Inuman ng mga ‘Patay’ ?

Undas na naman. Mga huling araw pa lang ng Oktubre e bising-bisi na ang buong ka-Pinoy-an sa paghahanda sa paggunita sa kanilang mga namayapang mahal sa buhay. Kinabukasan, unang araw ng Nobyembre, araw ng mga patay.

Araw nga ba ng mga “patay” …baka araw ng mga PATagAY? Pag ganitong mga panahon, hindi naman talaga ‘piyesta ng mga patay’ dahil mas nagdiriwang ang mga buhay. Pa’no nga ba naman magpipista o magdiriwang ang mga patay? Sa SINE lang uubra yun paris nung mga napapanuod kong mga pelikula na si Chiquito ang starring nung bata-bata pa ‘ko.

Gusto ko lang paalalahanan ang ilang mga kababayan ko na pinagkahintay-hintay ang araw na ito para ‘sumimple’ sa sementeryo. Mga p’re… ipinagbabawal ang pag-iinuman o pagdala man lang ng alak sa loob ng sementeryo! Sana naman eh huwag nating gawin ito hindi lamang dahil sa ipinagbabawal kundi dahil din sa pagmamalasakit natin sa ating kapwa at maging sa ating mga sarile. Kung gusto nyo naman, sa bahay na lang kayo mag-inuman. Pero sa tyan nyo lang ilalagay ang alak, ha? huwag sa ulo! At pag hindi na kaya, ay huwag nang pilitin pa. Isusuka nyo rin lang e bakit iinumin pa? Hindi naman kasi nasusukat ang pagkalalaki sa dami ng maiinom. At tunay nga bang lalake yung lumalakas lang ang loob pag nakakainom? Yang stainless na marka-dimonyo: nasa itaas lang naman si San Miguel Arkanghel nyan habang nakatindig pa yang bilog o kwadradong bote na tangan-tangan nyo. Pag nasaid nyo na ang laman nyan malamang nakatumba na yan at si ‘Taning’ na ang nasa itaas.

Mga bata pa kasi kayo — nanggaling na rin naman ako dyan noon… Ang kantyawan pa nga noon e “di baleng tumagal sa suso, huwag lang sa baso”… ambastos ba eka nyo? ewan ko basta gradweyt na ko dyan ngayon — pasang-awa pa nga eh… Balang araw maiintindihan nyo rin. Pero kung matanda na kayo at paramihan pa rin ng maiinom ang prinsipyo nyo, malamang tumatanda kayo nang paurong…

Pakinggan nyo na lang itong sabi ng lolo ni Ikabod:

O ‘di ba? Maigi na yung nag-iingat. Baka hindi pa man natatapos ang undas e, maihabol pa kayo sa ipagtitirik ng kandila! He he… kayo din. Di bale sana kung tiyak nyo na kung saan kayo papunta. Hindi problema ng isang dagâ kung saan sya ‘dadalhin ni Kamatayan’ oras na matigok sya, pero tayong mga tao? Kanino kaya sa dalawang karakter dyan sa bote ng ginebra tayo ipapasa ni Kamatayan? Ha…! dapat kayong mag-isip-isip… ipagtirik man kayo ng sanrekwang kandila, useless na rin…

Yang dagang si Ikabod e matagal na ring namayapa yan — at least sa komiks, pero hindi sa puso at diwa ng ilang mga taong tulad ko. Yan ang dagang bukod-tangi kong pinagkasubaybayan magmula nuong ako’y estudyante pa lang sa Los Baños. Pinagkatagu-tago ko pa ang news clipping na yan. Aba e kung kay Mickey Mouse o Robo Rat din lang, kay Ikabod na ako! Naibibida ko lang naman…

