Sunday, July 24, 2011

Andy's travelling to Taiwan.

I arrived home from London to find the Captain had escaped. My friend Andy was having a going away party. The dilemma was choosing between whether to go to the party to see a friend off or look for the hamster. My logic told me that the hamster had been missing for a maximum of two and a half days. There really wasn't much I could do.

Worse case scenarios - a) the resident cat, Lucy, made up for all the times the Captain ran up to her at full ramming speed in the hamster ball. b) The hamster found her way into the air ducts, got stuck and died.

Both theories I didn't like much.  After doing some house investigation I didn't smell any rotting and didn't see any body parts on the floor so I was pretty sure the Captain was just some where sleeping. Perhaps the couch.

I thought that's where I'd be if I were the hamster. It's warm and dark with a close proximity to the POD. Plus there's food in the couch as Cheryl tends to drop crumbs when she's eating.  I know this because I've cleaned the couch before.  I'm not talking huge things like whole crackers, just little particles of food.  I want you the reader to know that Cheryl is not a slob.  Cheryl noticed a toilet paper roll knocked over saturday. So we pieced together, like a Crime Scene Investigation, that it was pushed or knocked over by the hamster after escaping from the back of the POD.

The latch sometimes flips open. With a nudge, I figured the hamster made it's way out and crawled out the open back panel. Once on the outside, while crawling around, the hamster then pushed the toilet paper over, then fell to the ground (about a 60cm drop). Once on the floor crawled along the wall past the shelf and to the couch. It's dark, and made of soft material that the hamster could easily climb up and into. Plus there's food in there. I found a pretzel bit when pulling up a cushion.

I decided to go see Andy. I wouldn't see her for at least a year otherwise and dead or alive the hamster would eventually be found. As dark as that might seem there was nothing I could do.  Also I always wanted to meet Andy.  I knew her through Bill and had only met her in passing.  She was always someone in the background that I never said "Hi" to.  We had kept in touch over the internet and by that I mean maybe one or two messages a year.  But from that and her facebook postings there was something quirky about the girl I liked.  I also figured that Bill or other people I'd know would be at the party and it would be good to see them too.

On the way to Andy's place I stopped by the local grocery store to pick up some peanuts to use as a lure for the hamster when I got back home. This bag of peanuts would later become a conversation piece as I talked to people later on that night.

After an hour of commuting I ended up standing at the front door to the going away party with no one answering the door. It's times like this where I wished I had phone numbers of people that were going to be there. I didn't. After about 20 minutes of looking like some squinting stalker on the front porch I eventually left. Maybe I got the address wrong?  the event got cancelled?  ugh. 

While on the subway travelling back home between the Summerhill and Rosedale stations, the train is outside above ground, my phone picked up a text message. It was Andy saying that they didn't hear the doorbell or door knocking because they were all in the back yard.  Someone had found my card with a message that I'd been there and luckily passed it on along with my phone number.

Using the incoming phone number attached to the text message I texted the person back saying I was turning around. At Bloor I reversed course and headed back to the party.

Andy at her going away backyard party

Posing for the 3D camera.

The party was fun. I ended up chatting to various people, talking about the 3D camera, eating a large number of hot dogs, taking photos and explained numerous times why I had a bag of peanuts. Photos of people dancing, being clocked on the head with stuffed animals, lawn bowling. Fun stuff.

It was good to see Andy in real life as well. Talking to someone on facebook is one thing but it's definitely not the same as actually meeting them in person. I'm glad I went and in the end was happy to meet her even if never to see her again.  She was going away after all.  Maybe our paths would cross again some day in the future.  She took a bunch of our addresses so she could send mail to us.  While it seemed like a nice thing to look forward to I won't get my hopes up.  Every time I travel I usually don't send mail.  It's one of those things you need time to do.  Maybe if she was stuck indoors somewhere because of the weather?  I think about being in London when it rained.  I was outside exploring.

On the way back home I received some text messages from Cheryl (the landlord). She and Lucy (the cat) had located Captain Hill in the couch and the hamster had run behind the shelf unit. I instructed Cheryl to block the floor vents and told her I was on the way home.

By the time I got to Dundas West station I had more text messages on my phone. The last one stated that Cheryl had caught the hamster in her derby helmet and scooped it up putting in back into the cage (POD).

Captain Hill with banana chip

I got home and gave the hamster a banana chip. One should note that banana chips cut length wise down the banana are not easily moved by the hamster. It does provide some entertainment when she tried to squeeze into a tube with the banana slice horizontal. I am evil.

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