I bought a book today (How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author) by Janet Evanovich. I have never read anything else by Evanovich, but the following paragraph grabbed me. It's the description of her hamster by Stephanie Plum, one of Evanovich's main characters. Here it is:
"My hamster, Rex, is my roommate. Rex was actually supposed to be a golden retriever, but I realized that having a dog wasn't going to work, seeing as how I'm away from my apartment so much of the day. Rex lives in a soup can in a glass aquarium on the kitchen counter. Rex is pretty much nocturnal, so we're sort of like ships passing in the night. As an extra treat, once in a while I drop a Cheez-Doodle into his cage and he emerges from his soup-can home to retrieve the Doodle. That's about as complicated as our relationship gets."
This sounds like something I could handle. I remember Hammy, the eponymous hamster who lived with us in Brooklyn. He liked to crawl under the covers on my bed and sit on my stomach to groom himself. It was pretty funny watching him scrub behind his ears in privacy. It reminded me of Chippy, the chipmunk I tamed at the lake when I was a kid. Chippy would crawl up onto my shoulder and then dip down into the pocket of my shirt for a peanut. I loved the delicate feel of Chippy's little feet and the sweet weight of the little animal walking up my arm. I could also feel his tiny puffs of breath when he sniffed around for more peanuts in my hand.
Anyway, it gets lonely here at times when Squeak hasn't visited for a while and thundered around my little apartment reminding me just how unsuitable it is for more than one big body. It might be fun to have a little somebody living in a soup can inside an aquarium on my kitchen counter (though I'd have to clear a big enough space). I could certainly feed him better stuff than Cheez-Doodles, though. Hammy loved slices of apple and pear.