The Hamsters are Dead and Other Fun Stuff

Little Debbie died. Hostess is still hanging on.  What? You don’t name your fish after snack cakes?

My oldest came down the stairs with her limp fish, visibly upset about her beloved pet. We hugged her and said our “I’m sorry’s” and quickly changed the remaining fish’s water just to omit any further owner-error. My daughter bounced back quickly. Because in her words, “It’s a fish.”

But later that same night we heard a shriek and this same daughter discovered her hamster had gone to Heaven. Tears. This was obviously a bigger deal and I sent my bewildered husband into the garage to seek out a hamster-sized casket. A definite first for this family.

We said a few words and buried the business card box in the yard.

I tried to soothe my oldest and said “What would make you feel better?” <——–thinking a snack cake and praying to God she didn’t say another hamster. She said, “there’s only one thing I can think of that would take away my pain…………Can I have a cell phone?”

I patted her on the back and said No. (After I laughed hysterically). Yep, that girl will be fine.

The next morning before school my son came downstairs, lip trembling.

Yep, same story, last hamster.

My son was relieved because in his words, “Rodents are a lot of work. Now my room will smell good again.” Which is debatable considering his athletic shoes.

I’m not sure what caused all the pet deaths, but I might have caught my dog and cat googling the Pet Apocalypse.

This sort of narrows down the list of people wanting us to pet sit for them.

We’re choosing to laugh around here.


  1. 3


    We got a couple of fish in the last month of pregnancy with my first born and they religiously died day after day…. we stopped giving them names and started calling them “Flushed 1,” “Flushed 2,” … I must say I was a little concerned but we seems to have so much better luck with kids!!!

    • 3.1

      Melissa O says

      I was a LITTLE enotional while pregnant…and when my son’s fish died I cried and cried. My oldest son who was 4 at the time said, “Mom, it was just a fish.” My husband thought it would be funny to put on some background music. He played the funeral song to Waking Ned Devine. It’s a good memory :)

  2. 5


    Laughter is the best medicine…I was thinking perhaps the water was the problem. Maybe someone fed the hamsters the fish water. That is totally crazy, but it’s great to see that they are all doing well.

  3. 7

    emily e says

    You may want to get you air tested. My step-dad did some work for a family whose carbon dioxide levels were too high and all their hampsters kept dying.

  4. 13

    Kim says

    So sorry. What a rough time for the kids. We actually had to have one of our hamsters euthanized at the vets. He had tumors all in his neck and the silly thing wasn’t eating but wouldn’t die. We just couldn’t put the thing down on our own. Took it the the vet and they did it, to the tune of $80! The hamster cost us maybe $15 :(

  5. 14

    Pam says

    I am laughing so hard and I needed to laugh so Thank you. My 12 year old daughter would pull the cell phone card too, it’s a weekly request for anything she does for me-emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, etc. Love how you pen your point of view. Thanks for the giggles.

  6. 16


    Almost 15 years ago, my roommate and I (both college ministers) had a smallish fish tank with a few fish. One of our favorites died, so of course, being in the ministry we had to have a proper funeral for him, albeit over the toilet. One of our students was there (he was a little on the air-head side…sorry, just setting the stage!). As we said a few words over Hezekiah (the fish), Jon said, “Hezekiah, I never knew him well.” Oh, Amy and I have laughed about that for years. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that funny, but it was in the midst of our grief.
    Seriously, do a radon test or whatever those things are for carbon monoxide. Sounds like your hamsters may be your canaries!

  7. 18

    Renee says

    We actually had to put one of our kids’ pet rats to sleep a couple of months ago. She was really suffering. Did it ourselves with dry ice. Seemed to be quick and painless. Now I’m waiting for the other one to come to an end too so upstairs will smell better.

  8. 19

    Sharon O says

    Hysterical post.
    At least you buried the known ‘dead’ animal. My husband found a black cat in front of our house years ago when our children were young and rather than let me be upset or them… he put it in a box(to save us from viewing the deceased cat) we had the ‘funeral with songs and words of eulogy’ and covered the freshly dug hole with dirt.
    Later that evening we were outside in our front yard and a large black cat came up to our porch purring and wanting in. YES folks it was our cat. We buried the wrong cat.
    Someones cat had a prized spot in our ‘backyard’ and we never did find out who lost one.
    It has been a funny story for us for years. The worst part of it was explaining to the young children that ONLY Jesus resurrects from the dead …cats do not. Everytime I looked out of our window I said a prayer for the family who lost a beloved black cat buried in our yard. We could only hope someone would do the same if they found ours somewhere alongside the road. (my cats are indoor only now)

  9. 21


    We have our own little pet cemetery in our backyard. 2 mice, 2 beta fish, 1 beagle, and a caterpillar. (Seriously, a caterpillar!) My girls feel deeply when it comes their pets. I believe truth death is better than lying about “Little Debbie” going to live on a “farm”; because death is a part of life. Got to give your daughter kudos for trying to get a cell phone out of it though!

  10. 23

    Camille says

    Hi, we had two hamsters die shortly after we gave them bagged salad. A friend who was a vet said the preseratives they put on those salads are most likely the cause. I never bought bagged salad again, if it could kill a hamster, I didn’t think I should feed it to my family. Funny story about the cell phone. Always enjoy your blog and great work with Mercy House.

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