My Hamster, Poptart

September 17, 2008
Ever since I saw my friend’s hamster I had begged my mom to let me buy one without much success. I decided I wanted a black and white one that I would name Oreo. When I finally was allowed to get one we went to PetsMart. I rushed in the door to find my perfect pet. “They don’t have the kind I want,” I said with my face pressed against a glass cage. “How about that one?” my mom said pointing to a cage at the top left. I sighed and stood on my toes to look at the hamster she had pointed at. I stared at the tan hamster with grey ears and little beady looking black eyes and a little twitching nose. I asked the saleswoman for him. He wasn’t what I wanted then, but now he has changed my life.

I watched her walk into a tiny room behind the wall of cages and snatch up the little animal. She dropped him into a cardboard box that said “small animal” and gave some information about him. I grabbed the box and dashed to pick out his food and treats. The food was mostly seeds and nuts but the treats were all different. There were some shaped like ice cream and some were just colorful stick shapes. I decided on the rainbow sticks and quickly walked to the register to pay for the hamster and supplies. I handed the cashier $14.95 and carried the food and box to my mom’s white suburban. As we drove off I peeked at him through an opening in the top of the box and announced to my mom and brother, “I’m going to name him Poptart!”

When we arrived at our house I sprinted up our driveway trying not to shake Poptart’s box. As I ran I could feel Poptart bouncing around in the box. I flung open the door and carried him inside. I carefully laid the box on the counter and started to prepare his cage. I poured the bedding into the purple cage. It had a top area for him to sleep in and a bottom with a yellow food bowl, a twisty green slide and a wheel to run in. By the time the cage was ready my dad was home from work. Once he was inside I nervously put the box toward the cage door and opened it as my family crowded around me to watch. I tipped the box on its side and waited for him to crawl out and into the cage but he wouldn’t budge. We shook the box and tapped on it trying to get him out. My dad walked across the kitchen, opened a drawer and pulled out a shiny metal spatula. He brought it over and put it in the box. He started using it to shove Poptart out but he clung to a crevice in the box. We laughed at my dad trying to push a tiny hamster out and failing. “Get out of the box Poptart!” I commanded. Poptart finally got tired and cautiously waddled out of the box and into the cage. The way he waddled reminded me of a bear that had been hibernating. His tiny pink nose started to switch as he sniffed everything in the cage. Suddenly, he crawled into the wheel and started to run on it. I smiled as I watched him run and listened to the drumming sound the wheel made. I removed his food bowl and put his food in it. I dropped lettuce, carrot, apple and cheese, in addition to his seeds and nuts, into the food bowl. He attacked the food when I put it in the cage. I stuck colorful chew stick between the cage bars and watched him stuff it into his cheek. I whispered, “I love you, Poptart,” before I carried the cage up the stairs to my bedroom.

Poptart used to be a hamster that I bought but didn’t want. Then he became like part of my family. He has taught me that being responsible has its rewards!

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