Our hamster, Sirius Black, died yesterday. He was a sweet little hamster who never bit anyone. Gracie loved him and is quite distraught. Sirius was an amazing escape artist. He never ceased to surprise us with his clever plans. Gracie’s aunt who is especially afraid of ‘rodents’ found him on her blow up mattress late one night. When under the dishwasher or behind the refrigerator, he liked to be coaxed out with a peanut. And there was the brief illness with the trip to vet after one of his escapes. Even the vet couldn’t get over how sweet he was. He had a cute little waddle as he ran across the room.
We bought Sirius after Christmas 2002. We had just moved back to New York and Gracie had written a letter to Santa in school. Here is the letter in its entirety:
December 17, 2002
There is one special gift I would like this year. It is a hamster. I want it because I’m board. I also want it I do not have a pet. Also I want it because I like small pets.
I deserve this gift because I’ve been nice to my brother. I should get it because they’re cute. I should get it because they’re nice. I should get it because I like them. If I get this gift I would be nice to every one.
Who could deny such a request? Not I. He was a big guy from the very beginning. He loved his peanuts and sunflower seeds and the occasional carrot. Unfortunately, Sirius was probably a bit long in the tooth before we ever brought him home. We cleaned his cage Sunday as we do every week. Looking back on it, he wasn’t as perky as usual. Who could have known?
After dinner, Gracie and I went to Frank’s Flower Shop. I gave Gracie the gift card Kevin’s mom had given me for Easter. It seemed kind of appropriate in the risen sense to use my Easter gift card to purchase a flower to plant over Sirius and while there we couldn’t pass up a beautiful stepping stone. We buried Sirius at dusk. We all said a few words and sang, “You are the sunshine of my life.”
December 26, 2002-April 19, 2004