Thursday, November 29, 2007

In Memory of Manny

Manfred "Manny" Hamster (a.k.a. The Manster) died tonight at approximately 10:40 pm. His exact age was unknown.

Manny was rescued from being eaten by the neighbor's cat on July 21, 2006. Despite a cat bite that left a hind foot virtually paralyzed, he showed remarkable courage in dealing with his disability. He enjoyed exploring the top of the bed and rolling around the kitchen in a yellow-colored plastic ball, and never let his bad experience with the neighbor's cat affect his relationships with his new family's cats and dogs.

A defining moment in Manny's life was when the vet used a dental X-ray machine to check his gimpy leg for broken bones. His favorite foods were peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, and Krunch-A-Rounds (sesame seed-covered peanuts).

Manny will be buried this weekend under the lilac bushes in our backyard, very near to where he was snatched from the jaws of death (literally) 16 months ago.


Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

My condolences. I also have a hamster rescue story. My brother actually rescued one from the parking lot of the restaurant he worked at. It was located right on the main street in a nearby small town. We have no idea how old he was when my brother found him, but he lived for almost two years after that, which is almost unheard of for a hamster. You gave him a much longer and easier life than he would have had otherwise, that's for sure.

Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl said...

My condolences as well. I had a hamster named Moses once. His "wife" died and then it was like he grieved himself to death and passed on a couple days later...

I think you did give him a much longer, better life though and I commend you for that ;-)


Katharine Swan said...

Kathy and Michele,

Thanks for your comments. I took Manny's passing much harder than I thought I would (I was still depressed about it yesterday), so I appreciate your kind words.

I'm not usually a big fan of keeping rodents as pets -- I love small animals, but I'm not as good about playing and cuddling with an animal that can't tell me when it wants to play and cuddle. As a result, I didn't think I had formed much of an attachment to Manny, but I was wrong.

Part of my grief has also been guilt -- I don't think we provided as good a home for Manny as we could have. We saved him from certain death the night we rescued him, gave him a safe home where his basic needs were always met, and even took him to the vet (which most people wouldn't do for a hamster). However, I also feel that as busy as we are, his social needs were overlooked more than they should have been.

Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

Katharine, it's natural to feel guilty when a pet dies. My dog was over-loved (anyone who knew me and her knows that) and yet I still wondered what I might have done differently in her final few weeks. Now that I've had a few months' perspective to analyze the situation, I know that there is nothing that would have changed the outcome. She loved her life so much that she just lived it and never even let on that she was sick. Not to mention just a year prior I had had her into the vet for a complete blood workup that would have revealed the problem had it been present at the time. I'm not the rodent type either, but I think hamsters are pretty independent pets. If their basic needs are met, and Manny's obviously were, they're happy. I hear you on the "being too busy" mentality, though. That's what bothered me the most about Pookey: Was I just too self-absorbed to notice she was ailing? Here's what my brother told me and I'm going to pass it on to you: "She didn't want you to know she was sick because you would have treated her differently, and she wouldn't have wanted to be treated differently."

Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, Kathy. And thank your brother for me, too. :o)

I know that there's nothing I could have done to reverse Manny's aging, and I agree that he never seemed unhappy by any means. I guess it's mainly for my sake that I wish I would have spent a little more time with him while he was around.


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