My bedroom is on the 2nd floor of this big old house. I also have a sunroom opening directly off my room. That is where VeraWang lives on a table in her beloved cage and tubes.
When I get home in the evening I drop off the detritus of my lunch in the kitchen and go up the back stairs to my room.
FuzzButt (cat) usually greets me at the top of the stairs, crying for her food. I put my things down in my bedroom and enter the sunroom, where I feed Fuzzy. As I do that, VeraWang is hanging on the door of her cage, waiting her turn. I feed Fuzz, adding a stroke or two, then open VW’s cage door and pick her up.
I carry VeraWang in my hand to the back stairs, heading for the kitchen. She knows the way. As I start down the steps, VW gets very excited. She knows that a treat awaits.
I place my hand on the stove top, solid glass. VeraWang jumps off and waits eagerly. I get the sunflower kernels and drop a few near her.
VeraWang is like a little vacuum cleaner, sucking up those seeds, though the way she eats them does slow her down.
Sunflower kernels are jacketed by a very thin skin. VeraWang delicately picks that skin off before stuffing the seeds in her cheek. She sits back on her haunches, holding the seed in her tiny pink front paws, and nibbles the skin away.
While VW is busy with sunflowers, I unpack my lunch bag and put it away. When we are both done, it’s time for VeraWang to return to her cage. Once I lift her off the stove and to the floor, she does all the rest without my help.
I pick VW up and back about 10 feet from the bottom of the stairs. She knows what is coming and is so excited she’s practically dancing in my hand.
I bend down like I’m bowling, give my arm one practice swing while saying, “Are you ready VeraWang? Are you ready to go?” Then I give her another swing and let go. She sets her feet and slides across the floor to the bottom of the carpeted stairs.
VeraWang begins her mountain climbing, all 15 steps, including a landing to negotiate. At the top of the last step, VW makes a sharp right and goes at top speed across the floor to the bedroom door.
(I run along behind her, making sure no errant cat mistakes her for a snack. Besides, it’s really funny to watch her. She makes me laugh.)
VeraWang goes tearing across the bedroom floor, including a section under the bed. She goes into the sunroom to the bottom of the ramp.
(I made a ramp from floor to table top. It’s about 5 feet long, and 3 inches wide. I made it of small square dowling, glue, tiny nails, staples and old socks. I spent $4 on it.)
At the foot of the ramp, VeraWang begins another climb, this time at maybe 30 degrees. At the top of it, she jumps off the ramp to the table top, and runs in her cage door.
Keep in mind, her body is maybe 3.5 inches long; her legs are 0.5-0.75 inches long. VeraWang covers 15 steps, a 5 foot ramp, and around 60 feet total, at a run, in 30 seconds.
VeraWang is my hero.
I do want to make a video of her run, but it will require at least 4 people with their cameras/phones to record her feat because it covers such a distance and variety of spaces. If someone else was running along side her, it might throw her off. Also, it would have to be a one-take shoot because VeraWang is not going to do more than one run. She is very much a creature of routine. Her routine does not include multiple takes.
There you have it. VeraWang, hamster, Olympic-calibre, pentathlon-type athlete.
(Cue the Olympic Anthem.)