Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hamster in the Potting Soil

       No one could make up the stories that really happen in my real life.  I cannot begin to imagine some of the things that actually happen around me, so perplexing.  My life is a comedy of errors mixed in with some things that make sense.  I cannot even blame it on my's me...I bring the craziness and quizzical situations with me wherever I go!  I remember one time when I was in Romania, my interpreter said to me, "it is always an adventure with Kari."  I am thankful that my interpreter thought "my ways" were endearing and not annoying.  I cannot escape the times when I accidentally say or do the awkward thing or when I just walk into a situation that is straight out of Ripley's Believe it or Not.  Most people who know me could tell you a story that seems like a far-fetched yarn or tall tale.  I am sure every person reading this can recall at least one of my life's adventures!
       This ability to find trouble even where trouble doesn't exist has been passed down to our pets as well, particularly our hamsters!  We have had several throughout the years.  One hamster was an escape artist, and she managed to get out of her cage all of the time.  We found her several times after she got out too (which is not true of all of our little buddies); she would just be going up and down our stairs, funny to see her show up after being "lost" for a week.  
       We had a hamster we thought was a goner until we found him living it up with in the Yahtzee game in the basement...he seriously had a decked out living quarters snug in that Yahtzee box using the cup for a bed and the dice for end tables.  He was so fat when we accidentally found him...he had been stealing cat food.  The cat's frustration with the hamsters might have gotten the best of him when we found one little lost hamster floating belly up in the basement sump pump, most likely chased to his last skinny dip by the "food deprived" cat.
       Currently, in the Schooley home, there are 2 hamsters (Elizabeth and Bananas), a rabbit (Tom), and a weenie dog (Lena).  Elizabeth and Bananas had been signed up to compete in the annual Petco Hamster Races on April 21, 2012 at 2pm, and those hamsters were SO could see it in their beady eyes!  My husband, Eric, had the idea that our hamsters needed to practice before the race because they were getting a little "fat and lazy," so Elizabeth and Bananas spent the whole evening 2 days before race day speeding around the house in their clear hamster running balls.
       Friday morning (1 day before the big race), as Sophie and Emi were going out to the car to go to school...they both stopped and gasped!  Elizabeth's cage door was open with no sign of her inside...immediate tears started flowing from Emi, Elizabeth's loving "mother."  The truth was that taking time to look for Elizabeth was going to make us late for school...we couldn't be late for school because it was the standardized testing week.  What a dilemma...Emi's standardized testing scores for that day were not going to be very valid if she was thinking about her lost hamster!  I told the girls that Elizabeth had to be in the garage, so we would just watch the door after we pulled out and would make sure she didn't run out as we were leaving...then, we could look for her after school.  It was a very stressful time, especially with the big race only 1 day away! :)  I ran back into the house to tell Eric that we had a "hamster catastrophe" which he immediately thought meant that one of them had died, so he was relieved to hear that it was just another "lost" hamster.  I ran back out to the car.  The next seconds will account for one of those "situations" that cannot be explained or made up...the parts of my life that are "stranger than fiction."  I didn't go directly to the car...
       Instead, I walked on the other side of the garage and took the "long way" to my car.  I had a feeling that the hamster was close...was Elizabeth under a shelf hiding in the dark or was she snuggled in with Eric's work clothes in a basket?  I heard a noise, barely a, so weird that I could even hear it...a soft scratching noise.  Did I imagine the noise?  I stopped, and something inside me made me say aloud, "I hear something!"  The girls opened the door of the car and stopped crying for a moment.   There it was again...a faint rubbing or scratching noise coming from the......bag......of...........potting soil?  What?  I cautiously walked toward the 25lb. bag of "special dirt" and actually saw the bottom side moving.  Okay, I really didn't think that noise could be the hamster...I was thinking of what could be inside of a new, big bag of dirt: a snake, a frog...not a hamster.  So....I called for Sophie to be ready for whatever was coming out of that bag, of course I said, "I think I found Elizabeth; Sophie come and catch her after I cut the bag."  I was not going to tell her that it might be some other critter.  
       I took my rose pruning shears  and carefully cut a small hole a little away from the movement (I didn't want to take a chance of cutting Elizabeth...I mean how would she compete in the big race with only 3 legs?)  What happened next cannot be explained adequately with words...I cut...out came a dirty hamster...simple as that.  It was so surreal to be there in that garage, my kids with big grins and tear-stained faces.
       What if we had gone to school and looked for Elizabeth later? I mean, I would've been in the car leaving in the 6 seconds it took me to walk to the other side of the garage.  I would've had a terrible surprise later when I was using the potting soil...eww!  How did Elizabeth get in there, and what on earth was she thinking that would make her put her whole body in the bag after she got her face in there?  How was she breathing inside of a plastic bag...with dirt surrounding her?  That girl was lucky that I have good hearing!!!!  
       My husband, Eric, had a few nuggets of wisdom to add.  He walked over to Elizabeth after she was back in her closed cage and said, "Well, girl, if you didn't want to run in the race or if the training was too hard for you, you should've said something.  You didn't have to run away."

 Elizabeth and Bananas made it to their race at Petco, and the hamsters ran the ball races well!  


  1. Hello! In your post did you use the information from any extra researches or these are solely your personal conclusions? Can't wait to hear from you.

  2. @SomeDaySomeSay In this post I write and pretty much all the others, the information is straight from me. My life is really crazily interesting most of the time. So, from life, I will draw conclusions...simple: I live it, and then...I try to make sense from it. Thanks for asking.