Tuesday, May 10, 2011

R.I.P. Leviticus May 6, 2011

Quick and Easy Hamster Care The Pet Experts at T F H
Weight: 3.2 oz
Method of Disposal: Donate or give away

Two months ago, I was taking trash to the dumpster at work, and I saw a filthy little aquarium out of the corner of my eye. I tossed out the trash and slowly approached it, afraid of what I would find. The sides were splashed with red paint. I peered in. I have never seen a cage look so dirty, so desolate. It was covered in feces and urine. There was no food. No water. There was a small hamster.

Leviticus was losing hair, his eyes were sealed shut, and he was so soiled that he could not even go to the bathroom—he was blocked. He had mats that had to be cut out of his fur with scissors. I carried him into the clinic and held him while the vet staff tried to figure out what all was wrong with him. I thought for sure he would be euthanized. Just by luck, the vet happened to be there that day. We got him cleaned up, cleared out his system, gave him an injection, and then we were sent home with oral antibiotics and eye drops.

My coworkers collected money to buy Lev a new cage. It was beautiful. Clean, plenty of room to stretch, to climb, and to burrow. He only got to enjoy it for a short while, but he did seem to enjoy it. Throughout all of his medical treatments, he was so gentle and so passive. He only nibbled on my once when I picked him up for the first time and once on his first visit back to the shelter, but it did not hurt and he never did it again. Not when I had to clean his eyes and open them every morning, not when I had to hold him down for shots, and not when I had to clean him up.

There is no need for an animal to ever be treated like that. Hamsters are so easy to take care of. It is cruelty and laziness that created a living hell for Lev. I guess the kindest thing those people did was dump him in the parking lot, but even that they couldn’t get right. You don’t leave a living thing, in a glass cage, outside under the sun, with no food or water, and just hope someone finds him in time.

He always slept out in the open, which is very unusual for a hamster. They are prey animals and will generally try to burrow or hide when they sleep. He would never go in any of the huts or houses I bought him. He probably never had anything to go in while he was growing up. How did he stay so placid?

I loved the little guy. I loved to watch him climb and to hold him, while giving him banana flavored treats. I knew he wasn’t doing well. One day, I came home to a lot of blood and a large clot in his cage. Things went downhill from there and, at some point, I had to take him to be euthanized. I couldn’t stand to watch him suffer anymore, shivering in the corner of his cage. On May 6, 2011 he finally quit struggling. I just hope that he had a good two months at my house and that he knew he was loved and cared for in the end.


  1. I am so sorry. I am glad he found a good home and was treated well during the end of his life.

  2. Thank you. I wish you could have known him.