I always thought it was cats that had nine lives. Well, last year that theory was extended to hamsters! Nat was then at nursery, and nursery had its own pet hamster - Percy, or Percy Wurce as Nat named him. I'm not terribly into little furry creatures, particularly if they in any way resemble rats, but Percy is the most divine little thing. He's golden and white and so very sociable.
We'd had him a few times before this memorable weekend, and had no problems. I was worried our five cats might take a liking to him, but they're so lazy they weren't interested. He slept in his cage in Nats room at night, and during the day did exciting things like riding toy tractors and going up the children's trouser legs.
This particular weekend started off like any other. Then, on Saturday afternoon the children were in the playroom, all playing with Percy and getting very giddy. My husband was supervising (thank goodness) and I was in our basement doing something creative.
The story goes something like this : Chris left the kids with Percy for just a minute to go the toilet, asking them to be careful and kind to the hamster before he went. They nodded and off he went. the next thing I heard was a lot of screaming and crying. I rushed up to the playroom and poor little Percy was staggering round in circles on the floor, with one of his eyes shrunk to the size of a pin prick.
Oh my goodness! Eventually when the kids had calmed down abit I established that Nat had placed Percy on top of the toy chest (which is relatively high, especially for a hamster) thinking he may like to go sky diving, but without a parachute. Percy did, diving off the end and landing head first onto the solid floor below.
Poor little Percy I thought, and how on earth do we explain a dead hamster to nursery on Monday morning?. Thinking on my feet I thought how I'd react if it one of the children, and it came to me - I'd give them arnica. I use this homeopathic remedy for any knocks, bumps or bruises and it works on them so why not on a hamster?
I crushed an arnica pill, Ben held Percy and we pushed it into his mouth. And lo and behold within half an hour Percys eye increased to match the other, and when we put him on the floor he no longer looked drunk and could potter around as normal. Major relief!
We've not volunteered to have him since though!