I love animals and as it turns out, I find them super fun to doodlewash, so here’s another for today. Why I settled on a hamster will reveal itself shortly, but it was also another exercise in layering and color mixing. I’m somehow more delicate with my animal doodles versus my buildings, which I tend to just start attacking with all the colors at once.
This little guy was named Sparky and he was my childhood hamster. He was cuddly and cute and extremely friendly. He had a rather elaborate system of tubes to play in as well an exercise wheel, which he never really used, preferring other pursuits like burrowing under the wood chips to hide from people. Sparky and I had much in common.
It’s rather difficult to tell if a hamster actually likes you. They seem curious and inquisitive, but less like they care and more like an elderly aunt you seldom see who has completely forgotten your name. Sparky was just so cute, that it really didn’t matter. And he seemed to enjoy being held, as he always sat very still and became calm. Now as I type this I realize he was probably just totally terrified and playing possum.
One day, I came home from school and rushed up to check on Sparky. I couldn’t see him immediately, but this was always the case. I waited for him to come out from his wood chip man cave and meet me for the first time again, but he never came. It was then I noticed one of the tubes had been carefully pulled away and Sparky had made a break for it. I looked everywhere in the house, and even left out food, but he was sadly nowhere to be found. I spent the requisite “feels like an eternity” kid-style mourning period of about 2-3 days before I asked my mom for a replacement.
The replacement came in the form of a new and slightly smaller golden hamster. This one was female. And while I could never quite tell if Sparky liked me, she made it completely clear that she hated me. She had played it like the lonely sweet orphan in the store, but once in my house, she was pissed.
I can’t even remember her actual name because I started calling her Satan. She would not tolerate being held and would immediately start hissing and spitting if you tried to touch her. If you thought you could calm her down by holding her, you’d instead find yourself riddled with brown bullets as she tried to assassinate you.
It was less than a week later, and I was still devastated that my sweet little Sparky had gone and left me with a demonic hamster, when I heard a scratching noise. I wasn’t sure at first where it was coming from, but I soon discovered it was coming from the closet. I slid open the door to reveal… Sparky! At least I thought it must be him, his cheeks were six times larger than I remember them. My child brain was in peril as it seemed like my choices were limited to the now-deformed hamster I loved or the screaming banshee in the cage. I didn’t want either of them!
Luckily, a quick check in the encyclopedia helped me to discover that Sparky’s mumps were simply a case of food hoarding, and would go away. Satan’s condition, however, wasn’t listed so I assumed she must be covered by the store’s return policy. And so things would soon be returned to normal! Of course now I see plainly that Sparky had tried to escape so he didn’t like me much more than Satan, but at least he wasn’t violent about it.
I never had another hamster after these. And I’m sure hamsters everywhere were breathing a sigh of relief. Even if he wasn’t actually fond of me, I still remember Sparky fondly. He’s now in a hamster heaven somewhere with all of his actual friends doing the world’s largest hamster dance. And Satan is… well… exactly where you might expect.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!