Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Juno-Hamster just died.

About two hours ago, Juno lay still in her little nest, cold to the touch and not breathing. I took her out to hold her. Perhaps because of the warmth of my hands, she started panting very slowly and deeply, about a breath every 3-5 seconds. She didn't react to anything I did, though. After a while, I wrapped her up in a little towel and put her back into her cleared-out nest, where she continued to take occasional labored breaths. If she was going to recover, I wanted her to wake up in a familiar place. After another half-hour or so, her respiration increased. I lifted her out and carried her up here to my office, where I sat down and set her in my lap to keep her warm on my thigh. Just in case.

She weighs so little, and her little breathing sounds were heart-breaking. She didn't respond to my stroking her head or feeling for her heartbeat, not even to the sunflower seed resting against her cheek.

At 1:35pm, she drew an extra-deep breath and stretched out all her limbs, opening her mouth and eyes wide, every musle flexed hard. Her fat, pink tongue came out as if she were licking her lips. None of this was grotesque; rather, this was her body using up the last of its energy. Then she slowly relaxed and stopped breathing.

Poor little hamster; she was only about six months old. She did get to be a mother before I met her. I think something was wrong with her all along, because she often drank her body weight in water in just a day or two. Her water-bottle was practically empty today, and I had refilled it just two days ago.

Here's the post of when I adopted her, with bigger photos. She was a sweet little girl, happy being handled and not as squirmy as Chloe. She occasionally nipped the fingers that fed her, but not intentionally nor very hard. She had to learn how to use the Ball of Speed Magnification, but when she did, she loved it. She ran and ran all night long in her wheel, moving it across the floor of her cage. She figured out how to escape from Alcatraz just as Chloe had, and started making a nest in the bottom of the refrigerator - beside the warm compressor - using scraps of paper intended for recycling. She was cute and pretty and charming, and I'll miss her small mammal presence in the house.

Here she was:

Okay, it's been nearly half an hour and she hasn't breathed. I think Juno is completely gone. Time for her to join her little sisters in my rodent graveyard beneath the trees. It's a nice day outside, sunny and warm. Here's the burial site:

RIP little Juno. I hope you get a better run next time around.

Tags: pets

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