Blog archive for January 2006

Someone help me come down from here!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - Posted by Nana
Nana waiting over her cage looking innocentNana waiting for Papa over her cage
This morning when Papa had left for work I noticed that he had forgotten to lock my cage door. I got very excited because that meant that I could go out and play on the room by myself. I just needed to open the door, and that's an easy task, because I'm a strong and smart girl. A few pushes and the door was open.

But this time, for some reason that I still can't understand, Papa's hands weren't there. Usually when the door opens his hands are there waiting for me to ride on them and take me to the floor, the computer desk or the bed.

I remember that when Papa puts my cage on the floor and lets me play on the room, I usually climb to its top and can jump down from there. I climbed to the top of my cage, but for some reason I couldn't see the floor. Something was different. I decided to wait there until Papa arrived.

He came a while later and I tried one of my cutest faces to make sure that he wouldn't get angry. And it worked. When he saw me he laughed, took a few photos and put me back in my cage. Then I went back to sleep.

I'm such a smart girl!

In Baru's memory

Monday, January 30, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
In Baru's memory

March 2003 - January 28th 2006

So much love inside such a small body.

You will not be forgotten.

Farewell, Baru

Saturday, January 28, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
Yesterday morning when I woke up Baru was sleeping quietly in his nest. This last week his legs had been very weak and he had been sleeping in weird positions, but this time he was lying as he usually did before getting ill. He had been able to poop.

I went to the kitchen and prepared some warm water for cleaning him. When I took him in my hand his body felt cold. After cleaning I tried to feed him small bits of cucumber, but he didn't eat any. I put a warm patch under his nest and went to work.

I came back home at lunch time and opened his cage to check his condition. When I took him his little body was still warm, but he had already left for the Hamster Heaven. He went in his sleep apparently without pain. His face was calm.

It took me some time to put him back on his nest. What I was feeling was a mix of sorrow for his death and relief because he wasn't suffering anymore.

I wanted to bury him in Mount Takao, as we did with Julita, but now in winter it's too cold to go there, so we buried him in a mini-garden in my terrace and put some flowers around him. In summer I plan to take him to Mt. Takao.

He had a long and happy life. He was a wonderful hamster. He will not be forgotten.

Indeed, he's a fighter

Friday, January 27, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
This morning when I woke up I was going to clean Baru, but there was nothing to clean. When I held him I saw that he hadn't either peed or "pooed" during the night. That was bad. I had fed him the night before, so there should have been something. I tried hand-feeding him some milk and some small bits of sliced cucumber, but he didn't want to eat any. I left him in his nest, covered him and went to work.

At lunch time I came back home to see him. There wasn't still anything to clean. I tried feeding him again, without success. I grew worried, but I had to go back to the office. It looked like he finally had given up.

In the afternoon I left work half an hour before. I wanted to come home early because I had decided that if he couldn't eat then it would be better if Dr. Ozawa put him to sleep, instead of letting him suffer and starve to death. When I arrived home the first thing I did was checking him. His condition was awful. He wouldn't move at all, and wouldn't eat nor drink. It was very hard for me, but I prepared his travel cage in order to take him to Dr. Ozawa's clinic.
Baru's awful condition
But even if this was going to be Baru's last trip, I didn't want him to go without food, so even though I didn't think he would be able to eat it, I cut a small cucumber slice and put it next to him. To my surprise, he moved his little head, sniffed it and then took a little bit and started to eat slowly. I went to the kitchen and chopped another slice in very tiny bits and took him for hand-feeding again.
Baru eats cucumberChopped cucumber
I gave him the tiny bits one by one, and at the beginning he swallowed slowly, as if it was hard for him to eat. But then after a while he started holding the food himself.
Baru holds a piece of cucumber
Around half an hour later he had finished eating the whole slice bit by bit, and also a few bits of apple. Very encouraged, I put him again in the travel cage next to the cucumber slice that I had left there before. He started eating it by himself without my help and ate more than half of it.

