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The Avid Hamster Owner

I have been an avid hamster owner most of my life. I handle my hamster daily with joy. The one I now own is 2. I have had many as a hamster's lifespan is around 2-3 years. I usually think after one passes on, that that is it. What does an adult woman need a hamster for? But inevitably I am drawn to the pet store at the "right" time...and voila, I own another hamster. Side note: This is a thing to remember for anyone who may feel intimidated by me. I am 56 years old and own a hamster. I Googled recently what the average age of a hamster owner is. Answer: 8-12 years old.

Olive Lucy (female hamster, age 2)

Now I HAVE noticed that most of my adult friends react in one of two ways when they see that I have a hamster cage front and center in the living area: 1) They cringe, probably regret the invitation to come in, and sit as far away from the hamster cage as politely possible. 2) Say something like this: "Ohhhhhhh… you have a hamster, how cute". When asked if they would like to handle said hamster, they decline and sit as far away from the hamster cage as politely possible. My partner, when asked if he would like to pet (or kiss) the hamster, looks at me like a dyspeptic donkey and says nothing. Gives me a good chuckle every time. It's ok. I have enough friends ages 8-12 that appreciate the fact I am a hamster owner. Their reaction is the POLAR opposite. Wide eyes, big smiles, never ending wishes to hold, and play with the charming bundle.

All reactions are age appropriate, I will grudgingly admit. Since going in-patient for PTSD and Trauma in 2016, I have learned (and continue to learn) A LOT about trauma. I clearly realize owning a hamster at 56 is a sign. A sign that MAYBE I have a piece stuck at age 8-12. And yes, I do. Trauma caught me in a net around that time of my life. I REALLY like this creative, gentle, very exuberant part of me. And although I have been disassembled and rearranged several times, this part has consistently added childlike wonder and jubilance to my life. I invite you to bring on "the hamster" in your life and glean joy out of hardship. With gratitude,

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