Obituary for a Cupcake

Like many blond-bombshells before her, Cupcake lived fast and hard and died young. She will be missed by some of those who she bit the shit out of on a regular bases.

The dog won’t miss her. She had a habit of running at him full throttle, balls to the wall, crazed-black rodent eyes gleaming. She was fearless because she knew the protection her 7-inch glow in the dark Pet Run-About afforded her. She would stand straight up, arch her back, and then throw her weight forward for the hamster equivalent of popping a wheelie. She would sometimes squeak a little, as if laughing, while the dog, a 45 point chocolate brown labradoodle, scooted backward to get out of her path. Cupcake was relentless.

Once, when she was young, we left her in the good care of our friends. We didn’t know any better, and simply warned, “The other one is very gentle … you probably don’t need to take her out.” A few days later, while having her water changed, Cupcake stood on the second level of her tri-level home, backed up to the wire mesh, lifted her tail, looked my friend in the eye, and peed out of the cage. She continued to claim the territory on all sides of her by creating a literal shit storm.

We continue to apologize for her actions.

We have already lived through her death once before. When we moved from Michigan to Massachusetts she escaped, as she had many times before. She escaped into the interior bowels of our minivan. We were somewhere in New York or, perhaps Pennsylvania – it was green … very green and fairly hilly – on our way to a new life, but carrying the most precious cargo from our previous one; our dog, two hamsters, 347 DS games and our sons. The family stood in a motel parking lot while I unpacked the entire minivan, searching in vain for a lost hamster. Eventually, exhausted and angry, I repacked the car and we drove away. Two days later I was feeding her sister when Cupcake, much like Christ rising from the dead but with more fur and attitude, appeared next to her cage, reaching in for food.

She was not a good hamster. No, not good in the sense that she made our lives easier. Instead, she was wild, fearless, and prone to great feats of escape. But, she was part of our family. She will be missed. Our younger son, Bubba (not his real name) will miss her the most and feel the loss deeply. They were great friends and she matched his silliness with equal mischievousness. Together they laughed … no one can tell me she didn’t laugh … and did their best to make me crazy. I will always remember her peeking out of my sons underwear while he assured me,  “It’s OK mom. I’m not wearing them”.

She now lies in a small, tight ball, nestled in her favorite shredded Kleenex and I remind Alex that what made her special, what made her different from all other hamsters is gone.

Cupcake, you will be missed.

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