Friday, February 24, 2012


We keep Sprinkles in the bathroom at night because he's too loud when he runs his nightly 8 miles on his neon green hamster wheel. His cage is basically a bright orange rectangle with bars and a lid, and there is also a smaller clear box attached to the main cage, which we call his "apartment." This is where he sleeps, stores his favorite seeds (which he transports from his food bowl in his cheek pouches) and, disgustingly, defecates. He literally shits where he eats. He occasionally dumps his turds on the cage floor just outside his "apartment" door. He also insists on pissing out of his cage through the bars, where it leaves a brownish puddle on the floor. Maybe he's trying to tell me that he has a kidney infection by showing me the unnatural color of his urine. But I'm not taking something that cost me less than eight bucks to any medical professional, thank you very much. I tried to create a pee shield once using a page from a magazine and some off-brand plastic wrap. He insolently changed pee corners. Bastard.

Today I walked into the bathroom and saw him where he usually is during the daytime, sleeping in his apartment. But I did a double take, because I thought I saw his pink nose hanging halfway out of the "door" of the apartment. Thinking the rodent dead, I leaned in for a closer look, calling his name. (I know he doesn't know his name, but if I don't address him as Sprinkles, then who else am I talking to all day when I'm home alone? Don't answer that.) What I found startled, fascinated, and revolted me, all at the same time. I wasn't looking at the hamster's nose, nor any other part of his head, but at his scrotum, which was nearly the same size as his entire skull, and a disturbingly bright shade of pink which bordered on red. I shrieked, and looked away, and laughed, and looked again, and said "ew" several times in a row, and then shouted at the unconscious creature how disgusting his balls are to behold, asked him why they look like that, laughed again, and looked away, and then looked back. He either didn't hear me or was ignoring me and hoping I'd go away and let him air out his sack in peace.

I don't know what it was that bothered me most. It wasn't just the sheer size of his flagrantly displayed "scrote," his tallywags, his bird's eggs, his cojones, his clangers, his clappers, his chestnuts, his mountain oysters, his niagara falls, his love apples, his jingleberries, his plums, his whirlygigs, but also their shocking crimson color against the backdrop of his black and white fur, and the fact that they was hanging completely away from the rest of his body, while his face was invisible, buried in the wood shavings and shredded newspaper and toilet paper bits he calls a bed. Anyway, it was weird. I thought about taking a picture but then I realized that I was starting to wander over the borders of what could be misconstrued as animal pornography, so I decided against it. Not after that seventh grade field trip to the zoo when I took a picture of a bongo peeing, which I thought was hilarious, but caused my parents to give me a strange look and tell me to go finish my homework.

I mean, come on.

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