Napag-uusapan din lang yang dagâ at araw naman ngayon ng mga patay e me naisip lang akong itanong. Bakit kaya tayong mga Pinoy pag me naaamoy na mabaho e parati na lang amoy patay na dagâ ang sinasabi? Dagâ lang ba ang mabaho pag namamatay? Hindi naman ‘di ba? Maski anong patay naman tiyak na mangangamoy at babaho… maliban lang siguro ang patay na kuko… (sa kamay ha? hindi sa paa)

O ano, nag-iinuman na ba kayo? Kayo na lang ha? Pinagkatanda-tanduayan ko kasi nuon pa man ang pangako ko ke misis nu’ng mag-boypren pa lang kami na hin-gin na ko iinom, maski beer-bihira lang. Oo sige na, luma na nga ang dyok na yan… Ano? ako, ander? … hindi ah! lab ko lang si Misis…

Ibahin na nga lang natin ang usapan at baka kung saan lang tayo mapunta… ‘ala pa ba kayong pulutan dyan?

Alam nyo ba na dito sa amin sa probinsiya e hindi lang pusâ ang kumakain ng dagâ? Ginagawa itong pulutan pag may inuman! Koreksyon: inuman ng mga tao ha? hindi inuman ng mga pusâ… at yung dagâ ang pulutan, hindi ang pusâ! Ang gulo ba? Oks lang na-gets nyo naman, di ba? Pero lilinawin ko: yung mga dagang-bukid naman ha? hindi ang mga dagang-bahay o dagang estero! Tutuo yan mga p’re, dehins ako lasing o nagbibiro. Ang tawag pa nga nila dito ay STAR meat — binaligtad na RATS meat! Kaya nga pag may rat-hunting campaign sa mga bukid dito, mga buntot na lang ng dagâ ang binibilang kasi yun na lang ang natitira dahil pinagkuku-kuha na ang mga katawan.

Oebaket? Malinis naman ang dagang-bukid a dahil palay ang kinakain nito! Kayo din naman kumakain din ng palay, ipinakiskis nyo lang at isinaing. Mas malinis pa nga ang dagang-bukid kaysa sa baboy dahil hindi ito kumakain ng kaning baboy! Wala pang kolesterooooool!

Aba e kung ayaw nyong tumikim e di huwag nyo, magtiis kayong walang pulutan… he he he … nagsa-suggest lang naman. Dalawang bagay lang naman ang tinutumbok ko: Hindi lahat ng dagâ e marumi, at hindi komo kumakain ng dagâ e wala nang makaen!

Sige, mag-inuman na nga lang kayo. Sa bahay na lang ha! … para pag inantok, diretso nang tulog! Baka bangungutin lang kayo… kung ayaw nyo namang matulog agad e di okey lang din… basta huwag na lang kayong mag-kantyawan at baka magkapikunan pa kayo. Magpahulas na lang muna kayo… magkape kaya… huwag gatas at masamang ihalo sa alkohol yun — baka hindi na kayo magising…

Maiwan ko na kayo, hane? …pupunta akong sementeryo — mangangaral pa ako sa mga “patay”. Pagbulay-bulayan nyo yung mga ibinida ko. Itagay nyo na lang ako…

Pleasure deprives a man of his faculties quite as much as pain. – Plato
Comic strip credit: Ikabod Bubwit by (the late) Nonoy Marcelo

A Hamster Halloween special

A NOTE FOR THE READERS:

This is the first and last time I made such a video remix for my pets.  (I see nothing wrong about it) My concern of not offending anybody, particularly the conservative bigot or a person of the extremist-type (animal-welfare nazis), is the only reason that keep me from making this two-minute ‘teaser’ and showing it publicly in YouTube and in my blog.

If you have some superstitious beliefs, cultural biases or religious prejudices, DO NOT CLICK on that PLAY button — this video is not for your eyes to see.

To find out more about Berio, click on these:

Dying young

There is only one thing which makes it very hard for me to accept the departure of a pet. It is when it didn’t live its full lifespan, especially if it died so suddenly, without any hint or warning.

Beria-girdel was a Boolagang, one of the three daughters of Berio and Mochahontas. She was a very active and lively hamster. I mated her with Wigwam when she was in heat on September 2; incidentally that was 16 days before my birthday, which means her babies were expected to be born on my birthday. But like Snowy and the elder Beria, she got birthing problems.

On September 18, she suddenly became dormant and I could hear her groans. To make it worst, she refused to touch her food. The daytime passed without sign of any babies, only bleeding. Since there were still the hours of the night to complete one day, I dared not to touch her because I was afraid I could do her more harm than good. Finally a portion of the first baby came out the following day. She was straining very hard but unable to push it out, I had to pull it gently; and I could see her feeling of relief when it came out. Minutes later came out the other small lifeless bodies all by themselves one by one.

My mother used to tell me her story about how she suffered when she gave birth to me — I was born by breech birth and came out a “blue baby” … I was seemingly lifeless — still, not breathing and didn’t cry or made any response to the new world outside. If not for the expertise of the midwife, who needed to hold me upside down by my feet and snap me at my buttocks, I’m not here at this moment telling this or my hamsters’ story. The birth ‘crippled’ my mother for a month or two.

Beria-girdel’s last attempt to “crawl” to her sleeping spot (she was literally pulling her hind legs) was still very clear in my memory. By the look in her deepened eyes, I can feel as if she was saying:

“It’s alright, Robert… just let me ‘go’ — I’m dying.”

Late that night, after two days of intense labor stress, Beria-girdel died very solemnly. It was two days after my birthday, just less than 40 days ago. Again, another moment of mournful crying for my poor little pet. I couldn’t restrain the tears in my eyes as I buried her small body early the next morning — Autumnal Equinox, the first day of the Fall…

Beria-girdel lived for only six months and 15 days.

“Rubbing frenzy” (Remembering Beria-girdel)

Size didn’t matter

2006-10-01 (Berio)

Berio was a Herculean hamster with the balls of a Hobbit.

Berio was a banded black male, son of Bugoy and Bebang III, and belonging to the first litter of the 4th generations. Like Beria, his name was derived from the word Siberian because at his young age, he was very small. When he was nearly one month old, sexing was rather not so easy because not even a single testicle was visible. As he grew up, one — but only one — became visible, and this only showed up during warm weather.

Even though his single ball was small, Berio was no yellow. In fact he was the most fearless hamster I ever had. At maturity he was able to gain size and weight. I called him the bull hamster because of his big size.

As he mature, the other member of the pair (the other testicle) started to catch up. There was a time when I think I saw a third one beginning to show up, but I realized it was just a small swelling that soon went off by itself.

Berio was initially wary, yet very amiable. If he senses that someone is approaching his cage, he climbs up, stays near its door and puts his snout against it, waiting “in ambush” (Berio-bulaga). He does not wrestle with my hands if handled, but pushes my nose when I try to put it closer to his face; stares at me blankly when I talk to him, whiskers moving. He was the only hamster among the family who can tightly grasp my finger with his hind paws (as koala bears do). Berio always wanted to get out of his cage but immediately turns back home upon receiving his treat. He enjoys eating.

For Berio, hoarding a ‘cheekful’ of corn grains is not enough… he wants to take the whole thing – kernels and cob – to his home.

Berio’s hoard

I have no idea why Berio suddenly got lethargic. I just remember I fed all the 12 hamsters some few drops of melted ice-cream that I was eating; then his father Bugoy got ill the following day, and Berio himself the next day. But his 26½ -month old hammie recovered.

Another thing I remember was, two days before the ice-cream, I mated him with his wife Mochahontas. Berio just got sick, and died five days after their honeymoon. Was he so much stressed by their arduous love affair? I don’t know. What I knew was before his wife was widowed, he was destined to be a father. For 11 days after he died, Mochahontas had given birth to his six beautiful posthumous offspring!

I observed simple ironies of life here.

  • Berio was born small but grew to an immense size at maturity to become the biggest hamster I ever had (his name was a misnomer).

  • He was big but he got small balls.

