There are eleven people living here. Two dogs. One Roborovski hamster, aka Phodopus roborovskii. She’s new around here and her name is Doris Day. The name struck me when I looked at her face and coloring. Blonde, with big eyes and a big smile. The shopping montage from That Touch of Mink popped in my head. Twinsies. So far, she is called Doris Day, Doris, Dori, and The Hamster. We are trying to leave her alone for a bit so she can acclimate to her new surroundings. Her cage is set up on Beatrix’s dresser. It’s colorful and Doris seems to be settling in okay. I just checked on her. She’s burrowed next to her little food bowl, which would be like me unfurling a sleeping bag next to the refrigerator. Handy.
I spent this morning watching several YouTube videos on caring for and taming “Robo” hamsters. Several commenters were predictably sad they are not, indeed, robot hamsters. They are the smallest of the dwarf hamsters, which describe their size, not their proclivity toward mining, battling Orcs, or sharing homes with strange runaway girls. Robos are quick, agile, intelligent, and love to dig. Robo hamsters are also harder to tame than other hamsters.
Last night, Beatrix and I stood and watched Doris run in her big plastic green wheel. Her legs moved so quickly, you couldn’t distinguish one from the other. Then, Doris jumped off and ran to every corner, through her food bowl, and used the nozzle on her water bottle to try to scale the outside of the wheel.
“Doris Day is a ninja.” Beatrix whispered.
It was one of those moments where you know that sentence has never, ever been said in human history.
It was also one of those moments mental pictures spring to mind. I thought of Miss Day, wrapped in mink, bringing a gang of miscreants to their knees with stealthy moves. They fall in a circle around the hem of her shimmering evening wear. She takes Cary Grant’s arm and they jet to Bermuda.
Eventually, I convinced Beatrix it was time to sleep. I warned her how Doris might be up during the night, playing and eating because she doesn’t share our sensible affinity for daytime partying and nighttime snoozing. “Hamsters are nocturnal.”
“It’s funny that she’s named Doris Day, then.”
I agreed. It’s just funny, all around. When Beatrix woke up that morning, she had no idea she’d be happily sharing her room with anyone. Especially a ninja.