Michaela was part of a surprise litter to which Checkmate
gave birth eleven days after we got her. Michaela was named for my son, Michael,
because she showed an oppositional streak towards her mother. Whenever Checkmate
would try to get Michaela to go back to the nest, Michaela would race off in the
opposite direction in the tunnel, as fast as her little legs would carry her.
We took to her instantly and just had to keep her. We also kept Michaela's brother,
Columbus, who looked a lot like her.
Unfortunately, I was shocked to discover that I have no pictures
of Michaela after she grew up. Above is one of her baby photos. You can view Checkmate's
page for a few more. Michaela's fur lightened as she got older. She had light
tan and white fur.
At the time we had Michaela, we had five hamsters altogether:
Michaela, her brother Columbus, their mother Checkmate,
Knight, and Blizzard. There
were 2 females and 3 males. Having both sexes gave us many opportunities to see
them interact. My favorite was when they called out to each other in loud, excited
squeaks. I think they were saying, "Hey, baby, what's shakin'?" or "How
you doin'?" They would squeak back and forth quite a bit, especially on those
days that a female was in heat. Michaela was the best of the best in terms of
squeaking. She had a quick, sharp, LOUD squeak that you could hear all the way
Another favorite time was when all five hamsters were in their
run-around balls. They would bump into each other, follow each other around the
house, and have wild "ball parties," in which much squeaking was involved.
Michaela lived to be 2 years and 2 months old.