Monday, July 10, 2006

"Nebby's New Room"

So the other day, I did a nice thorough cleaning of Nebby's cage. Everything wiped down, washed off, emptied and refilled. The next morning, I discover that from Nebby's "penthouse suite" absolutely everything has been removed except the litter from the bottom. And in the main cage, both food dishes have been completely emptied, and one of the cardboard tubes I put in for play no longer has a cheese-nut cake in it. The cotton, the food, and the broken-into-bits cake had all been relocated... the exercise ball. First layer: crumbled cake. Next layer: food. Next layer: lots of fluffy cotton. Top layer: hamster.

Seems like she's got her priorities straight...

Monday, March 20, 2006

As promised, here is a full-grown Nebby, attempting desperately to cram an entire fruitwood stick into her pouch. (It won't fit.)

Bet you faithful readers though I'd forgotten all about you! Well never fear. Nebby's first Mom has nagged--I mean, kindly reminded me!--enough that I have finally gotten off my butt to post an update.

So, Nebby is a healthy full-grown girl now. We still haven't quite gotten through all the supplies her first Mom sent her with! But we were running short on a few things, and the IRS was kind to me this year, so I was able to be kind to Nebby. Pictured here are some things I picked up, including lots of extra bedding for the cold nights (far too many of those!), her ravioli treats (we go through those quickly), and the new fruitwood branches. Unfortunately, she hasn't gnawed on these much, but she also isn't gnawing on her cage bars. I may try the trick of smearing a little peanut butter on them. This worked well for her previous chews. There's also a super-duper bag of the Aspen pellets so that we don't run out for awhile.

Since I had so much extra pelleting, I decided to give Nebby a little game. Hamsters have a reputation for burrowing and digging. I put a couple extra inches of pellets in the corner of her cage, then buried sweet-smelling treats in it. Sure enough, she was digging away in the pellets that very night, and seemed quite entertained. I'm going to sneak some in there every so often, in addition to the rest of the places I like to hide treats for her to find. She's also fond of collecting small bits of bedding to add to her 'penthouse'.

I have been busy lately, and have not been able to handle Nebby as much as usual, but I am hoping to reinstitute our routine of evening handling time. Also, as the warmer weather *finally* makes its way here, I can consider the Nebby Playpen proposal again. And as I get income from my new job (!) I can consider that three-story addition I wanted to buy her for the left side of the cage...

Let Spring Begin!
Nebby (and Owner)

Monday, February 27, 2006

"In Which We Discover That it's Been a Long Time Since Last Post"

*looks around*

"Hello? Hello in here...helloooooo..."


It's been quite an empty blog lately, and some of my faithful readers (thank you all!) have started to...ahem..."remind" me to post!

Nebby has definitely gotten bigger. (Pictures to come soon.) She has filled out into what I can only assume is her full adult size. She's still absolutely adorable, of course! Her belly is a little fuller, but she doesn't seem to be fat. And she still runs bunches on her wheel.

I have noticed the last few feedings that the treat bowl has been conspicuously empty whilst the food bowl has been untouched. Concerned about over-feeding and nutritional needs, I have stopped supplimenting with a daily treat for the time being. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the main food dish, so I'm thinking that she's just gotten a bit choosy. We'll see what happens on that front.

Meanwhile, the weather has been exceedingly cold, and I've been giving Nebby extra cotton bedding to keep warm with. If necessary, I can put a UTH on the cage, but I'd prefer to avoid it just because I'm not always there to supervise it. Now two trips away from home have led to Nebby not being played with as much as I'd like, but I prefer to limit her out-of-cage excursions until the weather warms up anyway. I have been concerned about her going into hibernation, but so far, she shows no signs of doing so, and is generally her normal, active self.

That's about all on the Nebby front! Pictures to come soon of her new, adult size, so stay tuned!

--Nebby (and Owner!)

Friday, February 17, 2006

"Missing My Nebby"

It's true--I've been away from home this week, and entrusting her care to *anyone* else has been so difficult. I start to understand Ardina's potential feelings when giving her to me for the first time.

I left extensive checklists for Nebby's care, assigned her *two* caretakers, and went over my instructions for her again and again. I've called daily to ask how she's doing, and even tried to get pics of her sent to me--with no luck. So far, it sounds like everything is going well and there is nothing to worry about, so I am trying to be calm.

I return tomorrow evening, so I can see for myself how she's doing, and get her cage cleaned. Meanwhile, enjoy a picture of the most precious Nebby stuffing her cheeks full of food (this being taken just before I left.)

--Nebby (and Owner!)

Friday, February 10, 2006

"Lifted Up Where She Belongs"

...or where I'd like for her to belong! Yes, yesterday I was finally able to lift Nebby out of her cage and pet her for a few moments with my other hand! She was curious, sniffing at everything, and walking around my hand, but did not seem at all distressed. Our patience with each other is paying off. She's coming to trust me, and I'm learning how not to be such a loud, boorish...human. And then there's the stars in my eyes as I envision being able to have Nebby crawl over my bed while I play my PS2 or visit with friends. Heheh, might want to have a little patience on the turning-her-into-our-beagle department.

