Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Welcome, Vermin

As a kid growing up we had a couple of dogs. We had goldfish when I was really young, two of them - Ernie and Bert - and I wanted to see if fish could sneeze so I put pepper in their bowl, they ate it and died. I had a turtle that ran away. We had a cat for a weekend once, I think. And at some point I acquired a mouse. A little white mouse with red eyes that I managed to keep secret from my mother until one weekend when my sisters and I were at our father's house and she called to let me know this mouse that she hadn't even been aware of had escaped and was running wild in the house. That was the end of that. When I moved out on my own I racked up a menagerie of snakes and lizards, a Great Dane and Weimaraner for a while.

I like animals, I just don't have a lot of time for them now what with all the people that require tending to in this house. But tonight I walked into the house after work and was greeted by JP who was bouncing off the walls because of the newest resident here at Castilo Urf! Harpo is a Teddy Bear Hamster and he lives in the boys' room, in a cage, for now. I'm certain that this is the first in a long line of small animals on our Ark, both furry and scaly. A long line of buried shoeboxes and flushed memorials. But no need to dwell on that now. Tonight The Quartet is having a great time with Harpo and it seems to be doing well. I know it's doing well because the kids are coming in to us every four minutes with updates on what it's doing. They've set stools up in front of the cage so they can sit and watch it as though the hamster and its antics are the afternoon matinee. Poor little guy, scurrying around his shavings, pooping alongside kin one minute, stared at by three giant child heads the next, wondering how hungry they are but not yet realizing that these kids subsist on cheese pizza and Pop Tarts, nothing even approaching hamster meat.

Welcome to our home, Harpo. We'll see to it our kids take care of you as best we can, though we can't really be responsible for their friends so watch out for them. And try to remember that around here it's first come/first served in the bathroom, the volume is always up, the littlest kid may not necessarily be the safest and should someone try to feed you pepper, just pretend to sneeze and then run away.