When I was about 17 years old I, like so many other teenagers, decided I needed a job. I wanted the freedom and independence that a job would bring. I wanted to get PAID.
So I got a job in a pet store. A lot of people probably think this is a pretty cushy job for a teenager. Those people would be wrong.
Out of all the jobs I've ever had, working at that pet store was probably the most eye-opening of all.
I worked in the back, behind the scenes you might say. In a room behind the puppy cages, behind the fish tanks, behind the aquariums that housed hamsters and lizards and snakes. My job was to keep cages clean, make sure everyone was fed and bathed, keep the back area clean, and report any animals that seemed to be sick.
I have a few stories from my time at the pet store that are totally blogworthy, but I'll start with
If you have ever seen a teddy bear hamster, then you know how incredibly furry and adorable they appear. They're little brown and white poof balls with tiny little hands which they use to hold on to little pieces of food and nibble daintily at. Much like this:
They like to crawl up on your shoulder and tickle your neck and make great little pets for little kids (kids old enough to know not to squeeze the hamster, y'all, not 2 year olds) and are generally just sweet little fuzzies.
Until they're not.
See, one day a man came in to our store with about 10 baby teddy bear hamsters in a bucket. They were the cutest little balls of fluff you ever did see. He negotiated with my boss and my boss bought the little guys from the weird man for some agreed upon price. And then my boss brought the bucket into the back room and dumped all of the little hamsters into the tank with another 10 or so teddy bear hamsters. And then he went back to whatever it was he was doing.
And I went about my work, which at the time was giving baths to squirmy little puppies.
Giving a bath to a squirmy little puppy isn't exactly the quietest task which is why it took me a while before I heard the screams.
The screams of young children who were witnessing a slaughter that young eyes should never see.
The screams of mothers attempting to pull their horrified children away from the sight.
The screams of teddy bear hamsters.
By the time I put a soggy little puppy back in his cage and made my way to where the screams were originating from it was too late. It was a massacre.
There were teddy bear hamster parts everywhere. There was teddy bear hamster blood smeared across the glass on the tank, there were little pieces of fluff and little beady eyeballs scattered all over the tank.
I imagine the scene went something like this:
Cause evidently teddy bear hamsters are sort of territorial. And they didn't like those new babies being put into their tank. And those babies didn't like being eaten so they fought back. With evil little baby teeth and evil little baby claws and by the time it was all over no hamsters lived to tell the tale.
So I must tell it for them.
Hamsters are gangsta. Remember it.