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THE death of a family hamster is tragic for kids but boring for everyone else. Dad Roy Hobbs explains the seven tedious stages of their grief.

The discovery

By me, of course. Our daughter swore she’d look after the hamster devotedly but has ignored it ever since. When it was time to do my weekly chore of sweeping the shit pellets and piss-soaked sawdust out of its cage, there it was, kaput. If I hadn’t mentioned it was dead nobody would even have noticed.


It’s stiff as a board and doesn’t want to use its little wheel anymore, so the evidence is pretty conclusive. That won’t stop my daughter from insisting that it’s just sleeping though. If it is then it’s a bloody deep sleep, because knocking its rigid body against the table doesn’t seem to wake it up.

The tears

F**k me, my daughter barely paid the hamster any attention while it was alive, but now it’s died she’s acting like it was her best friend. If she’s treated her human pals with the same nonchalant disregard then I don’t think anyone will be turning up to her birthday party next week. God how I wish that were the case.

The burial

I should have covertly dumped it in the pedal bin while I had the chance. Now I’ve got to bury it in the garden which was apparently its favourite place, even though it never ventured beyond its cage. It’s a lot of wasted effort seeing as my daughter will forget about its very existence in a week’s time. She’d better not make me wear black.

Binning all the paraphernalia

That furry dickhead sure had a lot of stuff for something so small. The cage, ball and sawdust won’t fit in the bin, and there’s no way I’m booking a slot at the tip just to get rid of this shit. I’ll wait until the washing machine needs to go. In the meantime I’ll stick it in the shed with all the other crap my daughter begged for and used precisely once.

‘Daddy, I want another one’

Oh for f**k sake, really? No way. I made the mistake of buying a hamster once and I’ve regretted it every second since. They can’t do tricks, they bite your fingers, and they’re always noisily gnawing away at the bars on their cage. A pet rock would be more desirable, so turn off the waterworks, sweetheart.

The trip to the f**king pet shop

Christ, here we go again. Why do I keep letting this happen? She’s made a barrage of empty promises about how she’ll look after this one, which admittedly worked last time so you can’t exactly blame her. I can’t even use the last hamster’s cage because that would be wrong for some reason, so there goes another 30 quid. Only two years to go until I have to repeat all these steps.

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