The Womble of Kloof Nek Road

There is a rodent in my lounge.

It is living in the corner of the horrible brown room divider and sleeps most of the day, spending its nights nibbling at whatever it can find which is edible, and no doubt some things which aren’t.

His name is Womble and he is a dwarf hamster. I bought him on Friday and I think he’s adorable. This tiny little critter is living the life of luxury with a loft apartment-style cage with a mezzanine level for his little blue, sawdust-filled house. There is also a see-through colourful tube for him to crawl outside the cage and back in and a wheel (which is plastic and doesn’t squeak).

I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a hamster for a while now and when I saw him on Friday at the pet shop there was just no way I could leave him sitting there in that tank all alone.

I asked the lady behind the counter if it was weird that I, as a 30-year-old woman, was buying a hamster. She informed ‘no, of course not’, which I assumed was just part of her sales pitch*. But then she went on to tell me that a married couple had been in earlier that week to buy one for themselves.**

Womble is quite a quiet little chap. He’s has stared to venture out when I talk to him and yesterday evening was his first adventure in the hamster ball. And when I wake him up he has the best grumpy, morning-face ever – even at 11.30 at night.

It sounds strange, but it’s really good to have something else alive in my flat (apart from the plants – which aren’t very good conversationalists at the best of times. Granted, neither is Womble, but at least he can move, and he manages to look vaguely interested when I talk to him. The plants just sit there – photosynthesizing).

The Womble of Kloof Nek Road

* While the hamster cost a mere R30 – the other paraphernalia brought the total to well over R200. Umm, over R300 if you count the stuff I bought after work yesterday.

** Mind you, that could also have been part of her sales pitch… oh well, whatever.

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