I once had a pet hamster named Hammy. Even though he was chubby and fluffy, he could fit through many tiny holes, like the hammy in the picture. and he was good at escaping his cage, so sometimes my dad called him Houdini. He had black beady eyes like little glass marbles, and the softest golden velvet fur ever, so holding him felt like holding a ball of happiness! He was the nicest hamster ever. He never bit or scratched or pooped where it was not appropriate (how considerate, I thought! Mom was very appreciative). He was like sunshine. Coincidentally, his favorite food was sunflower seeds. Whenever he ate them, he was always more chipper and playful. Sometimes I would play this game with him called the Sunflower Expedition, where I line up a bunch of sunflower seeds in a trail and he would follow the swirling pathway to pick them up and stuff them in his cheeks, one by one, until I had led him all the way around the room in many circles. The objective was to see how many he could fit inside his cheeks (the answer is a lot). and then afterwards I would retire him happily back in his cage so he could store his sunflower seeds and eat them when he was hungry or sad. I was 6 years old when I got him. As I got older, I got busier and interested in other things and I spent less time with him, until I was 8 and I rarely thought of him at all, except for when I had to clean his cage and refill his food and water. Little Hammy had gone from my best friend to item #16 in my long list of chores. We stopped playing Sunflower Expedition. One day I went on a 2 day vacation, thinking he’d would be fine without any supervision. When I came back, he had passed away. A small ball of fluff, curled up in his little corner, cold and quiet. He was 2 years old. Given that the life span of a hamster is only 2-3 years, the logical assumption is that he died from age. But little naive forlorn 8 year old me believed he died of a broken heart because I stopped loving him, and so I cried for many many days out of guilt and repent. His little bruised heart, swollen from my crippled affection, sheltered by nothing but a tiny cage of glass rib bones.
(Source: dolonine, via fuckyeahloldemort)