  • His balls were small but he was a brave hamster.

  • He was big and strong but his life was short (14 months and 28 days).

  • His balls were small but he fathered six hamsters — and mind you — he did it in just one hit!

Berio just proved that size doesn’t matter.

Published in: on 28 October 2007 at 8:46 am  Comments (12)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The “3½th” generation

2006-07-04 (Arrow & Beria)

Arrow (at left) and Beria on their first-year birthday. Partially hidden at the back was the 27-month & 22-day old Mocha Rurik, then the steward of the Hall after the death of the Lupindilayk twin.

Arrow and Beria were products of the union of Gandalf (2nd generation) and StitchWarwik’s daughter who was given for adoption. Since Warwik was a sister of Gandalf (both were members of a common litter) — Stitch (a sister to Warwik’s sons Harurendilayk) was a 3rd generation hamster. In simple words, the Gandalf-Stitch paring was an uncle-and-niece marriage relationship.

Calling this new litter as the 4th generation (their mother being a 3rd generation hamster) would make Gandalf their grandpa, not their father; calling them as another 3rd generation would place them just equal with Stitch, their mother. To make the matter less complicated(?), I have chosen to classify this particular litter as the “3½th” generation. Lucky we humans for discouraging such incestuous relationship; otherwise, imagine how confusing life can be. 😆

Gandalf (white) and Stitch (black) sired six banded blacks and two banded browns. That is why I named this litter the Banderitos.

Arrow was a banded black male, stout-bodied and round-face. His name was derived from the arrow-shaped black pattern on his back. He was so orderly in his cage, consistent as to what spot to urinate. Warm and snappy, persistently hyperactive. During his active hours, so impatient to get out of the cage; and once outside, refuses to be handled, wrestles with my hand. Upon getting tired, doze off along his cage’s ladder, or on the wheel, with head dangling down — like a dead mouse.

Arrow rocks his cradle wheel

Arrow’s bane — a living space turned into a lethal chamber. He could have lived longer if I was able to foresee the perils of staying here on a very hot summer day.

Beria, bored inside her cage

Beria was a banded black female. She was small and petit, with a very cute face. Her size was the basis of my giving her her name for when she was young she was small like a Siberian hamster. Hyperactive and snappy. Quite snob and a tomboy. A homebody, hesitates before leaving her cage for a stroll.

Beria became the wife of Bebong, but the two were not able to sire because like Snowy, Beria had birthing problem. She was less fortunate than Snowy though, for she didn’t survive the complication. But despite her infirmity Beria died fighting the good fight. She left the family on a Christmas eve at a young age of 17 months and 21 days.

2006-12-25 (Beria) with Bebong & Arrow

Beria’s bereaved loved ones — brother Arrow on Arrowangkada wheel at left, and husband Bebong on the Pension house rooftop at right. (photo taken on morning of Christmas day, 2006)

Arrow became the husband of Isnowitwit, sole daughter of Blakdyak and Snow White. Before he died, Arrow fathered three hamsters. He perished suddenly due to environment-induced stress (much to my deepest grief and guilt) on the hottest month of the year — on the day when his daughter Mochahontas gave birth to his grand offspring, the Boolagang. His age was 20 months and two days.

Anak – tagapaghango sa kahirapan?

Sem-break na naman… Malamang, para na namang karera ng dagâ sa ‘paghahapit’ ang buhay ngayon ng marami nating mga estudyante. Eh baka naman kasi iba ang inaatupag kapag malayo pa ang bakasyon? Nagsusunog daw ng kilay… Ow? Sigurado kayo?

