09 February 2009

Meet Justin

Recently the kids have been saving up to get their own pets. They have been doing chores, saving bday/Christmas money, and scrounging for loose change. I am a firm believer that having pets as kids teaches responsibility and will allow as many pets as we can handle (and I can talk Robert in to having) - and believe me we are borderline zoo/ark status already. The kids have inherited my soft heart for any and all animals and even though Robert likes to pretend indifference, he is a sucker too!

We have been practicing to remember to check food and water, and cleaning cages by having them letting me know to make a mark on the calendar each day. We discussed all that has to be done with their chosen pets and research has been done.

Adam is wanting a lizard (like an anole or gecko) and will be getting it soon. He has to learn a bit more and save a bit more money since lizards and their care can be pricey.

But Carus had enough money for her pet this weekend so we headed out to PetSmart. She loves all things cute, cuddly, and furry so naturally she gravitated towards the rodents. (And the birds, and the cats, and the puppies/dogs visiting with their owners.) We all settled on a hamster based on their care level, price, and that Robert doesn't like rats.

We carefully picked out a cage, hamster ball, hamster house, food, chew sticks, and finally....a hamster. He is a honeybear hamster and he has a great temperment. He hasn't bitten anyone and he is very mellow. Did you know you can potty train hamsters?! Seriously, they sold hamster potties there! That might be an option in the future. And there was also a little car with a ball in it that would actually 'drive' when the hamster went running around in the ball - BEYOND FREAKING CUTE! Sorry had a moment there. See how easily amused I am. Back to the story...

On the way home she decided on a name - Justin. Robert really wants Pooh - like Pooh Honeybear. But Carus likes Justin. Don't really know where it came from but I love it.

Adam and Carus spent Saturday evening sitting in a chair in front of the cage with a pencil and notebook documenting Justin's behavior - they even made little sketches to go with their observations, which consisted of "Justin found his food." and "Justin went into his house." Justin didn't cooperate with them and do some tricks or run on his hamster wheel or anything - poor kids. Then at bedtime Carus asked if she could sleep in the chair in front of his cage. She does not want to miss a thing.

The kids were supposed to give Justin 24 hours of acclimating to his home, but Sunday morning I woke up to find them in Carus' room like this.

They were letting him run around while keeping him in their leg cage. He would try to run over and under the legs and they would just pick him up and move him back to the center giggling at how his little legs tickle as he dug and climbed. Carus then announced that his middle name was Timber and last name was Lake - yup, Justin Timber Lake. That's probably where she got the name. Cute huh!

Adam told her that his last named had to match ours so he was then renamed to Justin Wiggle (last name) [sorry have a thing about not posting my last name online]. His middle and last name, I'm sure, are still subject to change, but she is firm on the Justin.

I didn't let them play with him too long so had them put him back in his cage and Carus then fed him and checked his water. She didn't even need reminding from me. And then she asked if she could clean his cage - which was because she wanted to put him in his ball and play with him more - but it is still being responsible and so I'm glad for that.

Neighborhood kids were paraded one by one into her room to check out Justin after I wouldn't let her take him out to meet them and when my friend Tara came over, Carus greeted her at the door with "wanna see my new hamster?" She said, "don't you guys have enough pets?"

Robert ended up going back to PetSmart and getting a bit bigger cage because this one pictured here ended up being smaller than expected. Now Justin has more room to move around.

While transferring him to the new cage we put him in the hamster ball and Yoda was SO interested. Unfortunately I was busy with the transfer and wasn't able to get a picture, but I'm sure it will happen again.

The cats have been watching and listening at the cage but don't seem to be much of a threat - we are actually only concerned about Simba trying to get in the cage. Timmy and Wilbur seem more interested in just watching. Simba has been kept in check by Carus constantly watching him and today he hasn't showed any interested (yup I'm watching just as much because I will not be the bad mom that let Justin be eaten).

She has started a book about Justin and I will post it when she finishes because I'm sure it is going to be beyond cute - although I know I am a little biased....

The first thing she said to me this morning when I woke her for school was, "could you take care of Justin today while I'm at school?" No good morning, no I love you, not even the usual - I don't feel good I think I need to stay home (she loves school just doesn't like getting up early). I knew she would love her very own pet as much as she loves the family pets - and I'm so glad she is being so responsible.

Adam's pet will come in the next few weeks I'm sure - he is still doing chores to save money and research on what he really wants, and there is a Unique Animal Pet Fair weekend after next and they will have lots of info and maybe some good deals on equipment we need.


  1. That's so cute! Justin is a great name! I am a lover of animals having real names! I vaguely remember having a hamster. Mostly I remember watching him in his ball. Our little dog would chase him around. Good times! Congrats on the new addition to the family!

  2. How cute that she named him Justin Timberlake!


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