My Hamster Might Die, And I’m Torn To Fucking Pieces About It

jenny584

OK, she will die, as will everything that lives and will ever live (unless Ray Kurzweil hurries up with that immortality serum he’s been working on), but she’s in a bad way right now. I took her to the vet a couple of hours ago, and they said she has a broken leg; they didn’t outline nerve damage, which means that she could need the limb amputated. If that is the case and I’m given the option, I’ll have her put down. Jenny the hamster is, or was, a happy little ball of excitement and joy, and I refuse to put her through the fear and confusion of hobbling around for the rest of her days. If she could think, I think she’d agree with this decision. It takes a lot to make me cry, but I cried like a bitch as I waited to have her seen this morning.

There are a few hideous experiences that I have permanently etched into my brain. Seeing my father’s yellowing corpse at age 14 is one of them. The first time I was punched in the face (I was 12) is on the list, and having a knife pulled on me by the school psycho roughly a year later is something else I will never forget, but nothing has disturbed me for years like waking up to see my hamster, little Jen-Jen, curled up in pain in the corner of her cage. It wasn’t the initial sight that got me; the worst part was the sound—this hideous, hissing, screeching sound, which for a creature of her size was both astonishing and devastating to hear. She was running around in panicked circles and I thought she would drop dead any second. Biting through my bottom lip, I scooped her up in a T-shirt and placed her in a small pet case before bolting out the door as fast as I possibly could and heading off to the vet’s office. It is a fittingly grey and dismal day today, and while she’s currently sleeping (I gave her some anesthetic), I fear for the worst. I love that little hamster like family. She is the one pure thing in my life, and while I knew we’d have to part ways sooner or later, I always hoped it would be peaceful and dignified. Not like this.

This is why I can never have children or form any kind of meaningful intimate relationship with a woman—I just can’t get let myself get attached. The pain of loss and the inevitability of death are reflected in every face I come to know, and I can’t escape it. I can’t enjoy the moments I have with people without bitterly acknowledging what enough of those moments will ultimately lead to. If life is a choice between grief and loneliness, I’ll take the latter every time. That’s how I feel right now, at least.

I know it’s not normal for a man in his twenties to even have a hamster, let alone become so attached to one. I know that they are basically considered to be learning tools for eight-year-old girls, intended to instill a basic sense of responsibility and structure into a child’s chaotic mind. I know these things, and I don’t care, because my little Jenny is the only thing on Earth that could make me smile right now, and she’s the reason I’m welling up with tears as I write this. Watching her grow, seeing her curiosity develop, feeding her peanuts and laughing as she stuffs her cheeks to capacity—these are the rare and joyful moments in an otherwise miserable life. When I wore hoodies, she’d climb up on my shoulders and fall asleep in the hood, and I want more than anything to have that wonderful feeling again. I’m not hoping for anybody’s sympathy by writing this; I just need to fucking write. I need to write because the tiny little light of my life may burn out today or someday very soon without the peace or dignity that such an innocent being truly deserves.

The vet told me that hamsters often fail to survive experiences such as this because they’re such fragile creatures, and I find that more relatable than you could ever know. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog