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Mr. Cream Puff Strang

mr. cream puff strang

It is with a very heavy heart that I write that my lil’ squish squish, my sweet babycakes, Mr. Cream Puff passed away very late last night. I know that Syrian hamsters only live for 2-2.5 years, but I was in denial about that like most people, because we picture our fur babies living forever since they’re so special to us. Mr. CP had turned exactly 2.5 years old yesterday.

I remember the first time I saw him back in 2016. Michael and I were about to go grocery shopping at HEB for our meal prep, when I got distracted by the Petco next door. I begged him to go in just for a bit and that’s when I saw the biggest hamster in my life. He was a light tan with a thick white band that wrapped around his chubby belly and back. He was almost twice the size as all of the other hamsters in that cage. While all of the other hamsters sped around erratically, Mr. CP was super chill. The sea of crazy hamsters parted as he, the big bad boss hamster, made his way across the cage towards my face on the other end. I fell in love with this chunky cutie immediately and turned to Michael -the voice of reason- who said, “No Mae, you’ve already got 2 cats.” So I waved goodbye to him and proceeded to go grocery shopping. But I couldn’t get that giant hamster off of my mind. So EVERY weekend when I’d visit Michael, and we’d go to that same HEB to buy our groceries, we’d stop at that Petco so that I could visit him. This went on for about a month and a half. But every weekend, there would be less and less hamsters in the cage, until finally he was the last hamster there. Emotional Me turned to Michael and said, “I have to get him! If I wait any longer, someone else will adopt him!” Logical Michael replied, “Mae, you’ve got 2 cats and there’s a 2 pet limit at your apartment complex.” The following week, I remember having a nightmare that someone had adopted him. As soon as I woke up, I called that Petco and asked if the giant tan hamster with the white band was still there. They asked me, “Are you that hamster girl that always comes to visit him?” Yep, that’s me! They said that their store policy wouldn’t allow them to save him for me, so I spent the rest of the week worrying about whether someone would take him home before I could get back to Austin. After classes that Friday, I raced to Austin, and lo and behold, he was still there! I requested the play area so I could make sure that I was a good pet mom match for him. The store employees thought I was crazy because I was the first customer to request a play time room for a hamster instead of their usual cat/dog request. He was so sweet, cute, curious, friendly and we got along really well. Even Michael agreed that we were the perfect pair. I brought him home and loved him so much every single day.

He was the most pure, innocent creature. Every morning I woke up, held him up to my face and told him, “You are da cutest and sweetest hamster in da whole wide world, and I love you so much.” It was impossible to walk by his cage without stopping to play with him. He was that stinkin’ cute. I’d miss him all day, so I decided to bring him to work with me. He ended up being our office mascot for a bit. Everyone who saw him and held him, loved him.

I had heard a few times from random people, “Why’d you get a hamster? Hamsters are for children. Hamsters are dumb, boring, and incapable of loving you back.” But none of those stereotypes were true of Mr. CP. He never bit me and he knew me. As soon as I’d stick my hand into cage, he’d never run away and hide. He’d climb immediately into my hand so I could pick him up and kiss his head. He had such a personality and definitely knew what he liked. It always cracked me up whenever I saw his food bowl after he’d stuff his cheeks, because there was always this one type of seed from the mix that he didn’t like and would leave in his bowl. Mr. CP was one smart cookie and I remember he’d always invent new ways to escape from his cage. There was this one time where he put all of his food into the bottom of his running wheel to weigh it down, then pushed/stuffed his paper shreddings between the wheel and the floor of his cage so that the wheel couldn’t move. Then he climbed up the side of the wheel and began pushing the mesh cage lid up. I couldn’t believe his tiny little arms were so strong!

I’m going to miss saying good morning and good night to him. I’m going to miss giving him kisses and having his whiskers tickle my face. I’m going to miss holding him when I’m feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious because he always made me feel better. I’m going to miss hearing his wheel squeak at night and feeding him his favorite strawberry yogurt treats that he’d immediately stuff into his cheek pockets. I’m going to miss seeing him sleep in that perfect circle that made him look like a lil’ cream puff.

Last night when I held him in my hands I knew something was wrong. He had his hands and feet wrapped tightly around my hand instead of his usual sniffing around and attempting to climb up my arm. He looked so scared. When he started opening his mouth wide and closing it slowly, repeatedly and began gasping for air, I called the emergency pet clinic while holding him close. All of the ones that were still open that late said that unfortunately they didn’t treat hamsters because they’re considered exotic pets. They gave me another number to try, but it didn’t work. I just kept petting him and giving him kisses as he passed away in my hand. Even though my heart broke seeing him like that in his last moments, I’m thankful that he didn’t have to die alone and scared. I at least got to hold him, pet him, and kiss him to help him not be so scared, and I was able to say goodbye. R.I.P Mr. Cream Puff. I love you.

Funeral Home:
All Paws Great and Small Crematory
5611 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX
US 78220

All Paws Great and Small Crematory
5611 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX
US 78220

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