When I was a tween girl, I had a hamster. He lived in an aquarium on a shelf in my bedroom, high up from little siblings, the cat and the dog.
Or so I thought.
One day, I came home from school to a note from my mom – “Your hamster is in the crock pot.”
And sure enough, my hamster was in the crock pot.
But not with chicken stock and vegetables bubbling away. He was just in the unplugged, completely off crock pot trying to figure out what was up with the change of scenery.
Needless to say, when my mom came home, I said something like “Gee, I know money’s tight, but the hamster won’t go far in a stew. Wouldn’t the cat or dog be better for dinner?”
Speaking of the cat – he was why the hamster ended up in the crock pot. Because our cat – who one winter allowed mice to frolic in our kitchen and basement unharmed – decided to become the Great White Hunter and go for the caged animal. My mother was getting ready to go out somewhere, and heard a crash. The cat had somehow nudged the hamster’s cage off the shelf. My mother managed to rescue the hamster in the nick of time, but was standing there going “Shoot, I have to leave, where do I put this creature?” when she spotted the tall crock pot with the smooth walls. She plopped the hamster in there, locked the cat in the basement, scribbled out a note and rushed out the door.
In my family – this all sort of made sense.
Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first time we had a pet in a kitchen appliance. Another time, my mom and I were sitting at the kitchen counter when we heard meowing. Thinking the cat wanted out of the basement, I went and opened the basement door – only there was no cat. We looked around a little, but didn’t see him. We checked the back door, just in case he slipped outside without anyone noticing. No cat.
And there we sat again, at the kitchen counter. And we heard muffled meowing. I glanced over at the refrigerator and thought “nooo…” – but I reached over, opened the refrigerator door and out walked the cat.
(My little brother was rummaging through the fridge, long enough for the cat to sneak in, but shut the door before the cat could get out.)
So the other day, when we lost the tiny dog somewhere in the house, as I wandered through the kitchen, I instinctively opened the refrigerator door.
Just to be sure.
Tiny dog was actually outside. Like a normal pet.