Two deaths in one week

Bella, our hamster, died on the same day as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on the 8th September 2022. Bella’s death hit me harder than I was expecting. We haven’t had her for very long but I noticed over the past month that she was losing weight. I started to weigh her regularly to see if it was changing and then last Wednesday I noticed she had diarrhoea. I took her to the vet the same day and he gave her some liquid antibiotics which I was to put in her mouth with a syringe daily but she went downhill rapidly that night and died on Thursday. She died in my hands as I tried to squirt water in her mouth. I suspect she was severely dehydrated.

Hamsters don’t live very long but Bella was only about 18 months and not at her natural life span. I can’t help thinking it was my fault, that I should have taken her to the vet sooner or cleaned her cage more often or cleaned it less frequently (they get stressed when their environment changes) or given her different food or any number of things I might have done. She’s a picky eater and perhaps she was only picking out the things she liked and ended up malnourished? Or maybe she had an underlying condition like cancer. I will never know but I am haunted by her last gasps for air as she died in my hands. Poor Bella. Rest in peace.

Daisy, our other hamster, seems well although it’s hard to tell if a hamster is happy. I’m sure they’d rather have their freedom but they wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild here. We adopted them both from someone else. They were sisters. I encourage people who might want to get a hamster to adopt one from an animal rescue centre rather than going to a pet shop.

The Queen’s coffin was driven through Aberdeen today right near our house so we joined the crowds to watch the historic moment. I was surprised by the thousands of people who materialised out of nowhere to watch what was over in 5 seconds. I have an enormous amount of respect for her and her infallible sense of responsibility and duty and it seems like the majority of the country feels the same. She was certainly much loved in the north east of Scotland.

As Queen Elizabeth once said, “grief is the price we pay for love”. Rest in peace Elizabeth Regina.

2 responses to “Two deaths in one week”

  1. Maybe she always had something wrong with her – I have never met a hamster who was fussy about what they ate. I can’t imagine any animal having a nicer life than they would at your house, but it’s always sad to see animals suffering when ill.
    I wonder about whether they are happy when I see my boyfriend’s hamster. He seems to have different expressions but I don’t want to anthromorphise him by interpreting them.

    1. I wonder if anyone has studied hamster life satisfaction? I once read that rodents like wheels and choose to run on them even when they live in the wild. That’s funny that your boyfriend has a hamster. They seem to be a popular pet for adults, more so than children.

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