Since there is a possibility that I may be going away for the weekend, I wrote up daily and weekly care lists for Nebby. If I'm only gone for a day or two, she really doesn't need anything, although I'd prefer to have her checked on. But if I'm going to be gone any longer than that, she definitely needs someone looking in on her, and providing a few things. If I'm gone for much longer than a week, she'll need someone to do the whole Wednesday cage-change routine. The boyfriend or the sister would be ideal candidates for this duty--they both visit Nebby often and seem interested in her general progress.

During this week's cage change, I had a thought--if I want her to spend more time in the log hut (re-visiting the cage now) I should put something in there that she wants--and can't take out! I stuck the second cheese wheel in there, and now she goes in regularly to gnaw on it. I can't supress my evil chuckle whenever she dives into the log hut. :D

Still waiting on some tax dollars so I can get Nebby a few things off the wish-list, and still collecting things for her future playpen. I've got some more cardboard tubes, and a carboard box hut as well. Once she's more comfortable with being lifted out of the cage, we'll get to try it out!

Honestly, I think I'll like watching her even more than she likes playing!

Nebby (and Owner)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"Nebby-Mitt Success!"

Yesterday, I held out the Nebby-Mitt for my hamster-baby--without a treat, even!--and she climbed up into it, letting me lift her up! I'm so excited!

I keep alternating my bare hand with the 'mitt', so that she'll still be used to an actual hand, and (hopefully) one day climb into it without nipping. It may help to lay my hand flat on the bottom of the cage--I think the raised fingertips may resemble treats to her.

I did observe a little bit of cage-bar chewing yesterday, so I took her current chew stick and spread just a thin coat of peanut butter on it. To my surprise, she didn't start chewing it until about two hours later, but she does seem to enjoy it.

Nebby has been napping frequently during the night. It makes me wonder if perhaps me having the bedroom light on is disturbing her normal cycle. But I'm also sure that 1) she's still young and needs her rest and 2) she's probably up on and off through the day too. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about.

I recently acquired a large cardboard box to serve as a (highly supervised) playpen for Nebby. I have the wooden toys, some cardboard tubes, and, soon, a plastic yogurt container to serve as a hideaway. Maybe some solid plastic toys, such as for babies or parrots, would be a nice touch? I'm also going to work up a little blanket for her out of yarn for use in the playpen. I don't want to leave it all the time for her to chew on, but I can't make all this yarn stuff for other pets and none for my very own hammie-baby.

That's pretty much it for now...hopefully there will soon be pictures of Nebby enjoying her new playpen!

--Nebby (and Owner)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"In Which We Discover the Joys of Cardboard"

Nebby is now 10 weeks old--as of approximately February 2nd. From all the information I have, that means she is just about finished growing. I've also owned her for a little over two weeks. Wow!

I've noticed that Nebby is much more comfortable with me approaching the cage, or going in and out of the bedroom. As long as I am careful not to disturb her when she is sleeping, she rarely flees into a tube when I approach. She still takes treats quite readily from my hand, and today, I got her to crawl halfway into my hand (both front paws down on my palm) to take a treat. I hope it's only a matter of time until I'm actually holding her! However, she's still "testing" my fingers with her teeth--hasn't actually bitten yet, but she makes me jumpy. To facillitate calmer relations, I've hit on an idea I'm calling the "Nebby-Mitt". I crochet and knit, and one of my random crocheted swatches was laying around. It's out of a thick yarn, and a little bigger than a potholder. I'm going to start introducing my hand to the cage with this little mitt on top, so that as she's climbing into my hand and "testing" it, I can stay still. I held it up for her inspection today, and of course, she had to test the taste of it, too. Apparently it was not worth consuming. She turned her attention back to her stash. :)

Nebby made a new discovery last night. Wanting to give her something more interesting to do than just chewing or running on her wheel, I saved some cardboard toilet paper tubes for her. Here she is investigating one of them: I was astonished to see that she can completely put herself through these tubes, even though they're much smaller than her cage tubes! She hasn't really chewed on this yet, which I'm pleased about. If she were ingesting too much of the cardboard, I'd have to take it away. But for now, I can leave it around as something new for her to investigate.

The airplane and car are still waiting on the day when I can take her out of her cage. I'm also looking towards putting an addition onto her home, but I haven't decided just what sort of place I'd like to give her yet. I'm hoping to find something with more vertical space, because I think she'd enjoy some more climbing opportunities. I'm also looking to pick up a ball for running around outside the cage with, and one of those "Pet Playpens" for sectioning off an area on the floor. ^_^ All in good time!

May your adventures be many and your stash plentiful,
Nebby (and Owner)