Mortality ! Life and death of my beloved pets

Since I was a kid, I always have pets around me. Cats mostly, because I am a cat person. When it comes to life and death, I can never take things lightly, at the end I always left with tears and heavy heart. My family is deeply aware of that, always warn me not to have any more pets since I can’t let go easily. And mortality left nothing behind. Deep down I know we all die one day, I am not afraid of death but the suffering itself and process of going through.

When I decided to keep hamsters, my sister jokingly warn me ” I don’t mind living with pets, if you can take care of them, its ok. But don’t cry when they gone ya” I said ” I will care for them the best I can, so when the time comes, there will be  no regrets, no sadness”  I can’t believe what I spruce was all bullshit. Damn!

My little Scabber passed away on the evening of 24 th July. It was a bright and sunny day, I was working the whole day and come back very late in the evening. When I reach home, the first thing in my mind is food. While I eating, I decided to  go and check on my hamsters since they are in my eyesight. I can see that Scabber is sleeping, unmoving and very still maybe unnaturally so,  in his favorite sleeping spot behind his running wheel. I am still holding my bowl and eating, but something snap inside of me and I know that he already left me in his slumber. I prepare to bury him after that, when I take him out he look so very peaceful like he is still sleeping. His death come very sudden to me, he have no prior illness, no sign, no nothing to suggest of his ending, yes he is slowing down and showing sign of old age but in my feign ignorance I always though he is going to live at least one or two more years. We buried him in the grass field under the Mahogany tree.  Saying goodbye is hard, but I can make peace with his death. He left so sudden, but in such peace. My brother empathically said he when his time comes he want to go in peace like Scabber. I couldn’t agreed more, he will always be my little Scabber, lazy , skittish boy with adorable face who really love to eat my hand grown wheat grass. Rest in peace Scabber.

Not long after Scabber was gone,  I notice that my little girl De De is acting weird, getting smaller, squeaking a little . I am not sure what to do, while I check her body, beside from her messy hair and frail body, she seem fine. Playing, running, eating as normal. One morning I wake up, and to my horror, I start to notice lump near her hind leg just below her tummy. I quickly tried to check up on clinic lists and locations, finally found one at Yishun, not very far from my home and have good reputations. At that first weekend of August, I bring her to the doctor, in 3 days her lump is quickly getting bigger. The doctor diagnose her lump as cancer tumor, the worse new ever 😦 The doctor give me two options 1st have operation procedure on her, although have very thin chance due to her age, and the place of the tumor. 2nd leave her in peace, bring her home, let her eat and  play as much as she want, maybe she will go peacefully by herself, maybe not. I was so devastated, all I can answer is I don’t want her to suffer. Then he advice me to bring her back to her place, let her eat and live as much as she want. When the time come, when she is suffering, bring her back to him, he will ease the pain. I did decided to bring her back. The whole time I was in dilemma , so scare that I’ve made wrong decision for her. My family,mainly my mom ,strongly advice me not to bent and have procedure on such a tiny little thing. I know she have such a distaste for extreme medical procedure, I remember she use to say “I rather go peacefully than probe and prick by doctors and those medical toys”.But what can I do? Life comes in many forms, to each it own. I feel sad that she have to suffer like that, but at the same time very endearing because she is such a brave little girl and full of life and energy. Visibly slowing down but she still eat her favourite food passionately, walk around in her tank which I redecorate for her to be more confortable and convenient for her. I have to take out her running wheel, change her food bowl to shallow one, add in one extra water bottle and thick layer of bedding for her comfort. She did live for one more month, first we are making oooh ahhhh sound whenever she show some kind of strenght like grab the pine nut with vigor or eat her meal worm passionately. But slowly as her condition deteriorate , she is having more struggle than energy, more like a chore than eating a tiny piece of food, just lying there breathless than walking. One day after I clean up her tank, and looking at her painfully lying in heap of bedding , carry the big burden of her body, looking at me with her tiny little black eyes, I have a breakdown , I don’t want to deal with it but I have to, crying help nothing. My borther told me, why waiting for her to suffer more and more to go. On 8 th of September I bring her to the vet and put her to sleep, I cried right outside of the door while she was inside. I tell myself that I did the right thing, hell! the doctor himself said that I am doing the right thing at the right time, but I was so angry that I have to let her go just like that, so sad that she have to go like that.

I bring her back home, at the same evening I buried her just beside Scabber’s resting place in the grass field. Life full of regrets, but I will never regret for having three little hamsters that bring so many joys to my life. Rest in peace De De.

Pea leaves and green shoots !!

Hmmm, pea leaves or bean leaves ??????

