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Monday, November 06, 2006


I only got Jemima at the end of January, and it's only a smidge past the end of October now. Nine months is roughly a third of a hamster's life expectancy, so I was within reason to expect to have her longer. But Jemima had two foibles:

1. She was a Hamster Houdini, a master of escape, able to scale any cage, walk upside down with ease and speed, and fit her enormous body through seemingly impossibly small openings.

2. She liked to stick her head out to the side as she ran on her hamster wheel, pulling it in only at the last millisecond as the brace approached.

A few months ago, I ran across an intriguing term: chakba. Wikipedia only had this to offer:

In Classical Mayan culture, chakba was self-decapitation.

That was it. And so, honestly, I wondered how. What were the logistics of such an act?

And now I know: The Classical Mayans built large, metal exercise wheels, with sharp-edged support braces, then stuck their heads out the sides when they ran on them.

Yes, that's right - my hamster committed chakba. And yes, I had awful Dixie Classic artificial wreath flashbacks when I found her.

Rest in Pieces Peace, Jemima.

(Due to the unfortunate nature of Jemima's demise, her remains had to be disposed of in black plastic. But usually, we use Central Carolina Pet Services to cremate our beloved furries.)
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