The hamster story

I don’t go out on New Year’s Eve. I’m afraid of drunk drivers.

I like to work a jigsaw puzzle and watch the Twilight Zone marathon.

One year my husband was in Los Angeles at a Grandaddy concert, and the kids and I were in the family room, on the third floor of our house, working a jigsaw and watching the Twilight Zone.

I heard a crash from the second floor.

My son had gotten three hamsters for Christmas, which, added to our cats and dogs, completed our personal food chain.

We found an upturned cage, and among the three of us were able to capture Brave Sir Robin and Sir Lancelot. This was no small feat. Those dudes can scurry.

An hour later we found the third. He was on the first floor at the bottom of the stairs in a dog’s mouth.

He was wet, and his front leg was broken, pointing the wrong way.

It was 8 p.m.

The nearest animal hospital that treats hamsters is an hour’s drive. I don’t see well in the dark, so I avoid driving at night, but I was trapped.

When we got there, the veterinarian Googled ‘hamsters broken bones,’ split a piece of McDonald’s straw lengthwise and fashioned a splint, and sent us to a drug store for baby Tylenol. I paid $60 for this assistance.

At 11 p.m. we were homeward bound. I was in a state of panic. I couldn’t focus on the traffic. I had my children in the car. I couldn’t shake the image of that leg jutting out an angle. I was on the freeway on New Year’s Eve.

During this time, King Arthur chewed the straw off.

We got home at 11:56 p.m. The leg was sticking out again. He wouldn’t take the Tylenol.

Within a week he was fine.

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