Pea leaves sound cuter 😛

Lately I found out that beans are pretty easy to grow, not sure of legumes result because I am not gonna wait until they grow pods. My focus is on young shoots and green leaves. They are highly nutritious and so easy to get , just pick some straight from the pot in front of my flat.

I use some leftover beans from my white bean soup and decided to grow some. They become strong and healthy with willowy long stems and dark green leaves. This is going to provide fresh greens for my kids. Fresh, easy, cheap and home grown organic greens . Cool huh!

Furthermore, they are going to bear some pretty flower if I don’t cut the shoots to feed my kids all the time. haha!  All my kids love to eat the dark green freshness. Between full time job and half time studying, I can’t make a time to go groceries shopping. These little home grown shrubs and occasional sprouting ensure that my kids get enough share of their veggies. Sometimes I wonder what will my neighbors think of me. A strange women tending her plants, cleaning and taking out rubbish at 1am around midnight . Geez !

 

Not a lots of leaves left. On the side note, my aloe vera are getting huge and juicy.

 

De De ” sniff sniff, hmm smell good, mommy bring me some veggie .Yum!”

Ke Ke ” nom nom nom”

Dat ass >.>

Scabber ” sniff sniff, ha! That green stuffs again. Did she forget that I love to baby carrot 😦 “

Not so bad after all.

Quail egg ! Treats Treats Treats :P

I have been busy lately and haven’t done any special treats for them except from simple baby carrots and walnuts. Guilty as charged :p I bought some quail eggs for my stir fry vegetables today, apart from the boring veggie I give them quail egg. Scabber really love quail egg and always eat enthusiastically . De De mouth a bite or two only while Ke Ke did eat more happily. Scabber devour them well, but my lazy boy was half asleep while eating his share of egg pieces and go straight back to sleep after that. Good life ha!

 

Chopped and ready to serve.

 

 

De De taking a whiff and wondering what is this smell ☜(⌒▽⌒)☞

 

 

 

Scabber eating his quail egg with half closed eye lids, his butt is still inside his hamhead . Too lazy to come out all the way .  -_-

Fresh sprouts and clean houses !

Weekend cleaning maniac time.

Clean up the whole house, tidy up my little garden and clean all three tanks of my kiddos.

I decided to change the set up for Scabber’s tank by taking out his hammock ( need washing and drying anyway) and put my make shift digging tower inside. This is the current set up, the colorful ladder is my hand make popsicle stick ladder. And I bought a new clear chopping sheet to use as floor mat for the shelf.

My whole collecting. J/k My three little pigs (^0^)

Photos of them , enjoying their clean tank and freshly hang red millet spray . Will have to wait until next week to enjoy like this again 🙂

De De acting cute.

Scabber thinking what should he do first, drink the water or eat the millet?

Ke Ke with her toiler paper roll. She pee and dirty her swing, after I wash it clean …I decided to keep away from her awhile and give her the toilet roll to play and bite for temporary . I think she is not very thrill with the notion, nevertheless she love to play hide and seek with this roll.

De De eating her millet spray.

Wat?

Ke Ke trying to catch Waldo.

My flax sprout is a success.

I harvest some today, wash them clean and serve a small potion for each.

Both girls really love their red millet. I can’t control myself, itchy hand and make a .gif out of their eating expression 😀

Ke Ke

De De

Treats for me and my hams!!!

Today’s treats for my hams was carrot . I cut them into bite size cubes for them ❤ Clumsy me have an accident again, now Scabber’s bowl have a chip on the lid . I accidentally knock it while washing. I decided there is no real harm and just a little bit ugly, so no new bowl for him yet. This bowl is such a good size for him, so he will have to use this bowl until I find one that I really like .

Scabber with his carrot cubes

Ke Ke’s adorable eating poise.

Crazy gal De De refuse to eat her carrot and keep playing with her swing 😦

             Well, treats for me is presents from my sister 🙂 Nuts and dry fruits. Super yummy 😛  She got me Pumpkin Seeds, Dry Figs, Dry Guava, Dry Strawberry and Dry Apple chips . Best sister everrrrr. I will have to take a lots of time to finished all of these.  I am thinking about sharing some of them with my hams too, except from Dry Guava because its ingredient include SO2. Strawberry and apple are freeze dry without any chemicals or flavor adding and Dry Fig is naturally sun dry. All have natural high sugar content , so I will give them tiny pieces each to enjoy ! nom nom nom ^0^

Today’s Special ! Broccoli =]

Finally off my lazy ass to NTUC and bought back groceries and veggies for my kids. Broccoli look fresh and appetising . Big pieces for Scabber, so that I can hunt down the old piece from his secret stash .