Meron akong nabasang ‘letter joke’ na gusto kong i-share sa inyo — ito naman eh nasiklot ko lang sa mga e-mail messages na natanggap ng misis ko. Hindi ko na alam kung sino ang maykatha o pinakapuno’t-dulong pinanggalingan nito, pero ihinihingi ko po ng paalam ang paggamit nito dito. Thank you, mam o sir… O ayan ha, hindi ako nag-plagiarize. Alam nyo naman, maski joke lang e dapat me intellectual property (IP) rights na rin. Baka lang ‘ekako hindi nyo pa naririnig o nababasa e me mapulot kayo; makapagmulat man lang sana sa mata ng ating mga anak — at pati na rin sa mga magulang. Eto po:

Dear Anak,….

Musta ka na?… Naipadala ko na ang 50 thousand pesos na pang-tuition fee mo, kasi ipinagbili na namin ang mga kalabaw natin. Ang mahal pala ng kursong COUNTER STRIKE ano?.., wala na din pala tayong baboy…. naibenta na din para dun sa sinasabi mo na project nyo na NOKIA N75, ang mahal naman ng project na yun. Kasama na din doon ang 7 thousand na para sa field trip nyo sa MALL OF ASIA ha!, anak malayo ba yun?? mag-i-ingat ka sa pagbibiyahe mo.

Para sa iba mo pang kailangan sa iyong pag-aaral, plano namin ng itay mo na isasanla namin ang palayan natin para mabili mo na yung instrumentong I-POD na kakailanganin mo sa laboratory nyo.

Anak komportable ka ba dyan sa boarding house mo? maayos ka ba dyan sa VICTORIA COURT na inuupahan mo? – maganda ba dyan? di ba mainit anak sa inuupahan mo?..

Anak…. kamusta na pala yung group project nyo na SANMIG LIGHT? napailaw nyo na ba? mataas ba nakuha nyo na grado dun.

Anak sana bago pa maubos ang lahat lahat ng ari-arian natin ay maka gradweyt kana, walong taon ba talaga ang kurso mo sa SECRETARIAL, sana pag gradweyt mo makakuha ka ng trabaho kaagad kagaya ng manager ng kumpanya… para mabawi natin ang mga ari arian nating sa sanglaan.

Ay cya nga pala anak diba sabi mo sa JOLLIBEE / Mc DONALD ka palagi kumakain ok ba naman sa yo ang mga ulam dyan baka hindi masarap kawawa ka naman. Eh yung school bus nyo na TAXI sabihin mo sa driver mag ingat cya sa pag da-drive. Anak hanggang dito na lang at sa susunod ay ipapadala ko sa yo ang pera na pambili mo ng ALTIS na gagamitin mo sa VACANT SUBJECT mo.

Ang nagmamahal,

Itay at Inay

P.S. Anak mag aral kang mabuti. Ingatan mo katawan mo. Huwag ka muna mag-aasawa. Ikaw lang ang pag-asa namin para mahango tayo sa kahirapan…

Iyan na nga bang sinasabi ko! Paano tayong di mas hihirap pa sa dagâ nyan? Tsk tsk tsk… aynakuanak! Siguradong katakut-takut na palusot at paliwanag na naman ang gagawin mo pag-uwi ngayong bakasyon. Ay, magising ka naman…

Kayo d’yan, ‘nong say n’yo? Mag-comment naman kayooooo!

Okey, maski usapang Pinoy lang ito, here’s a video just added recently after the second comment below was posted. Let us see what Russell Peters has to say about such a thing: *

First cousins

The third generations (two groups) exhibited all what I supposed to be the only five possible fur color and pattern that could be expected (considering the color pattern of the first ancestral pair) — black, brown, white, banded black and banded brown.

————————————————————————————————

See “Mochabebes”

2005-01-15 (Warwikgang)

These are the eight offspring of Faramir and Warwik at 33 days during their first day outside their litter cage for an ‘excursion’ in the Hall. The three boys, whom I later named collectively as the Harurendilayk, were shown here: Bebong (banded brown) and Bugoy (banded black) under the wheel, and Blakdyak, the black one at the back of the wheel. (Stitch, a black girl, and other four female whites were given for adoption.)

2005-05-31 (Harurendilayk)2005-05-20 (Harurendilayk)

The Harurendilayk got along well up to more than six months. On their eighth month, they had to be separated because they started to fight one another.

Wall-climbing Karera ng Dagâ” (RODENT-RACE) VIDEO

And the winner is…!???

(Tawa ka d’yan? 😆 …mag-comment kasi kayo!)

This video reminds me of a story of three brothers, where the two elder brothers always ‘conspired’ to bully their youngest skinny brother when they were kids. As they grew up, the vindictive youngest brother sowed hatred in his heart. In time he turned out to be more ‘fortunate’ than the two. He became self-righteous and arrogant, thinking he was the only good and responsible son. He has reached the top — or so he thinks. “Away-bata lang yun, dyunyor…” (This is only another human story anyway, not my hamsters’)

At maturity, Bebong’s eyes differ from each other in color — the right is transparent or crystal red, the left has a deeper color. Bebong was big and strong since young, and obviously an able-bodied fighter, but always stayed out of trouble (because he is so pikon — isn’t that obvious in the previous video?). When he matured he was gentle and relaxed in composure. Yawns a lot… Upon waking up, “wiggles” on his back. During his active hours, ignores the treat in my hand and climbs to my arm instead.

I called Blakdyak the “peek-a-boo” hamster (If you noticed him near the lower left corner in the first part of the video, you know why). Si Blakdyak ang dagang ‘may sariling mundo’… Initially wary but friendly, refusing to be cuddled but doesn’t bite. A late-riser but very active until after two o’clock in the morning. At midlife, he has grown a lot bigger than Bebong.

Bugoy was Faramir’s junior, the smallest but vocal, with the loudest and most pronounced “peet-peet” (echoic) sound. Explorative… hyperactive and very persistent. In the video he was the one who managed to get to the top. Peculiar sleeping habit — awake in the morning until up to 11am. When given a treat, receives it with his teeth, while grasping my fingers with his forepaws.

See “Mochabebes”

————————————————————————————————

Like their predecessors, the third generations passed swiftly before my eyes like a chain of railway cars in a train station. Hamsters are just that — short-lived (2-3 years average lifespan). They come and go, but as the old ones depart, new ones arrive in quick succession (four-day estrus cycle, 16-day pregnancy period, 6-12 babies per litter).

Snow White was the first to go at an early age of 19 months and 17 days due to a neck tumor that seemed to appear only immediately right before her death. Bebang III perished solemnly next at 22 months and 8 days.

A week after Bebang III’s departure, Blakdyak followed at midnight past his second birth date (so he lived 24 months and 1 day). Bebong passed away at age 27 months and 2 days. Sixteen days later, Bugoy followed (27 months and 18 days).

Bugoy, the last one to perish, was the most notable of all. He showed so many similarities with his father Faramir. Bugoy almost died earlier when he got sick simultaneously with his son Berio. His son didn’t make it, but Bugoy recovered and regained his strength to live 37 more days. During that time, he got loose out of his cage one night, passed thru our house door unnoticed, and got outside where stray toms were lurking; fortunately he was timely seen and recovered. He died of old age on the 31st day of March, the same month and date when his old hammy Faramir died a year earlier.

Pages: 1 2

Published in: on 14 October 2007 at 6:42 am  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mini polar bear

Siguro kung tao lang si Bitoy, matagal na nyang diniborsyo si Bebang.

2005-05-25 (Gandalf)

In every litter produced by the first pair there were always some whites: one, two and three in the first, second and third, respectively. No wonder, for Bitoy and Bebang were carriers of the albino genetic code. The first couple’s father was himself an albino. Mistisong kastila kung baga… 😆

Gandalf was the youngest among the third litter, and the youngest of the 22 hamsters of the second generation. By reason of his color (or the absence of it), I named him after a middle-earth wizard in Tolkien’s trilogy Lord of the Rings. I also called him Gandalf-pola because he looked to me as a small polar bear and his eyes were colored red (kulay-pola ang mata).

Timid and shy. Nervous and clumsy, frequently looks disoriented… Afraid of high places — always likes to climb but afraid and hesitant when going down, which usually ends up with unglamorous fall… That was my Gandalf.

2005-05-06 (Gandalf)2005-05-11 (Gandalf)

Doesn’t refuse to be handled, but nips fingers that get through their way inside his cage… A habitual sleeper under his ‘bed sheet’. Upon waking up in the late afternoon, patiently waits for a treat on the top deck of his cage… Another inventive wheel-turner… These were just some of his unforgettable traits.

Gandalf lived for 26 months and 14 days. He was definitely not immortal like Gandalf the wizard, but Gandalf the hamster’s memory was immortalized by the endless journey round the circle of the Wheel that was named after him.

2007-10-08 (Wigwam)

Gandalf’s great-grandson Wigwam Wigglerson reviewing the finishing touches of Gandalf’s Wheel.

Ispidbol is sleeping in the Hall at the background.

Published in: on 8 October 2007 at 6:36 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,

The 17-day mother

When does motherhood begin? We know that a mother is a mother as long as she lives, and her role (other than economic or financial, I hope) of being a mother to her sons and daughters ends when she dies. But when does a mother start to become a mother?

I believe that for a particular child, a mother’s role begins not at the moment of that child’s birth, but at his conception in her mother’s womb. Let us not forget that the phrase “to bear a child” does not only mean to give birth to, but also to carry, a child. The carrying is a nine-month burden that will lead to the moment of truth: the agony of labor, and the JOY of birth.

For Snowy, it was just the burden and the agony.

2005-08-01 (Snowy)

Snowy was one of the last litter, a sister to MsBraun and Warwik, given for adoption. She was the hamster who had an encounter with a house rat, so her foster-owner told. We don’t know her detailed experience there, but I supposed the nasty vermin wanted — but failed — to molest her. Somehow the rat had managed to put a notch in her ear. After a month she was sent back to us to be a wife to Mocha Rurik. The agreement was for her to get pregnant and after four weeks upon giving birth to her offspring, her foster owner will take her back with some of the litter.

So, after Snowy was given to Mocha Rurik in marriage, all we’ve got to do was to wait for the next 16 days of pregnancy to pass. On the 16th day, the signs of birthing was evident: Snowy refused to play but laid on her back all day. The whole day was nearly over, still no sign of babies. In the last few hours of the following day, one by one came out the babies, all lifeless…

Hamsters have a peculiar trait of eating up their newborn babies when they are threatened by the presence of hamsters other than their litter in their cage. Some experts termed this trait as protective cannibalism. What a horrible way of protecting one’s young!!! Protecting it by devouring it!? It doesn’t make sense! But I found it much harder to understand the reasons of some — sometimes even healthy, married human mothers. They maybe doing a less morbid thing for not eating their newborn child; but giving consent of expelling ‘it’ from their bodies while yet unborn, justifying that they are only protecting it from a bleak and uncertain future, is equally irrational.

I’ve learned that a zygote is kept alive by the pulsation of the individual cells in it(?), and as the zygote develops into a human embryo, one of the first organs to be formed is the heart in order for the embryo to help sustain his own life. The fetus at the earliest stage is already fighting for his life! Anybody who is heartless enough to think he has the right to stop the throbbing of this unborn child’s heart dare to stand up? Even you — his ‘mother’ — sit down! In the whole world, you should be the last person to dare to stand…

I am condemning the deed here, not the doer. These young ladies badly need understanding and guidance. If you know somebody in the same situation, I am urging you not to ‘push’ her in doing something that she’ll be sorry for later in her life. I knew a few mothers who have committed such a mistake long ago but until now each is keeping a skeleton in her closet, knowing not how to confess it to her living sons or daughters.

As for Snowy, she didn’t eat up her litter. The babies just came out dead; they didn’t come out on time. But somehow Mocha Rurik was so relieved she was still alive.

