Left holding the babies!

On Sunday 17th August, I drove Laura and her friend to Chester and then after one of Mum’s lovely Sunday roasts, I came back home, leaving the girls to stay there for a week. The pair of them are such delightful giggle-pots when together, that I wondered if Mum knew what she was in for 🙂

Mum had to work Monday and Tuesday but had taken the rest of the week off so that they could go to the zoo, and do a few other holiday-type things together, and the girls were also planning to meet up with Laura’s friend in Chester.

Today (Sunday 24th) I am driving down to my match, which is a 4pm KO, and then on to Mum’s to stop for the night before bringing the girls back again on bank holiday Monday.

Laura being away has meant more than just some driving for me – guess who’s been left holding the babies! Looking after little Rikki is fun – he’s such a dear little thing that I just wish I had more time to spend with him. Billy and I have had him running around the living room in his little ball whilst we’ve been watching TV, or I’ve blocked off stairs and let him run around the hall way whilst I’m upstairs. He has such fun and he’s so clever, he comes back when called. I give him a little cuddle before feeding him a fresh treat and putting him back in his cage for the night. Trea has hardly stirred, and I feel a bit guilty that he has had little attention – I think Laura will have to spend a lot of time really taming him and exercising him. She’s spent most of her holiday money on hamster things apparently, including an exercise ball for the dwarf hamsters (Rikki’s being too big.)

Little Mummy Nel, has been hard work! I was given instructions by Laura before she left – the nest must not be disturbed at all, and Nel must have plenty of food and water available at all times, else she might kill her babies to prevent them dying a slow death of starvation and thirst. Also, any wet sawdust must be removed and replaced with dry as damp is very harmful to hamsters. After the pups were a week old, I was to put bits of cucumber in the cage in case they are starting to wander around and are thirsty. Sounds simple enough. Except that Nel has her nest inside the cage’s partitioned off “house” which is behind the water bottle. In her eagerness to protect the pups, she keeps piling sawdust near the nest, which buries the spout of the water bottle:

Not a great pic, but you can see what I mean:

The pressure of the sawdust on the spout, pushes the little ball up and allows water to trickle out – emptying the bottle and making the sawdust very wet. I’ve been replacing water and sawdust 3-4 times a day! And as soon as I do it, Nel puts it back as it was again! She obviously isn’t thirsty though as she doesn’t even stop to have a drink before piling up the sawdust. I can’t wait for Laura to come and relieve me of this chore. (Billy will have to do it Sunday night – Ssh, I haven’t told him yet! 😉 )

As for the pups – I heard them squeaking on Sunday night when I returned from Chester, and then didn’t hear them for a couple of days and feared the worst. But I wasn’t quite sure, since Nel was still behaving the same. I thought I’d best prepare Laura so I sent her a text saying I’d heard nothing, and she replied that they don’t always squeak so all might be OK. I was ecstatic on Wednesday morning when I heard them again. They’ve been quiet again since then, but Nel is still acting the same, and I’m a bit more relaxed about it now. I haven’t seen anything of the babies yet, and they’re not yet venturing out of the nest, but as they are now 10 days old, I think we might soon see some activity.

EDIT: Just sorted the cage again, and a baby tumbled out after Nel – an inch long perfect replica of Mummy 🙂 It’s SOOO cute, I just melted. What a clever little Mummy. She picked it up and took it back inside again so we’ll have to wait until she’s ready to let them out before seeing any more I think.

Are you SURE you don’t want a hamster? They’re SOOOOOOOOOOOo cute, and if you only had ONE, it’d be no trouble at all …………..


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