Scabber eating broccoli like a boss 😀

 

Ke Ke nom nom nom, and her fur have more and more white patch now

De De’s big butt 😛

 

 

I am glad that they all eat their broccoli enthusiastically . Broccoli has dietary fibre, vitamin C and alots of good nutrients for them.

My previous attempt to sprout red bean has fail unconditionally HAHA….all spoil liao. Better stick with fresh veggie now 😀

Toys and Accessories !

                      I can’t help but fascinated by most of the hamsters toys and hideouts.Especially mini swing and hamheads, I find them very cute and funny 😛   Come to accessories , there are so many choices but always be three main products ceramic, plastic and wooden. Each have cons and pros!

                       For plastic …..they are colorful, easy to clean and not very expensive but if your hamsters have a habit of biting his furniture plastic can be harmful if they swallow, and sometimes the smell of urine can be lasting longer on the plastic accessories especially those plastic tubes.

                       Wooden accessories give natural vibes, give hammies something to bites and come in wide range of beautiful design but if your hammy is not toilet train, cleaning part will be tough, smell and urine will be very difficult to clean out. Some use sand paper, scrub the stain floor and wash it but still always need to look out for algae and mold. Personally I don’t like to use wooden accessories for too long, just throw away the old stuffs and replace with new ones to avoid moldy wooden furnitures.

                     The last is my fav ceramic or porcelain accessories. I am all sucker for ceramic stuffs , they have endless pros 😀 Colorful, easy to clean, any stain can easily wash through with rinsing under tap water, relatively heavy so hammy can’t pushover the stuffs easily, cooling to hide inside and come in a lots of designs and color. I can use it as long as I like unless I drop it and smash it in the cleaning process, that is a bit of a high chance since I can be real clumsy LOL =] The best are ceramic hamheads, all my kids love to sleep inside because their ceramic base are quite cooling for hot Singapore weather.

                      I always give 2 hideouts each for all my hammies, one is ceramic hamhead, one is baseless hideout that can be put directly on the floor fill with beddings, so it will be convenient for  both cool weather like rainy days and hot weather like sunny days. I do have cooling plates , but my kids rarely use it.This is the example, blue dino head and little cowhouse , cute huh?

 

 

The rest are my collections of accessories and furniture complete with 90% of ceramic stuffs.

Food bowls: corner feeder for Scabber, rainbow bowls for De De & Ke Ke

 

Porcelain bathing place for De De & Ke Ke, they are dwarf size accessories.

 

Little and big hamheads and a dino head. CUTE!!!!!!

 

 

 

A flower shop house and pink ceramic hide and seek cubes . They are good size for Syrian, and I am so glad that I can hunt them down for Scabber. In Singapore, decent and beautiful syrian size accessories are a real bitch to find.

 

 

 

Little cowhouse for De De and little tiger house for Ke Ke

 

 

Glass jar as toilet and bathing sand container for Scabber, as I said before satisfactory Syrian size accessories are hard to find. This glass jar is big enough for him to roll and play around freely, also he have a habit of digging sand and making them flying around. This is real useful. S$2 from daiso. Cheap lor ^_^

 

 

 

A Gym from Hagen Living World Hillside series. Wooden swing in the market are too small for my liking, this is another one that I am very glad for grabbing it fast. I paid S$24 for it, quite expensive but worth it. Its very hard to find in Singapore, I got it from Pet Lover Center and this is the only one left in the whole series. The series is complete with six products…..Gym, Cafe( Have water bottle in it), Salon( Have brush in it for grooming), Restaurant( Food bowl attached),Mansion ( its a pretty hideout) and Toilet ( a sand bathing place). I would love to buy Mansion and Toilet, but sadly I can’t find it anymore  😦

 

 

 

 

Wooden hide and seek cubes and plastic balls with bells inside. Wooden hide and seek cubes are dwarf size and you can built a maze or anything as your imagination goes. Those plastics balls are for cats and guinea pigs , but my gals love to roll around those balls……I can heard the chiming of bell when they do it and it is the cutest thing everrrrrr

 

 

Wooden swing and wooden logs. You can bend  the wooden log bundle  into any shape and can be use in many ways. A shelter, a bridge, a ladder etc Some even use it as divider wall for digging place.

 

I am not very creative in tank sets up and always looking out for better design. I really love check out other’s design and pick their brain Haha…If I travel abroad next time, I am soooo going shopping for more accessories 😀

Bedding,Litter and Sand !

Think hamsters are smelly? 

