FloridaHillbilly Goes to the Pet Store

Russian Dwarf Hamster
Mutant Attack Hamster from Hell

My thirteen year old had a birthday recently, and was given a “Fancy Russian Dwarf” hamster. And it was NASTY! It would actually lunge at anyone trying to pick it up. It eventually had my daughters so freaked out, that we decided to return it, even if that meant walking in, dropping it on the counter and then walking out.

Now my close friends and family know I’m anti-“pets in the house”. I’ve had a strict rule for over ten years “We can have any animal we want, as long as we realize that eventually we will eat it.

DSCN5327After feral peacocks decimated out raised bed gardens, I decided that I needed to amend the rule to “We can have any animal we want, as long as it contributes to the family in some tangible way.” And then we got the pit bull. No more peacock problems. No bobcat problems anymore either! But, due to stipulations of the Humane Society’s adoption process, we now have a dog in the house.

So it was quite the shock to my system, when the wife and girls coerced me into allowing my thirteen year old to have a hamster. I realized my wishes of no animals in the house were no longer a part of my life. My reality had changed.

Still looks like a mouse to me...
Still looks like a mouse to me…

So back to the Mutant Attack Hamster from Hell. We stopped at Petsmart this week t exchange it. The folks that worked there weren’t surprised at the nature of the little beast, and offered to exchange it for a Chinese Dwarf Hamster, a variety known to be more docile than the Russian cousins. I was annoyed at their nonchalant nature of “oh, yes, the little beast we sold to your daughter was known to be more ferocious than the Tasmanian Devil”. Why would they sell a variety known to have an attitude when they stocked a more calm variety?

Then I chuckled to myself. This was payback, Karma coming back to get me.

My daughter noticed my attitude change, and saw me chuckling. When she asked what I was laughing about, I told her I’d tell her after we left.

The exchange was made, one small nasty rat for another. (BTW, now even the damned pets are from China?) As we walked out, I started my story.

Working on another meat rabbit pen, I had an immediate need for some rabbit supplies for my rabbitry, and Petsmart was the closest option, being less than ten minutes from my house. The nearest feed store being thirty minutes or more away, I opted to deal with the retail folks.

Picking up the supplies I needed for my rabbits (a feeder and water bottle, I believe), I headed to the checkout.

The young girl working the register couldn’t have been more than 18 years old. Seeing the rabbit supplies I had, her face lit up.

“You have rabbits?”

“Yes, I love them!” I replied. It’s a true statement, I do.

“They are sooo soft and cuddly. Mine is potty trained. Are yours?”

I smirked. I wish. “They are. I do have accidents sometimes though.” A small lie. Call it a half truth.  My rabbits poop through the screen on the bottom of their cages, just where I want them to leave it.

So then I took my first step down that road to hell. I made a face, saying , “I read somewhere that some people raise rabbits so that they can EAT them. Actually EAT a rabbit! Can you believe it?”

Her smile faded. “I know, I’ve heard that. Its so horrible!”

I paid and walked out, smiling the whole way.

I know I’ll burn in Bunny-Lover’s hell for that one. PETA will tap dance on my burning soul. It was worth it though.

My daughter, playing with her food
My daughter, playing with her food

I do love my rabbits…

…….mostly with roasted parsnips and a bit of thyme.





  1. HI!
    I just recently found your blog and have enjoyed your writing. I am from South Fl my self but have been replanted in Central/North Fl. Looking forward to getting our self sustainability in order as well.

    I wanted to add that we also had one of the Russian Dwarfs, well two. But we ended up renaming one Hannibal, if you know what I mean. They were siblings from a litter that a co-worker begged me take off her hands. Last time that happens (shivers) .
    I may have to put in an order for your garlic chives, yummm.

  2. I’m just wondering how a hamster would taste. You think they’d be as good as a Packrat? I do know that their hides make very nice bags and those white ones would be so pretty.

    1. I’m shocked that you would say that….who would go through the trouble of tanning such a small hide.

      I feel that using it to fatten up a snake and then eating the snake would be a better use of the little beasts. :)

      And on a similar note, while at the store, I was REALLY eying those guinea pigs, big enough for a meal and I hear they taste yummy…and have a history of being grown for food.

    2. That’s horrid , I have a Russian dwarf hamster and she’s lovely . I love animals and wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing as eating such a defenceless , innocent, cute pet .

      1. I find anyone that talks of not eating “defenseless animals” to be more than a little sanctimonious….unless you are a vegan/vegetarian (and then you eat defenseless plants, poor little things…), or you only eat animals that attack you…you are living a double standard.

        Just sayin’.

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