The fun started when the Williamses went away on holiday. Two weeks in Benidorm. Chelsea was gutted about not seeing me for two weeks as you would expect. “You be a good boy when I’m away Harry. I’ll be missing you. Love and kisses until I come back.” This is what she said as she stroked me under the chin. For two weeks I was going to stay with the Smiths on the floor below. They knew how to look after hamsters as they had one of their own, Henrietta.
On the morning she left Chelsea took me and my cage down to the Smiths. First she took the cage down then she took me down in my little sitting-in thing from the balcony. Henrietta’s cage, not a very plush number, was in a corner of the room near the French windows. My cage was opposite. Both cages were on the floor.
“You won’t cause Mr and Mrs Smith any trouble now will you Harry?” was the last thing Chelsea said before she waved goodbye and left. Two weeks without Chelsea was going to be a long time. I didn’t think the Smiths would pamper me as much. But it would be good to have new surroundings. And then there was the hunnie bunnie Henrietta six feet away. With only two cage doors in between.
Two days in and I have seriously taken the hump. As soon as Chelsea had gone what do the Smiths do? Go and swap our cages, that’s what. They think it will be nice for Henrietta to have a deluxe cage for a couple of weeks. And great for me to have a mousecrap cage. The water delivery system is rubbish and the straw is old. Chelsea always changes my straw every other day. The wheel is a wreck so it is impossible to do any serious wheel work. There is no mirror. Meantime Henrietta is preening herself in my mirror. But there are pluses. Chelsea had asked the Smiths to let me out of my cage once a day and they are very good about that. So at least I am able to do some speed work. And no doubt Henrietta is very impressed as I power around the living room. A fine figure of a hamster. What hunnie bunnie wouldn’t be impressed?
The Smiths spend most of their time either out working or drinking beer and watching TV. Mr Smith is a bus driver. Mrs Smith works at the checkout at NewroLand. They have a giant TV with a full sports package, which is great. As an added bonus they are Hammers fans so they watch all the matches. They have a photo of Bobby Moore on the living room wall. But I get the impression that they aren’t huge hamster fans. Henrietta belongs to their daughter Trish who is training to join the navy. She has recently moved to Portsmouth. When Trish gets a permanent place Henrietta is going to live with Trish.
Life at the Smiths is pretty boring really. The boredom varies a bit when sometimes Cheese comes in. I don’t know how he gets in, but Cheese was clever like that. Cheese likes a bit of a roam and likes to keep his eye on what is happening. One day I am sitting in my cage. When I look up Cheese is there.
“Hi Harry, how’s it going?”
“Love the new place. Nice cage. Classy.”
“And what about……” he nodded towards Henrietta. “Got it together yet?”
“No, getting there though.”
I’m not lying. Sometimes when I am doing my speed work I go up to Henrietta’s cage (my cage really) to see how she is doin’. Henrietta doesn’t speak but that is ok with me. We are talking the language of lurve and as far as Harry is concerned yakkin’ and luvvin’ don’t mix. I’ve got to listen to enough yakkin’ from Chelsea.
“Looking forward to Chelsea getting back?”
Cheese wanders over to Henrietta’s cage. He looks into the cage for a bit and then pads back to my cage.
“Tonight could be the night Harry. The night when it all begins.” Then he leaves, walks through the French windows and jumps onto the ledge of the balcony.
It is eleven o’clock at night. The Smiths are in bed. The living room is dark. It is quiet apart from the sound of a reggae bass line coming from a flat several floors below. The Smiths do not take cage security seriously and my cage door is open. And why not? You never see a sign that says Beware of the Hamster. Never been needed. Until now. I push the cage door open and jump onto the carpet, making a silent landing. I check for mice and don’t see any. Is her cage door open? The Smiths had been very careless. Watch out hunnie bunnie. The Hamster of Luuuurve is coming through.