After Westie went home my life went back to normal. Most days I’d get up around 11.30am. I’d spend my day doing stuff like watching sports on TV. Spanish TV was rubbish so I never watched it. I didn’t understand Spanish anyway. If it wasn’t too hot I’d go out for a walk on the beach. I stayed in during the summer afternoon. It was just too hot to move. Aircon was a must. I’d never liked the heat. It’s a furry animal thing. Of course now I was human I had no fur. But I did have a new body. I adapted ok. At first the problem was the height and weight. I felt like I was carrying a piano on my back, and every movement was an effort. Real slowmo stuff. And everyone else looked slow too. But there were advantages. I could see stuff great. On the other hand, my hearing was rubbish. I think the donor guy must have been deaf. The new bod was in great condition. I was a young guy of about 25, about six feet two inches tall and really fit. I think the guy was a surfer or some kind of athlete. Anyway, he must have worked out and that was great because I really liked to work out as well. I started to work out in the new bod but it didn’t last. A hamster is made to be strong and fast and I was the strongest and the fastest. I think this was mostly down to plenty of wheelwork. But as a human it was different. Working out was a big effort so I gave up going to the gym after a while. I just kept in shape by walking on the beach. But after a while I became unfit and started to get a gut. The beer didn’t help either. Sure when I was a hamster I put away a good few junglefrenzies but I always worked off the calories and I had a hectic lifestyle, always rushing around, loads of nervous energy.
Now I didn’t have much to do. I didn’t have to work. I had the money from the stash but I didn’t go crazy with it. I bought a decent place on Camino del Ancla in La Manga not far from the beach. Decent but not a mansion. I had a pool which was great in hot weather. As a hamster I’d always hated water but now I loved it. Lounging around by the pool – great. All part of being human I suppose. I lived by myself. That’s the way I liked it. A cleaner came in once a week so I didn’t have to do any housework.
Tottie wasn’t a problem. When I’d been a hamster hunnie bunnie hadn’t been a problem and now tottie wasn’t a problem. A great bod plus decent stash equals tottie. Average bod plus decent stash still equals tottie. If tottie stayed the night I kicked them out early in the morning. I liked to be on my own now, though it had been great to see Westie.
At the start of the new bod I’d kept in touch with Chris and the guys from GUYnacology. I’d been over to London and they’d been over here. At first it was great.
“Hey Harry, love the new bod,” said Chris when I walked into the club for the first time. All the GUYnacology guys were glad to see me. After a few Aztec Warriors Chris said, “So what’s it like Harry – tottie instead of hunnie bunnie, good eh?”
Tottie? There was still plenty of it around. Club Magik and GUYnacology were doing better than ever. So it seemed great to be human. Bigger, slower but the laughs were just the same. And when the guys came out to La Manga we had a whale of a time. We even had t-shirts printed-
HARRY SAYS GIVVUS A SHAG LUV
a real blast from the past and they worked too. The guy getting married got a three girl thing out of it. But after the stag do we kind of lost touch. It was great but it somehow wasn’t the same. I was one of the guys but that was it – just one of the guys. I wasn’t anything special. There was only ever one Harry the Hamster. No matter how long the universe lasts there will never be another one.
There had been some media interest after the bodification. Chris set up a Harry Special in GUYnacology. A two page spread, photos, all about Harry’s new life. There were other celeb mags too. But interest soon fell away. And to tell the truth I didn’t mind. I was starting to get a bit bored with it. Been there, done that, got the Harry Says t-shirt, got a hundred of ‘em. Back in the hamster days it had been exciting. But it seemed like a lifetime ago since I sat on the balcony with Cheese and he said that I could have it all. And I’d had it all. Watching the very first news story – incredible. Now there was no adrenalin rush and I didn’t even need the money. I had all the tottie I could handle.
So I turned into a bit of a loner. That had never been me. I used to love people and people used to love me. Now most nights I’d sit by myself in a bar, just sit there with an Aztec Warrior or Margarita. Usually I’d watch sports on TV. Still a Hammers fan I kept in touch with the footie. Hadn’t been to a game for ages though. Sometimes I’d chat to people in the bar. The Pink Flamingo was my favourite place and was a good place to pick up tottie. Sometimes I’d play some pool with other ex-pats. Kids didn’t want to know me though, must be getting old. But Harry can’t be getting old-I was only about thirty human years old. How many hamster years was that? Lots, a real old hamster me except I wasn’t a hamster, I was a human. That’s me, Harry the Human. If I didn’t score any tottie at the Pink Flamingo quite often I’d stagger home, crash out and sleep it off. Then next night I’d do the same. I got back into this routine after Westie left. A couple of months later I got a phone call from Mrs Jones, owner of the Garden House Hotel.
“Harry, I’m very sorry to have to tell you this but Westie passed away yesterday. He died peacefully. It was a vet assisted death. We didn’t want him to suffer and didn’t want that either. I’m very sorry Harry. His ashes will be scattered up at the White Horse. You know how much he loved walking up there. It was great that he got to see you one more time before he died. He really enjoyed the La Manga trip. He was always talking about it and about you. He said how well you looked and how great you were doing.”
I felt something like as if a hairball was gathering in my throat.
“Thanks for letting me know,” I said. “We had a fantastic time when he was over. I’m really sorry he’s gone.” I was going to put the phone down when Mrs Jones continued.
“Just before the end he said something. He left a message for you.”
“What was it?”
“To be honest Harry I think he was just raving, it must have been the drugs. He’d had a lot of painkillers.”
“So what did he say?”
He said, “Tell Harry to be careful, a cat has nine lives. Does that mean anything to you Harry?”
“Not really,” I said.
I said goodbye and put down the phone. The big dog must have been raving at the end. Cats didn’t have nine lives, that was just a myth. They just had one life the same as everybody else. And I feared no cat alive – or dead.
The death of the big dog put me on a kind of downer. I put away even more Aztec Warriors, more margaritas-hey put an extra shot of tequila in there for me. Then one night I staggered home with a good tequila head on me. I looked in the mirror and had a long hard look at myself. Time was when I was a hamster I could look in the mirror and say “perfect” but I couldn’t say that anymore. I could see a lard lifebelt developing. Pinch an inch? Pinch half a foot more like. And then there were the Aztec Warrior b-cup titties. My legs were flabby looking. My face looked kinda young but kinda old, like I’d been beaten in a big game and there was no comeback. I used to say that Harry always bounces back, but that had been the old Harry, the real Harry. I looked in the mirror and realised I’d never really be a human being. Then maybe I’d never really been a hamster either. But at least I’d been a Somebody.