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Norris The Hamster


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I joined this site to release some feelings and tough emotions regarding my grandma but I've just noticed there is a section for pets and wanted to say a few things about my hamster 'Norris'

I've had pets my whole life, I love every one of them for all their little quirks and personalities, but Norris was the only hamster I really 'properly' bonded with. I mean I've had hamsters before him that I've loved and looked after well but not had as strong as a connection I guess.

Norris was put to sleep about 3 years ago now, I was 18 and woke up to my mum shouting that something was wrong with him. I went to see and he had a big lump on him (that literally appeared overnight) which was oozing yellow puss, his little eyes were tightly closed and he was stumbling around his cage tripping over his feet. My mum said to just leave him to die in his cage but I couldn't just go back to my every day life and leave him suffering and falling over in there so I took it upon myself to take him to the vet. The vet told me he had liver failure and that she could try him on some fluids but it was unlikely they would make any difference and it would be kinder to put him down.... It was soooo hard but I opted to put him down. She asked me if I wanted to hold him and give him a cuddle before she took him away but I was crying and couldn't bring myself to because I was worried my holding and stroking him would cause him pain as he looked sooo tender.

She then asked if I wanted to take him home to be buried or leave him there and I REALLY wanted to take him home and give him a little ceremony but I know realistically I couldn't as I have dogs who no doubt would have dug him up at some point! I feel so guilty that I made the choice to have him put down, I feel guilty that I never gave him a cuddle goodbye and I feel guilty I couldn't give him a burial. I cried for about 2 days straight, and everyone kept (and still keeps) telling me 'it was just a hamster' but he wasn't, he was a clever little thing always doing acrobats in his cage and making me laugh and I still miss him now!!!

I know it might sound silly, but to me it was a huge thing. Plus I never had such a big responsibility before where I was basically in charge of a living breathing creatures life, I think that also upset me.... It was all down to me.

I have 2 gorgeous dogs, 2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, a rabbit, hamster and fish and I love them all huge amounts but since Norris died I find myself worrying almost daily about when the day comes I will lose another. I've had my eldest cat for 14 years now, he's my best buddy and I'm constantly checking he's asleep on the bed or mooching around the garden as I'm so worried about it happening unexpectedly!

Sorry for the rant... If anyone even read this haha I just had to get that out!!!

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I think it's common to feel guilty when we lose a pet, we feel so responsible for them, as if we could somehow prevent it! In actuality, there usually is nothing more we could have done than what we did.

I do understand your worry as I have a cat that is 19, one that is getting old but I don't know her age, and a huge dog, age 7 (they don't live as long as small ones)...I find myself worrying about "when the time comes" sometimes too. I think it's natural to, as we know they won't live as long as us and we'll miss them.

The only way I've known to cope with this is to just appreciate each and every day we have them in our lives! When the time comes, try to focus on what we had together, how blessed we were to have had them in our lives...and know they were also blessed to have had us. Animals are a gift to us, for sure, but they also benefit from the relationship. What more could they ask for than to have had someone who loved them and took care of them!

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There is no such thing as "just" a pet of any kind. God gave us these precious fur balls as gifts to love and to care for. I've had several treasured pets during my 70 years, and the loss of each one hurts badly. I've come to believe that there's no way to get around the guilt feelings when one of our fur babies dies. I'm judging on myself, of course. I wind up feeling guilty, but most often, remorse is a better word. When we do the very best we can by our pets, there is no real guilt to be had. You did well by your precious Norris. Thank you for telling us your story about him. You can write as many stories as you feel like sharing, for all of us here care. I used to have a little hamster named Blue Boy. He died of starvation while my family and I were on vacation. I had made arrangements for someone to take care of all of his needs, and to play with him, while we were away. He didn't. That death caused pain and justified anger (justified anger is the hardest to put aside).


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I just read your story on Norris. What a sweet, sweet story/! I have had so many pets, I remember having a little horny toad when I was a real small girl. I am very old now, but I remember that cute little horny toad. I think all animals are Gods gift to us. I too worry about my little Zookie, pomerianian dog, and Willie my cat. I think of them passing away too all the time and how hard and sad it will be. I also imagine when I die I want all my pets to be the ones to meet me and greet me first thing and jump all over me and have a love fest, lol. Anyway thank you for sharing and keep cherishing and loving all your little precious ones!!

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