Rusty Fuzzball The Nippiest Indulged Furry

Jan 2004 - Nov 27, 2005

Rusty at the cage doorRusty is our second hamster. Gizmo was so much fun we decided to indulge another. Rusty is cute and furry, but that's where his similarity to Gizmo ends. While Gizmo enjoyed human interaction, Rusty prefers to be indulged in a hands-off manner. Rusty's first instinct when presented with an object is to investigate by biting. This makes handling him difficult, not to mention painful.  After several weeks of trying to get him used to being handled and having our fingers bitten, we figured out he was trying to tell us that he really doesn't like to be bothered by humans. So, he is indulged in his own way.

When I first joined the "Indulged Hamster" I lived in the "Playland" that was built as Gizmo's second home.  I wasn't terribly fond of the openness of this home, and I only had one level to explore.  Being a natural burrowers and climber, this one-story didn't give me any way to go upstairs and downstairs.   I let my caretakers know that even though I had a lot of nice cage accessories (including a Wodent Wheel), this "ranch style home" wasn't really what I was looking for. I preferred a multi-story homes like the houses you see San Francisco!  So, being the indulged hammy that I am, my caretakers borrowed an extra-large 4-story cage for me to live in.  Rusty in playlandGranted, it was really a rat cage (I think I could even smell the previous renter), but it was much better than the old playland.  Besides, it was getting a bit crowded in the Hamster Bedroom, and with my 4-story cage, we had more floor space for ball-time adventures.  If you're going to spend your life in a cage, you should be indulged with the style you prefer!

Unlike Gizmo, who mastered the ball immediately, I took my time figuring out how to control this contraption.  Hey, I'm a speed-demon and control was not my goal.  For about 8 months I went "full speed ahead"....running so fast that my body was facing upwards along the front side of the ball and I couldn't see where he was going!  I annoyed my humans by constantly banging into walls.  I loves coming out of my cage for a little ball time - and since I don't like seeing big human hands reaching in my cage, all my humans do is put the ball inside the cage and I hop right in.  Now that's service!  As I got a bit older and more mature, I realized speeding and crashing was for youngsters, and I slowed down, paid more attention to my steering. Now I just cruise around the house like a middle-aged driver, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of my human home.

I don't want to sound uncomplimentary about my brother Gizmo, but he was a little piggy when it came to food. I don't know, maybe he envied Guinea Pigs. Anyway, that guy could hoard food like no hamster I've ever known.  Pack your pouches and leave piles of food all over the uncivilized!  Since my caretakers spread my food out in various locations in my cage, I do have to "pouch it" and move it to my favorite dining locations.  But I don't stockpile much. I also don't enjoy "treats" quite as much as Gizmo. Rusty eating I think Gizmo liked treats because is was a way to be hand fed and amuse our caretakers....oh, isn't he the Cutest, Sweetest Hamster (what a suck-up).  I'm sorry, Gizmo was a nice hamster brother.  He gave up his playland for me and we explored the house together in our balls (I'd even play "bumper balls" with him).  I guess we're just different.  I don't like being held and tend to "bite the hand that feeds me".  Gizmo had the right idea about two things: 1) those  pressed pellets of unknown plant material that come in our food mixture are nasty and I won't touch them either! 2) The chewy dehydrated sweet potato pieces in the food mix are "sweeeet" and I'm glad he didn't mind having to share them with me. 

After Gizmo moved on to the "The Big Hamster Wheel In The Sky", I moved into Gizmo's old cage.  It's a bit smaller than my 4-story, (heck, it's still a huge hamster cage), but I like it a lot and feel a bit "cozier" in it.  Gizmo took good care of his home, and I'm glad we kept it in the family.

Rusty being watched by BentleyAs you can see, our dog-brother Bentley has not lost his fascination with hamsters.  Whenever I'm out in my ball, Bentley follows me around the house.  This requires constant human supervision, just in case Bentley gets over-excited and tries to paw at me.  It's also to my benefit because if I get stuck somewhere, my caretakers are right there to give me a little "boost".  Hey, I'm older now and finished with powering my way around the house. Bentley also sits outside my cage, watching and waiting for me to come "downstairs" for a close-up sniffing. I don't mind -- he's pretty good looking for a dog!

You can kind-of see it in this photo - one of my indulgences is  linoleum lined cage floors. Wire floors are just not suitable for an Indulged Hammy, so mine have been covered with pieces of linoleum.  It's soft under foot and easy to clean - just have your "cleaning service" roll up the pieces and pull them through the cage doors.  This is best done while you're sleeping on the first floor and aren't bothered by the cleaning lady being on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  When the upstairs has been cleaned and tidied, go for a ride in your ball while your lower level is being cleaned.  What a life...personal maid service!  Don't tell anyone, but there's a practical reason why I appreciate the linoleum.  It's much easier for a long-haired hamster like myself to keep my fur clean when there isn't so much wood shaving bedding material all around.  My human has given my rump-hairs a trim with a safety scissors on occasion, and that helps keep the bedding from tangling in my fur. When your caretaker risks the perils of sharp teeth and gives you a rump fur haircut you know you're indulged!!!