Lennon and George were friends.
She named him George after watching the cartoon with the Abominable Snowman and Bugs Bunny. "And I'll love him, and squeeze him, and call him George, and pat him on his little head." I didn't even make the 'Of Mice and Men' connection (Lenny and George) until long after we got him.
George died last week.
I walked up to start cleaning his habitat, and saw him balled up in his giant ferris wheel. I thought at first that he might be sleeping. I moved the wheel around a bit, and he just tumbled around inside.
We had George exactly nine months. When we got him, we were told that most dwarf hamsters live to be about two years old. George was attacked by another hamster at the pet store, so they weren't expecting him to live to his full life expectancy. We prepared her for his death from day one. We explained that the smaller an animal is, the shorter their lives are.
Six-year-olds can't process grief. Lennon paced around the living room for a few seconds, and said, "He was a good hamster". Then, she cried for a total of maybe thirty seconds. She wiped her eyes, and the only other mention of the subject was that we should throw him away, before he starts to smell.
Meanwhile, I found myself getting choked up quite a few times thinking about him. And, I sobbed. All the way to the trash can outside and back. He was a neat little guy. We enjoyed having him in our home.
I would like to think that my funeral is kinder than George's. Then again, I hope that when I die, I'm not lodged inside a plastic tube, with no way to be fished out.
I'll have to remember that before getting on any water slides.