After he finished eating I took him again in my hand. His face seemed happy. I know that hamsters don't express happiness through facial expression, but this made me extremely happy nonetheless. See for yourselves:
Doesn't it look as if he's smiling?
I took some warm water and a soft tissue paper and cleaned his eyes carefully. Then I put him on the computer desk to see if he could walk. With his two front pawns he managed to stand up weakly and drag his little body a few steps.
Baru tries taking a few steps
I have left him sleeping in the travel cage, because it's smaller and thus easier for me to keep warm. He's not moving from the nest anyway, so I don't think he minds.

He seems to be fighting a lot. And he looks better than yesterday. He has eaten very, very well today, and even though he cannot move his hind legs, it looks as if he's recovering. I had lost all hope already, but now I'm starting to think that there is a small chance that he might survive after all.

And by the way, I was eating yoghourt while writing this post and tried giving him a bit. He ate two drops of it.

Baru's condition, January 27th

Thursday, January 26, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
15 sunflower seeds
The day before yesterday when I checked Baru after coming back from work he was in his nest trying to peel a sunflower seed. He managed to do it, but the poor boy was exhausted. I decided to peel a few sunflower seeds for him. It wasn't as hard as I thought, but I learnt that fifteen sunflower seeds isn't such a big amount of food as it sounds like. I cut each seed in half in order to make them easier for him to eat, and then I left them in his nest near him. He ate a few pieces.

His condition hasn't changed since the 25th. His body is still as weak as it was then, though now it doesn't feel cold. He seems to be eating relatively well for his condition, and I'm having some success hand-feeding him small bits of boiled egg yolk, peeled sunflower seeds and thin slices of cucumber.

This morning I went through the routine of cleaning and giving him some water with sugar. Then I tried feeding him some tiny bits of sliced cheese while holding him in my hand, face up. He grabbed the first one with his little pawns and took a few bits of it, then swallowed the rest. He ate three or four more bits in the same way. Then he did something that he hadn't done yet these days: I gave him another bit of cheese and it looked like he didn't want more, but instead of refusing it by moving his mouth away from my finger, he took it and pushed it with his tongue inside his cheek pouch. He did the same with the three or four bits more that I gave him. After the feeding I made sure that his nest was warm, put him there and covered him with some tissue paper and came to work.

He's not giving up. And as long as he has the will to live I will do as much as I can to keep him with us.

Thank you everybody for your warm comments and your support. I'm deeply touched by them.

Baru's condition, January 25th

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
Yesterday night I bought some tofu for Baru. When I arrived home after work I cleaned him, replaced the tissue paper in his nest and put him back in his cage. I left a small piece of tofu near him and he took a few bites of it. Later I gave him some milk, but he only drank three or four drops. I went to sleep.

When I woke up this morning he was sleeping exactly in the same position that I left him at night. He either didn't move at all, or woke up and then went to sleep in the same position. I took him, cleaned him, and tried to feed him some milk, but he didn't want it. Then I put him in his nest and left a small piece of sliced cheese next to him. He sniffed it and went back to sleep without even trying to bite it. I covered him with some tissue and went to the office.

When I came home for lunch he hadn't touched the cheese at all. I boiled an egg and put it near him. He sniffed it, but didn't try to eat either. I tried with some milk and managed to make him drink only three drops. I went back to the office.

I arrived home at 9:00pm. He was sleeping in his nest and had shifted his position. When I took him out to clean him his body felt cold. I put him in my right palm and covered him with my left hand and he slept there for a few minutes. I prepared some water with sugar and tried to make him drink a bit. He only swallowed three drops. Then I tried giving him very small pieces of boiled egg. He ate a few bits with some trouble, and then I put him back in his nest.

Before coming home I bought some hot patches of the kind that warm up after taking them out from their bag. These are very popular in Japan during the cold months. I put one under his cage just under his nest. Then I went to a convenience store near home and bought a yoghourt. I tried taking Baru and feeding him some yoghourt while holding him, but he wouldn't eat it. When I put him back in his nest I left a small plastic spoon with some yoghourt in it and he licked some of it from there.

