Vintage Londoner with retrocentric tastes. Interested in the uncommon,artistic,cultural and visual life of this old tart of a city and its tawdry glamour. Tinctured with cocktails, swear words and the odd rant. I'm friendly but bolshy and my opinions are honest and sponsor-free. P.R and marketing types please see 'About Me'.
Friday, 14 January 2011
The kind of mouse I want in my house, djungarian hamsters (serious cute alert!)
I was in a conversation with someone they other day about pets and I think they doubted the veracity of the existence of a creature, three of who I have kept quite happily. My assertion that whilst unable to have a hound, the crème de la crème of human pets, I would like again to keep Djungarian Hamsters.Cue unconvinced look and raised eyebrows. I elucidated “they are Russian”…..this explanation did not convince….”maybe bred from the Chinese ones”…..
Well as proof, and as an excuse to post some pictures of cute fluffy rodents I am recommending the Djungarian or Dzungarian as a pet but am not sure how easy they are to buy here.
They are small..
In England we are used to the Syrian Hamster, large, quite aggressive but strangely comatose, well at least for all of the time we want to interact with them.Prone to grow extremely fat and get stuck in tubes. We had one called Fred, I was quite fond of it and it developed a very amiable relationship with our sheepdog.But there are problems with the Syrian hammy, primarily that they are a little dull. But how different I hear you mutter, can comrade Hamsterovich be?
Annexe your home..
Well for one the Djungarian is much smaller and far far cuter.They are nervier than their larger cousins and completely unsuitable for children. They are at the same time dramatically nosier and although nocturnal they cannot resist finding out what you are doing. Being nervy they have to get used to you, and rather remarkably they fade and pine without company so you actually have to go and fuss over them. Most notably they have very distinct personalities ranging from harmonious to psychopath.
My first, George, a little grey was inherently grumpy but extremely curious, the sound of the door opening and straight to the cage door. Very fond of tugging things, pockets, chewing buttons and yawning. Also liked watching television. He developed an ear infection and was smart enough to curl into a little ball on his side in your hand to get his ear drops. Distinctly smarter than a Syrian hamster.He also squeaked loudly when annoyed and lived far past his allotted 2 years.
His replacement was white and I had planned to call him nipper but he had such a sweet disposition he ended up being called Snowball, which is what he resembled. Saying he had a sweet disposition he did bite one of the most unpleasant children I ever met. Would sit on my knee washing his face and was quite fearless. Liked chewing the tatami which was not so good and I once caught him chasing a cockroach in a determined way, his frustration when it crawled up a wall and efforts to leap after it are one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
My third hamster, white with grey tips was a bit mental, a rescue Djungarian if you please. He would swing from the bars, hurl himself around and was nosy to a peeping tom like degree. A complete show off and the only hamster I ever heard hiss. Party trick was to cover himself with shredded bedding, wait until you were looking and then leap out.In Japan we had great cages, designed to mimic Japanese homes so the little scampers end up sleeping in kotatsus and have Japanese calligraphy on the walls!
Famous bedding trick...
I have always quite liked ‘invited’ mice and rats and things that scurry. The Djungarian hamster isn’t really Russian but comes from Borat like outposts of Eastern Europe. Cute, peculiar, cheap to keep and short but sweet lives. And they do exist!!!