For the last two days, our hamster, Alex Trebek, has been failing.
I fed him a bit of tomato yesterday afternoon, and he nibbled on it. Right before bed last night, I gave him a piece of orange, but he didn't eat it.
Dwarf hamsters live one to two years, and Alex was about a year and nine months. I hoped that he would go quickly and peacefully, and he appeared to do so, as I found him on the floor of his cage on his side this morning.
We didn't mention the demise to the children, but Nita asked if she could check on the hamster before school today. I told her we already had, hoping that would be the end of the discussion. But of course she asked how he was doing. I told her, "He didn't make it."
She said, "I'm not going to school" and started to cry. We convinced her that Alex, like the real Alex Trebek, would have wanted her to take every advantage of the education available to her. Unfortunately, she got seriously overwhelmed in math class and, as she put it, "really let go." Nothing like a little drama.
So, our "vermin with social status" has gone to the great beyond. We are not getting another hamster, as we have the three dogs, two rabbits, and a cat already; however, if a hamster somehow accidentally comes our way, we will most likely not turn him away.