This afternoon, I sat down at my desk and a co-worker told me someone in the office had a hamster in their briefcase or something. I am not exactly sure what she told me because the whole idea didn't make any sense. So I went into the next cubicle to discover a hamster in a cardboard box. The hamster was rolled into a ball and I could clearly seeing its tiny traumatized heart nearly beating out of its body.
I asked if the hamster was ok and the briefcase woman responded, "Is IT OK?! What about me?!"
I told her she looked fine and asked if it really had been in her briefcase all day. She confirmed that it was one of her kids' and had apparently snuck into her briefcase before she came to work. I was terrified thinking of this tiny animal being banged around in a briefcase all day. I couldn't see its legs moving and suggested that it might need to see a vet.
Briefcase woman told me, "We do not take hamsters to the vet!"
I wasn't sure I understood where she was coming from and so I told her that I would be willing to take it to the vet. To that, she insisted, "We do not take hamsters to the vet!" As if I was being completely unreasonable. So, I informed her that if it needed help, I was taking it to the vet! It looked like the poor thing could have a heartattack.
The hamster had water and people were trying to figure out what to give it to possibly eat. I felt so bad for the hamster as briefcase woman lightheartedly called her kids to tell them that she had a stowaway hamster. Her attitude and the fact that I was being thought of as silly for actually caring infuriated me.
I called a local vet and asked for advice. They told me that having water available was good and that we should feed it. Hamster food options in an office are limited but the vet techs suggested apples. I cut some tiny pieces out of an apple I had and the hamster perked up a little. My main concern was if it was able to use its legs. Some co-workers assured me that it had, in fact, walked.
I had to ask Briefcase woman if she would be able to take it home. She assured me that she could take it home in the cardboard box. She told me I had a tender heart. It just further pissed me off that she would tell me that. I don't have a "tender heart." I just happen to be responsible enough to want to help a being that obviously needs help!
This woman made numerous comments that bordered on retardation. At one point I almost told her that if she wasn't prepared to treat a potentially mortally wounded animal in her care, the only other option was to kill it. Oh, they would have loved that.
This is a perfect example of the trouble with pets. In particular this illustrates why animals like hamsters should not be kept as pets or playthings. A hamster has little to no control over its circumstances. They are at their "owners" mercy. At least a cat or a dog can try to escape or effectively fight back.
I hope that little hamster gets home safe and is able to relax, recuperate, and have a healthy and fun little life.