It's 0:24am here. He's sleeping now. I will try to give him some yoghourt again later before going to bed.

He looks much worse than yesterday. These days I have been thinking about taking him again to his last visit to Dr. Ozawa in order to put an end to his suffering. Now I'm considering that possibility very seriously.

Watching him in this condition is breaking my heart.

Update 1:00am: I tried giving him a drop of yoghourt while he was in his nest, but he wouldn't eat it. I took him in my hand and fed him some by making him lick it off my finger. Then I took the boiled egg and broke both the yolk and white in very small bits and have managed to hand-fed quite a few to him. I have put him back in his nest and he has taken a few bites off a fresh slice of cucumber that I just put there. He's sleeping again.

Baru's condition, January 24th

Monday, January 23, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
Baru eating hard boiled egg
Yesterday afternoon when I came back from work I cooked some boiled egg for Baru. He was sleeping under some tissue paper in a corner of his cage, and when I put the egg near his head he woke up (most likely because he could smell it) and started eating small bits of it. After that I took him in my hand and gave him four or five drops of milk, then put him back in his nest and he went to sleep. I also put two small slices of cucumber close to his nest in case he woke up.
Baru eating cucumber
Around two hours or so later I heard him moving. I went to his cage and saw that he had walked outside from his nest and was biting at a slice of cucumber. He ate more than half of it (!). When he finished he just lied there sleeping, so I put him in his nest again and covered him with tissue paper.
Baru walking on the bed
Later I was reading at bed and heard him wake up again. I saw him still laying on his nest, but he was pushing the boiled egg with his nose towards the corner. He was also taking seeds from the hamster mix that I left next to him and was putting them one by one close to the boiled egg. I took him again and let him walk for a while on my bed. He walked a few steps, but got tired soon and I put him on his nest again. I noticed a small change in him, but in my opinion very encouraging: his eyes didn't look sad as they did yesterday.

This morning he woke up when my alarm clock went off, but he didn't come out from his nest. I took him, cleaned his back and let him walk a bit on the bed. He seemed to have recovered some of his strength. I put him back in his nest and came to work. Then, at lunch time I went back home to check him. He was sleeping, but when I put a bit of fresh apple near him he almost immediately noticed it, rose his head and started eating it. Then he went back to sleep and I covered him again.

He seems to be a bit better than yesterday, though he's still very, very weak. In any case he's eating well and getting liquid in his little body.

Baru's condition, January 23rd

Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
Tonight I was reading at bed when I noticed that Baru was moving on his nest. I woke up from bed and saw him laying on his side, eating some sunflower seeds from the hamster mix that I left near him. He could crack them open by himself, but it looked like he was making an effort, so I opened a few with my nails and put them besides him so he could reach them easily. He ate a few while I was there looking. Then I prepared some warm water with sugar as Doctor Ozawa said. I took Baru, dipped my finger in the sugar water and let him lick a drop from my finger. He drank four or five drops and then didn't want to drink anymore. I put him back in his nest, covered him, and went back to bed.

The first thing I did this morning when I woke up was checking his condition. I opened his cage and found him sleeping peacefully under a few tissue paper strips. I didn't want to disturb him, so I went to the kitchen to prepare my breakfast. When I came back I found him awake, outside his nest, crawling laboriously towards the corner in his cage where he greets me every morning. I took him carefully in my hand and checked his fur. It looked better than yesterday (even better than before Doctor Ozawa applied the spray). There were a few fleas easily visible, all of them dead. I put Baru back in his cage and went to the kitchen to prepare some warm water with sugar for him, but he didn't want to drink. I put him on his tissue bed, covered him so he would not be cold, and left him sleeping.

He looks slightly better than yesterday. Only slightly. He's still in an awful condition.

Baru is in bad condition

Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Posted by Javi Lavandeira
Baru sleeping after killing his fleas
In this blog we have been reading about the happy moments in Baru's life (and those of the other members of his family). We have had our share of bad moments too: Julita, Poteto and Sora going to the Hamster Heaven, and that time when Flan bit Baru and Doctor Ozawa saved him.

