Bright Spot, the Desert Hamster

This is Bright Spot. Bright Spot is a desert hamster, otherwise known as a Roborovski Hamster. He is hardly bigger than a quarter, but he is full grown.

Bright Spot makes everyone who looks at him smile. Like all desert hamsters, he is cute. But he also has a personality that makes him special.

For one thing, although desert hamsters are supposed to be agile and good climbers, Bright Spot is not. He is not sick or injured. He is just uncoordinated.

He is especially uncoordinated when he first wakes up after a nap. If he crawls through the paper towel tube while he is still groggy, the paper towel tube rolls back and forth from side to side because he keeps toppling first on his right side, then on his left side, then on his right, until he finally makes it to the end of the tube.

It took him a while to learn how to use his wheel. The first time he really got it going, he stopped short and went sailing out of it onto his back. Then he panicked and flailed around like a tiny turtle who couldn't turn himself back over.

He also panics when he tries to climb over his log bridge or into the tray that holds his food and water dish. He is never successful on the first attempt, so he starts lunging and darting at the obstacle as if he is hoping that momentum will carry him over it.

Fortunately, Bright Spot is not just uncoordinated. He is also intelligent. Whenever he is panicking and flailing around trying to turn himself over or to climb up or over something, I say, "Calm down, you can do it," and he calms down and does it.

Bright Spot is also different from other desert hamsters in another way. Most desert hamsters are social creatures and like to live in pairs or groups. But Bright Spot wants to live alone.

A sign was posted on his cage at the pet shop: DO NOT PUT WITH OTHER HAMSTERS! So Bright Spot is living happily in his bachelor pad, doing what he pleases, when he pleases.

And making everyone who looks at him smile.

Bright Spot's Day

Bright Spot is growing old now ...

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Text, photos, and source code Merry L. Morris