents aiming to cultivate Mensa-level rodents for their above-average offspring.)

Here’s the 360°, external hamster wheel (of which our non-Mensa quality rodent only goes 90º back and forth in hopes of accessing nearby wall, thus ensuring escape from tormenting captors).Here’s the snazzy, spiral access ramp to the wheel:

Next stop, pet shop!

We made sure the parameters were clear in advance, she had two choices: 1. a large hamster, 2. a small hamster. NO mice, NO  gerbils, NO guinea pigs.

Here she is checking out the large hamster (note look of complete indifference on child’s face)






Clearly option 1. wasn’t cutting it. On to option 2: the Robo.












Since acquiring Butterscotch, we have taken him out for handling and observation on a regular basis. He also has been exercising diligently on his external hamster wheel.

Since beginning this blog entry, I have learned that Robos are not only the smallest but also the fastest breed of hamster.

Now taking bets on how long before Butterscotch’s cage renders him bright enough to find his freedom…

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