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Sunday, September 26, 2021

    The Curious Case of Pickles the Hamster

    Tony Tone
    Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently serves as Muscatine Community School District Communication and Community Outreach Director and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

    Muscatine Living

    It was 6:45 am on Tuesday, July 9th, when we realized the newest member of our family, Pickles the Hamster, had gone missing. Somehow, the portion of his hamster home with the plastic tubing had come loose during the previous night and Pickles was nowhere to be found.

    The news quickly spread throughout our house and, as to be expected, both of our boys were devastated. Pickles had just arrived (much to my chagrin) a week earlier, and Henry and Theodore took a lot of joy in helping to take care of him.

    Pickles the Hamster

    The search and rescue team were called in (my wife Kasey and I) and we began looking for our furry friend. Shortly thereafter, I had to leave for work, but I would receive updates via text message throughout the course of the day letting me know that Pickles was still missing.
    Upon returning home, I took it upon myself to do some hamster recovery research via a series of YouTube videos. Did you know that if you search for, “how to find a lost hamster,” you’ll come up with more results than are probably necessary?

    My boys and I devised a “trap” comprised of a small stack of children’s books, a large plastic bowl and hamster food. We knew that if Pickles could smell the food, he would climb up the books and fall (safely) into the bowl and not be able to escape.

    The work was done, the traps were set, and it was approximately 8:45 pm when I heard a noise come from under the refrigerator! I sprung from the couch and used my phone as a flashlight (because in 2019 we do not own a real flashlight– maybe we should) and there towards the middle of the floor was the illusive Pickles.

    I quickly relocated the traps closer to the fridge because surely, he would fall for them, being just a few steps away.
    I went to sleep and after my daughter’s stirring woke me up, I decided to check the traps in the kitchen; alas, nothing. At that moment, I made the decision to pull the refrigerator forward and huddled in the back corner of the wall was Pickles.
    I grabbed one of my boys’ t-shirts that had been left on the counter and gently tossed it on top of the world’s best escape hamster. I had previously only handled Pickles once, so I was extra careful while transporting him to his residence.

    At 11:15 pm Pickles was safely returned to his home and was sentenced to spend the evening running on his hamster wheel (he’s nocturnal so he’s awake all night). The boys awoke at 5:35 am and were elated to see their furry companion asleep in his hamster abode. Learn from our saga and make the smart decision to buy your children a goldfish.

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