My brother’s hamster

My brother got a siberian dwarf hamster in March, right before we started quarantining. He and the hamster live a few states away, and although I’ve never met her in person, tonight I got a chance to see her over Zoom. Her name is Peach, and she has a website:

Hamster facts:

  • Hamsters prefer to live alone. In fact, they will fight (and often injure or kill) other hamsters they share an enclosure with, unless raised together from birth.
  • As such, they are fiercely independent, yet utterly dependent on their human captors for survival.
  • One night, Peach escaped from her tub. Even with the freedom to explore anywhere in the apartment, she sought the safety of the space under the fridge.
  • Peach is a gentle hamster, but she will bite your finger if you touch her bowl of food and she thinks you are taking it away. That is to say, she is docile until her capacity to consume is under threat.
  • When Peach walks across your lap or sits in your hands, she experiences you not as a person or a fellow living thing, but instead as a massive fleshy landscape. As my brother puts it, “for her, we are like the weather.” The world simply happens to Peach.
  • Of course, Peach has a hamster wheel, and she devotes hours each day to the pointless task of turning it. Perhaps there is a pleasure in the exertion, or the absurdity of it. Perhaps it’s instinct, and she doesn’t quite know why she runs, other than that she must.
  • Peach is a portrait of modern man.
Peach is standing on her bowl of food, with one of her paws resting on her hamster wheel. Behind her is her tiny house made of tiny logs.