Its means you are dirty,not them

                      I think the most common complain about hamsters is that “They R Very Smelly” duh! How about start to clean up after them? I have three tanks near the window of my dinning room, and I never heard any of my family member or guests complain about the smell nor do I . The right choice would be using correct bedding and bathing sand. Bingo! If your ham(s) is toilet train. Hamsters tend to poo everywhere as they desire 😀 but you can train them to pee only in the sand.

                     The absorbent recycle paper bedding is the best choice for ham(s). They are both absorbent, last for long and comfy for them. You can check out recommended bedding here in this article

 http://www.sghamsters.com/index.php/index.html/_/articles/basic-hamsters-care/recommended-beddings-r41. Wood shaving such as Ceder and Pine are very controversial and taboo in hamster world. Cheap as they are, not really absorbent and worst of all , they can cause allergic reaction and respiratory problem . Aspen is the only wood shaving that is recommended but they are not available in Singapore and I don’t have any intention to use them either.

Currently I am using Back2Nature( for absorbent) mix with Carfresh Confetti(for comfort).

Texture of B2N

                         I decided not to use Carefresh Confetti anymore, they are more expensive and I am just being sucker for colorfulness . I bought 2 packs of Healthy Pet Ultra, my old fav brand because they are quite comfy and the white color is very refreshing.Its on promotion at http://moomoopets.sg/mmp/, I took the opportunity to order and stock up. Still have leftover one big bag of Back2Nature at the moment so, I don’t need to worry about bedding supply for awhile.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sandy sandy sand 😀 😀 All my hams love their bathing sand .

Here enjoy some photos of’em enjoying their sand in various fashion.

Baby Scabber in his old sand bowl

Now I am using sideway glass jar, normal bathing room in markets are too small for my liking . He can freely roll around and dig inside this jar.

De De being upside down near her Marukan Ceramic Bowl

De De dig dig!

Ke Ke rolling around.

 Bathing Sand for Hamsters:Bathing sands are essential for your hamsters. It can help them to groom their furs, so as to keep them clean and dry. It can also helps to prevent many skin related problem if hamsters have regular sand bath. Do not use water to bath hamsters, they are not suppose to be bath in water. Hamster’s natural habitats in the wild do not have much water for them to bath, hence they rely on rolling in sand to clean themselves.
Most dwarf hamsters will know how to roll on the sand when given to them in a ‘toilet’ or dish. Syrian hamsters typically do not roll on sand much like the dwarf hamsters, but sand bath is still useful for them to keep the coat in good condition.
There are many bathing sand in the market, but not all are suitable for hamsters. Some are for other animals, and they are not really suitable for hamsters. Do check out the following list when you are out shopping for bathing sands for hamsters.

Check out the direct link and full article on recommended sand

 http://www.sghamsters.com/index.php/index.html/_/articles/basic-hamsters-care/recommended-bath-sand-for-hamsters-r37    The scented sand eg.mint flavor sand, strawberry scented sand are very harmful to their respiratory tract and remember pleasant to the human didn’t mean pleasant to the hamster(s). Please stick to what is good for them, instead of what you like 🙂 .

Currently I am using Vitakraft Chinchilla Sandy that is usually cost s$11.90. As a cheapskate , I grab when they had promotion of 2 for S$20 and stock up on them. The sand is a bit coarse , good in odor control and keep their fur clean and healthy and fluffy 😛

Yummy Treats :P

TREATS!!!!!!!!!!! TREATS!!!!!!!!!!! TREATS!!!!!!!!!!! 

All hammies love treats, love’em too much that I have to give them in moderation 😀 Most popular treats among ham lovers would be mealworm and sunflower seed that are orgasmically love by hamsters. But they are equally sinful, too much sunflower seed and mealworm can lead to obesity and health complication.

Various veggies can be devour by hamsters too. Before that, you really need to check out the safe veggies list for ham(s). My fav treats are nuts ,egg and veggies because they are yummy and nutritious . Currently I am sticking to walnut and cashew nut. For veggie , mostly they have to share with me.Although I love fruits, don’t really wish to give them because the sucrose and fructose can be lead to diabetic in hamsters, especially dwarfie like my gals.

