Sunday, November 4, 2012

White Butt, So What?!

So. As you may or may not know, Sasha is a Djungarian hamster. Djungarians are also known as Winter Whites and Siberian Hamsters. They've earned these unique names for a very special reason! In the wild, Winter Whites' fur turns completely white to help them hide from predators. Cool huh? I know! However Winter Whites that are kept in captivity almost never change their fur color because there is no need to and their bodies do not tell their fur to change.

Why do they change color?
These adorable hamsters get their winter coat because their tiny little bodies get very cold from the low winter temperatures and they need to blend in with the snow that will be on the ground. Hamsters are prey so it is important that they are able to hide from predators and a little ball of grey fur would be like a bulls eye against the white snow!

Why don't they change in captivity?
In the winter we like to keep our homes warm, and of course there is no snow in a captive Winter White's cage so they do not feel the need to change. There is no threat and they do not get cold enough. It's as simple as that.

Why am I telling you this?
Well many of you may have already had this fun fact in your arsenal of ham ham information, but what you may or may not have noticed in my recent pictures and videos of Sasha is that her fur is changing! I'm not sure why, but it is! It's not a lot, but it's defiantly there. The fur on her butt is slowly getting lighter. It is a lighter shade of grey than it used to be. I'm sure she won't get any lighter than this, especially since she never gets cold enough, but I wanted to let everyone see her cute little white butt! Haha.

Sasha's butt before....

Sasha's butt now!

I hope everyone finds this interesting. :)) Until the next post! Bye~

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hamster Flashback: Kanon Haruko

My junior year in high school, while cleaning my room, I came across some of my old hamster stuff. It brought back fond memories of my hammies and I realized that I really missed having a hamster. So I checked my funds and I had enough to get started again into hamster parenthood.

I cleaned a spot on my dresser for the cage and got everything ready for my new arrival. Then, after school on a Friday, I went to Petco to buy some bedding, food, treats, and a new house to set everything up on February 19, 2010. The plan was to buy everything Friday, and get everything set up and ready, and then go back Saturday to buy a hamster. Well it didn't exactly happen that way. I made the mistake of looking at the hamsters. I'd already decided I wanted to try something a bit different than short-haired Syrian hamsters, so I looked at the long-haired Syrians. There was an adorable grey and white one munching on a treat, and a brown and white one running on the wheel. they were both pretty and looked healthy. But suddenly I noticed something moving in the little house they shared. Out poked a tiny little nose, followed by a beautiful light brown and white hamster. She ran over to the food bowl and took a piece of food, which she buried in the corner. She hoarded three or four more pieces of food before running up to her sister on the wheel. The two of them then chased each other around the cage for a minute, until the light brown and white one climbed on top of the house and looked right at me. She was beautiful, obviously healthy, and very active. Her personality was great! I knew I had to have her. But I didn't want to chance her not being there the next day, so I bought the little ball of fur, rushed her home, set up her cage as fast as I could and let her explore her new surroundings. All night long I watched the little one run all over her new cage. She dug through the bedding, ran in and out of her new house, climbed up and down the little ledge  hoarded food, ran on her wheel, and chewed on her chew sticks. The little devil had endless energy! She didn't stop running from the moment I put her in the cage until sometime the next day! Now I know that hamsters are always curious about new habitats and they spend a lot of time exploring them, but this was crazy! I thought she would never stop! But of course she did, and then she slept. And when I say she slept, I mean she, like, passed out and hibernated for what seemed like days! She would only wake up to eat and drink and let me handle her a bit. This made taming her a bit difficult because I was worried waking her might make her mad. So I had to catch her when she was awake, which was rare. I was beginning to think she was sick, or dying, but thankfully she perked up again. She would run on her wheel and let me play with her, but she was a ham that loved her sleep! Of all the ham hams I've ever had or known of, I've never witnessed such a lazy one. She was just as sweet as she could be, and she didn't mind being woken up (as long as it was gently and not loud or rough). She was a very heavy sleeper though! I sometimes thought that she used so much energy the first few days I had her that she exausted all of it and had to spend the rest of her life catching up.

Naming her took a lot of thinking, but on the third day I had her I decided on a name that suited her seemingly split personalty quite well. Her name was Kanon Haruko. I'd named her Kanon after a character from the manga Chibi Vampire. The character was very sweet, but rather hyper. (I can't say exactly who she was in the story because I don't want to give any spoilers to anyone still reading the series!) Her middle name, Haruko, came from the anime Fooly Cooly. I was happy with her name. It suited her.

Kanon was sweet, and slept a lot but I miss her. She was soft and liked me to hold her and cuddle her in my hands. She lived a happy life and was healthy right until the end. I always worried about her though, especially after I started college. She died during my first semester of college and we buried her next to Edward. She was such a good hamster. I miss her.