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Old 04-09-2019, 06:26 PM   #1
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mikatelyn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: AZ, USA
Posts: 103
Default 20 minutes of FREEDOM! Smokey’s Hamventure

Per our morning routine, this hamster mom gave little Smokey a few treats, and got him into his playpen for a bit of a stroll and a stretch for 10-20 minutes before I had to head to work. He’d never shown an ability to escape this playpen before, so after giving him a bit of a pet and a snuggle, I felt rather secure in leaving him for a few minutes while I grabbed a bowl of cereal before joining him in his playpen to serve as a climbing apparatus.

While in the kitchen I heard a bit of a loud rustling sound coming from the playpen. I didn’t think that much of it because Smokey will sometimes dart around or do a very rapid shake for no apparent reason. But in retrospect, this was likely the moment of jailbreak! He must have climbed on top of his castle and vaulted the side of the playpen.

Oblivious to his MIA status, I sat in a very quiet playpen, eating my cereal. “He seems sleepy this morning,” I think. I started checking his normal hiding spots. No fuzzball. I finished my cereal and started looking in earnest. After a few minutes, the truth dawned on me. I was alone in this playpen.

Alarmed, I started looking outside the playpen underneath furniture. I spotted an ambling, fuzzy butt heading towards a mess of cords from our entertainment system. I made an attempt to pick him up, but he slipped through my fingers. I turned on the lights and grabbed a flashlight, started looking underneath all the sofas and furniture. He was gone. At this point my pulse is starting to race as I realized, looking at my house from a hammie view point with my head on the floor: my living room is a hamster paradise of a play yard! So many hiding spots, so many electrical cords to chew, so much furniture to destroy!

Just yesterday I was reading about that woman whose hamster escaped from his cardboard box from the boot of her car on the way home from the pet store and somehow managed to survive a week, wreaking havoc in his wake. Images of the destruction of her car played through my head as I realized what Hurricane Smokey could do, given enough time. I started setting up a staircase back into his cage with a trail of sunflower seeds to lure him back home.

At this point, with 2 minutes before I needed to head to the office, I began weighing whether it was better to cancel my commitments at work and stay home to catch Smokey, or if I should leave him be to wander back into his cage eventually. Moving rapidly, I grabbed some shelving boards and started blocking off access to the hallway, the kitchen, and the spare bedroom. As I was freaking out, Smokey came wandering out from under the couch, with a “Hey, watcha doing over here with that stuff?” look. I lured him to my hand with the sunflower seeds I was still holding onto, and scooped him up with the other.

Not wanting his bout of unexpected free ranging to end, he pinged from my hand, and there was a second of surreal slow motion as I caught him back out of the air before securing him in both hands closer to my chest. Acknowledging defeat, he stopped wriggling and let me put him back into his cage.

I gave him some treats and a bit of a pet, but he looked like he just had an energy drink at this point, racing around the cage trying to come back out again. My own adrenaline still pumping through my veins, I rush to work, actually arrive on time, and realize a hamster chase, while not my preferred activity, is much more effective than coffee for waking up in the morning!
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 144
Default Re: 20 minutes of FREEDOM! Smokey’s Hamventure

Whew! Sounds like disaster averted. Nothing like a massive dose of adrenaline to start the day, huh? Glad it turned out okay and not even late for work!
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:32 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Default Re: 20 minutes of FREEDOM! Smokey’s Hamventure

Originally Posted by mikatelyn View Post
After a few minutes, the truth dawned on me. I was alone in this playpen.
This feeling right here. I do not like it, oh not one bit!!

The little man did well to time his little escapade so perfectly that you weren't even late tho! Good job Smokey lol
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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Location: AZ, USA
Posts: 103
Default Re: 20 minutes of FREEDOM! Smokey’s Hamventure

Lol, yes I guess it was rather thoughtful of him to show himself in such a timely fashion
My husband remarked that just the night before Smokey let me pick him up and we did a little stroll through the house. I started doing that shortly after I got him in liu of the hamster ball to try to satisfy his need to explore outside of his sanctioned areas. Usually he will hamster wheel from one hand to the other and I let him direct where he wants to go, but that night Smokey was really calm and was sitting remarkably still in my hands for maybe 10 minutes or so while he got a tour of all the rooms of the house. In retrospect, he was probably memorizing the layout to plan his escape!
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: St Helens, Merseyside, UK
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Default Re: 20 minutes of FREEDOM! Smokey’s Hamventure

The image of you sitting alone in the playpen is just too funny LOL. Glad you got him back quickly.
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