Meet Max {the Newest Member of the O’Malley Household}

by Cate on February 6, 2014

I was very late in introducing Madeline’s first hamster, Charlotte, and then, sadly, she died a week later.

I didn’t want to make that same mistake again. So here, less than a month after we got him, it’s time to introduce you to Max.

When we had to put Charlotte to sleep, there were a lot of decisions. You would be surprised. While the phrase “it’s just a hamster” can easily be bandied about, it didn’t necessarily apply. Did we want to bury her? Cremate her? Group cremation? Such heavy topics, and ones that I didn’t expect. Since Charlotte was Madeline’s pet, she was, of course, in the vet’s room when these topics came up, and very much a part of the decision making.

She was so very brave and I was incredibly proud of her. After we left the vet’s office and we were on our way home, a very quiet voice asked from the back seat, “Do you think maybe one day I could get another hamster?”

Of course.

And for a short time, we even planned to get two. Because when Madeline found out that Charlotte was originally sick, she thought it was because she was at school all day and hadn’t spent enough time with her.

My little five year old was riddled with Working Mom Guilt, and oh how that broke my heart. I assured her that wasn’t the case, and eventually she believed me, but that was one of the reasons why we decided to look for two hamsters, so they could keep each other busy while Madeline was at school.

The next day, I happened to see a post on facebook from a local shelter that had gotten 35 hamsters in and were in desperate need of adopters.

Yes, of course our newest hamster is a rescue.

Just like all our other pets.

Fate, if you will.

We drove down there to check them out, and many of them were itty bitty babies and too young to come home just yet. We spied this black and white one and Madeline loved him. The rescue group wasn’t sure if it was a male or a female, but put their money on male. Nick very generously paid the donation fee for the hamster because he felt bad about Charlotte’s passing and wanted to make Madeline feel better.

Max - close-up-001

From there, we stopped at the pet store to see if they could confirm that Max was, indeed, a boy and to see if they had any other hamsters that we could put with him.

And that’s when we learned that apparently putting two boys together isn’t a good idea. Sometimes even two girls together isn’t a good idea. They offered us a female hamster, to which I said no, because I know that a male and female together is not a good idea.

No matter what my children think.

I might be crazy, but I’m not that crazy.

Max on the move-001

And so we brought Max home, along with a new cage and bedding (per the suggestion of the vet because Charlotte was so sick), and so far, so good. He hasn’t escaped (Charlotte did once), hasn’t had babies (the rescue group wasn’t sure if he was a she that was, in fact, pregnant), and hasn’t kept us up all night (since we take out his wheel at bedtime).

Harry, Max, and Madeline's cheekbones

And should he ever get the very idea of escaping, don’t worry, Harry is completely dedicated to the job of protecting him. Or something like that.

Madeline and Max-001

And my little I-want-to-save-all-the-animals girl is happy and all is right with the world.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne February 7, 2014 at 7:40 am

Awww max is a cutie! And I love the fact that he is a rescue!!
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patsy February 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

I’m sure she will be a great momma to Max! I have to say in that last picture she looks so grown up!

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Betsy | JavaCupcake.com February 7, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hi Max!!!!
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Christie February 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Oh my gosh! So sweet. Brought back a lot of memories from when we had to put one of our cats down. So glad your daughter has Max now!
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Casey February 8, 2014 at 11:52 am

You are a brave soul! Well done, mama.

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Jenna February 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Hi, Max!!
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Meg February 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

So sweet — love!

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Sarah Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) February 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Awwww! Cutie.

When my sister first got guinea pigs, she came home with two — and it turned out one was male and one was female. Which resulted in one becoming rather rotund and angry. Ultimately, said angry guinea pig was readopted because OMG — no pregnant guinea pigs! All of this is to say you made the right decision with keeping Max an only.
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