I list some safe and unsafe veggies and fruits 🙂

FRUITS

  • Apple (seedless)
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe.
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes(seedless)
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Peaches (no stone)
  • Plums (no pits)
  • Raspberries
  • Raspberry Leaves (helpful for diarrhea)
  • Strawberries

VEGGIES

  • Asparagus
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (Limited amounts)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Chestnuts
  • Chickweed
  • Chicory
  • Clover
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Cucumbers
  • Dandelion Leaves
  • Endive
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Radicchio
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet bell Peppers
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Water Cress
  • Zucchini
  • FOODS TO AVOID

    • Almonds
    • Apple Seeds
    • Canned food
    • Chocolate
    • Candies
    • Chips and Junk food
    • Pork Products
    • Potatoes (Raw)
    • Raw Kidney Beans
    • Eggplant
    • Fool’s Parsley
    • Grape Seeds
    • Avocado (Contains Cardiac Glycosides)
    • Raw Rhubarb
    • Tomato leaves
    • Oranges or Tangerines(no citrus fruits)
    • No watermelon (the water content is high causes diarrhea)
    • Cherry Stone
    • Peach Stone & Leaves
    • Apricot Stone
    • Lemon or Lime
    • Jams and jellies
    • Spices
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Leeks
    • Scallions
    • Chives
    • Pickles

Note:  I believe there will be more on these list, more knowledgeable ham lover would know for sure. But I only stick to what I know for sure and safe 🙂

Let me share about some of my Yummy Treats!

Popcorn

Plain dog biscuit, this should be plain without any flavor. One of my fav treats because it really hard and that will grind down their incisors(front teeth, that can become problem if they are too long )

Papaya Fruit Extract, that is beneficial for their digestive tracts.

Spinach bowl . I bought two cute glass bowl from Daiso, it in cute fish shape and very pretty. One day, clumsy me break them into pieces T.T no more

My own recipes: lettuce, dry shrimp and crush cashew nuts. One the side notes, lettuce are not very recommended for ham(s) because they are just water and no real nutrient. Too much can be lead to diarrhea especially to the ones that are not very familiar with having veggies as daily treats. But moderation is the key and can be good for rehydration in a hot weather like Singapore.

Ke Ke and her obsession of carrying Carefresh around LOL

Red Millet Spray. My gals love it and Scabber is not really a big fan of Millet.

              My old packets of dry meal worm and milk chewy are already finished liao. Scabber don’t even touch meal worm while the gals are batshit crazy about them. I don’t believe in feeding live meal worm , so I just bought dry packet. Currently cut out those treats because I find them not exactly the best choice of treats.

                     Fresh veggies are good, but never forget to clean out old veggie pieces lying around in their tanks or their secret stash. For me, I don’t really like to give them veggies bowl for too long. Once I saw them eat their fill, I take out the bowl. Rotten veggies can be very harmful, dirty and stinky.De De and Ke Ke can be real greedy come to food, but they don’t really like to hide their food. Scabber on the other hand is very choosy and nibble eater but he have bad habit of hiding veggie .Look at his well hidden cauliflower piece in the hideout LOL He can’t fool me 😀

De De & Ke Ke

Stole a piece of my heart on 1st June 2011

The beginning journey for this two girls have some strange turns.I don’t have any intention to have more than one hamster nor I don’t think I can cope well with 3 of’em but hey! Yes, I can! B-)
The family of 6 black campbells was abandoned by their previous owner under HDB block , and kind fellow Singapore Hamster Club member save them from hot sun and lack of food and water. They are living in 3 storeys cage in a cramp and fighting and bullying was occurred.Since she can’t provide permanent home for them, another member help to foster these hams while trying to rehome them permanently.One little one called Necklace ( nick name) did not make it. I decided to adopt two girls Rabbit and Glutton ( nick name )  because they have been living together in same floor of the cage and get along with each other.I rename them De De(Rabbit) and Ke Ke( Glutton) . My first intention was to house them together in a big cage that is enough to accommodate two running wheels, two hideouts etc…. I put them temporarily in Sanko cage while I am trying to order new home for them.
My dream shatter at the second day . Two girls who has been living harmoniously started to fight and squeak . Ke Ke is bullying De De, and poor gal De De just trying to get away. I think the changing of living environment stress them to fight for the territory.  So I immediately separate them and house them temporarily in two cages again.
This is Ke Ke

This is De De,

A lots of people complain that they can’t tell the difference between the two, well! I never have such a problem 😀 They look totally different to me =] I have several dilemmas about how to house them permanently. I don’t like cage with iron bars because I will have to worry about cage biting and climbing too much.  The minimum requirement for housing hamsters varies according to various SPCA but I believe no hamsters should live in a cage smaller than 2 fts, can check out this link for more info.Finally decided to get a big 2fts  guppy tank.This is their basic set ups, and I just change those wooden blocks to wooden swings last week .

Ke Ke

De De

Both of them are very active, playful and enjoy good foods. Sometimes make funny expression to entertain me. The rest are some snap shots of them in various poise .

Ke Ke

De De

Soooooooooooo? Are they cute or are they cute? HAHA!

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