Today is another one of those days.

Two weeks ago I left Baru and his family with Mama because I had to go back to Spain for a few days because of my university exams. I came back to Japan and met them again today. Flan, Nana and Coco were very well and happy. But Baru wasn't. He was on his nest, sleeping, and barely moved when I stroked his fur. He was very weak. I took him and noticed that his eyes were closed, covered by a yellowish crust. This had happened on occasion before, and I did the same thing I did on the other occasions: carefully clean his eyes with warm water and some soft tissue paper. When he could open his eyes again I checked his fur, and there I noticed a flea. And another. And then another one. And finally I saw a big group of them around one of his scent glands. Carefully I removed as many as I could with my fingers and then put him again in his cage. I cleaned my hands and checked Flan, Nana and Coco to see whether they were infested too or not. Fortunately, they weren't.

We called Doctor Ozawa and took him to the doctor's office a few minutes later. Dr. Ozawa confirmed that it was a flea infestation, and that Baru was very weakened because of the blood loss and the stress of being stung by the parasites without being able to do anything about it. The doctor gave him a shot of something he told us would kill the fleas on his body and keep him protected for a month. Then he sprayed something on his fur in order to kill the fleas there and with his fingers he spread it under Baru's neck, behind his ears, on his back, and on his joints. He told us that the shot would weaken Baru because it is probably too strong for him (being intended for dogs).

Back at home, I have seen Baru walk a bit on his cage and eat a few sunflower seeds. He's now sleeping on his nest, but he looks very, very weak. I covered him in tissue paper to make sure that he's not cold. I also put a warm patch under the corner he's sleeping in, and I'm keeping the room warm tonight.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I have never seen any of my hamsters in such a bad condition. I'm not optimistic, but tomorrow we'll see if he looks better.

Be strong, Baru.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - Posted by Nana
Papa needs lots of concentration for studying before the exams. That's why I decided to help him too, like Baru does. I thought that Papa would be very happy if I could help him. This is what I do when he's studying.
Nana climbs Papa's trousers

First, I climb Papa's trousers and sit on his lap for a few moments. I advise you to rest a bit too after you climb your papa's or mama's jeans!
Nana looks Papa's desktop

Next, I look into his desktop to make sure that he's studying and not playing with the computer. If he's playing then he doesn't need my help and I can go play too on the dustbin or biting his curtains.
Nana watches over Papa's shoulder

And finally, if Papa is studying I climb his sweater and sit on his shoulder. Then I scratch his neck and his ears to make sure that he doesn't lose his concentration. I don't stay on his shoulder for much time because after a few minutes I want to go back to play on the floor, but I'm sure that he will appreciate my help anyway.

Newspapers are good bedding

Monday, January 09, 2006 - Posted by Baruchito
Baru washing his face before going to sleep
The last time Papa cleaned our cages he put our new bedrooms inside and also lots of newspapers. Until now I had only used tissue paper as bedding (he put lots of tissue this time too). But newspapers are good too. They're warm and keep my cage dry.

But what I like the most is to hide under the newspapers and look for food under them. But today I have been busy picking up all the tissue paper and bringing it to my new nest. Now my new nest is ready, so I will wash my face and go to bed.

Not just a new bed, but a whole new bedroom!

Sunday, January 01, 2006 - Posted by Baruchito
Baru's new nestBaru examines his new nest
I knew that if I told Papa he would buy it. I'm so smart! I didn't just get a new bed. Instead it is a small straw room to make my bed inside. In fact, Flan, Nana and Coco also received one.

Papa says that these beds weren't exactly made for hamsters. He says that these are nests for birds, but hamsters can use them too. And he expects me to believe that. Everybody knows that birds' nests have the opening on the top, not on the side like these ones! I think that Papa should study more.

Anyway, I wanted to examine it before letting Papa put it on my cage, just in case. Everything looked fine. It is a warm place for sleeping, and also it's dark inside because it's very deep. I like dark places.

And I think that I'm going to enjoy sleeping on this new room too!
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