Preparing for old age

The days of my hamsters are numbered.

I’ve had them for 20 months now, which means they are apparently 60 to 70 years old in terms of hamster age. Poor doddering oldies.

I have two of them – one male and one female. The male is a gray long-haired Syrian and he goes by Very Gray (เทาจัง). His better half is a brown and white short-haired Syrian which answers to Brownie. As you can guess by now, I exhibit profound creativity when it comes to naming my unfortunate pets.

Very Gray, like a typical man, is balding. But unlike homo sapiens who thin at the head, Very Gray is losing fur around his butt and the lower back. I sometimes wonder if it’s got to do with his sedentary lifestyle of just sitting and eating. I’m trying to imagine what he will look like when he loses all his fur. Perhaps he’ll look like one of those wizened, shrunken old men.

Brownie, whom my friends call Xena (certainly a more fitting moniker), can hardly eat. I don’t think her appetite’s gone down but her teeth have gone crooked and she can’t handle hard food anymore. And she also can’t crack open her favourite melon seeds too. So I have to feed her steamed corn, egg and veggies.

Watching them, I just felt a prayer welling up from inside of me:

Father God, thank you for my hamsters and for the good times I’ve had with them. It was 20 months of cleaning hamster pee and poop but it was also 20 months of watching them grow from babies to oldies. Thank you for their company – which was often accompanied by their smell. But as they age now, Father, I pray that You’ll have mercy on them and spare them of illness and pain. And when it’s time for them to go to hamster heaven, I pray that You’ll take them there peacefully and painlessly. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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