After what happened to Snowy, I never mated her again with her husband worrying that it might risk her life. Her foster owner never bothered to send for her again, so Snowy stayed here with her family for the rest of her life. As to if her life drama — that rat-encounter and the lost of her litter — was retained in her memory, I don’t know. I just hope that in her brain, the space for sad memories was blank clean and white like her name.

Snowy perished due to an illness, possibly a reproductive or urinary tract infection. She lived for 18 months and 7 days. Soon a clock will be ticking atop Ikabod tower in memory of her.

————————————————————————————————

Appended on 28 December 2007:

— PLEASE WATCH THIS PRESENTATION —

WARNING: This presentation (.pps) may make you feel

uncomfortable (better if it does), but I want it for your eyes to see.

Be ready to explain it to the kids if ever there are some around.

slide “A letter from an unborn baby”

————————————————————————————————

slide

Daughters became mothers

Breeders do not recommend the mating of hamsters belonging to the same litter, so I paired the second litter with the third: I matched Boromir with MsBraun, Faramir with Warwik. Long before, I planned to breed by using hamster from a different source; I bought a female (I named her Buttercrust Blondieback) to be a wife to Boromir but she died while she was still a maiden.

Though Boromir & MsBraun were the first to get married than Faramir & Warwik, the later couple were the first to sire, outrunning the former by 47 days. (Once again Boromir only came out as second!) Warwik got eight of which three were boys (they will carry the family name!) — MsBraun got four, all girls!

Why, for heaven sake, does it seem that Faramir always got much favored than Boromir? (I could not help but remember the twin brothers Esau and Jacob of the old testament.) But did it matter to them anyway? Obviously it didn’t — for two good reasons: First they were carrying the same surname (they were brothers, right?), and second (which is much simpler), they were only hamsters. Not a single rodent has even the very least idea of what a rat-race is. Good for them… or else they will only be stressing themselves as humans do.

2005-01-11 (Warwikgang at 29 days)

This is Warwik with some of her offspring. Out of eight, I kept the three boys and had given the five girls for adoption.

2005-02-26 (Mochabebes at 28 days)

This is MsBraun with her four daughters. From here I kept two to be matched later with two of Warwik’s sons.

Both of them were good mothers. This was especially true for MsBraun who refused to reprimand her daughters when they were bugging her. Her daughters had a nasty habit of biting her tail and all she could do was to shriek or squeak. If Warwik’s litter were separated from their mother for the normal reason that the mother was beginning to become aggressive towards her nearly two-month old litter, in MsBraun case it was the opposite: MsBraun had to be separated from her litter because the litter were harassing their mother! Just imagine all these four big daughters bugging their already thinning mother! I was not expecting this for when these two mothers were young, it was the elder MsBraun who always bully her younger sister Warwik… “Waaar–wik, the squea–ker! Waaar–wik the squea–ker…!” A role can really change one’s nature.

MsBraun died of illness at 19 months and 23 days; Warwik died in her old age of 25 months and 22 days.

Later in the history of this clan of hamsters, a posthumous “Pinaka-martir ngunit Pinaka-uliran” (Most sacrificial yet ideal) award was cited for each of the two sisters. A sister-category award for Warwik, and a mother-category award for MsBraun. 😉 The sounds of alarm on the penthouse gate of the Pension House always bring back the memory of these two squeakers.

2007-05-19 (Mochahontas)

The Penthouse Gate and Alarm. Mochahontas, a great-granddaughter of MsBraun and Warwik, is the day’s gatekeeper.

O, ano… kaya nyo ba ‘to?

Hey kids… don’t do this at home!

‘pahiya ako dun ah!? He he he, napakaharungas kasi e!
Tsk tsk tsk! salbaheng amo…

Note: This hamster is not mine — ‘porendyer’ o imported na daga po ito: Daga-ibang bansa” sa Tagalog. I just ‘borrowed’ the video from YouTube… (obvious ba?) 🙄

Published in: on 2 October 2007 at 7:40 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: