Before I get to the tour part where I back off of all the cage changes and posts for awhile I hope – I’m going to get a little TMI. Okay, I have anxiety issues. Pre-kids I was on antidepressants because my anxiety was so terrible that I was becoming depressed by it. In time the medication stopped working and around that time I got pregnant with my first son and quit medication all together. I’ve actually dealt alright with it since having children because of my focus on other little beings lives. And that is also where the hamsters and gerbils come in. More little beings – less focus on my anxieties. Except that children can also lead to anxiety but my little hams and gerbs don’t. They live a simple little life. They ask for nothing but food, water, and ample, safe shelter. All this stuff- the extras – I am ever so happy to give it to them. Free ranging. The special treats. The extra enrichment. They don’t need it all but I oh so enjoy seeing them enjoy it.
Since I was a little girl I was obsessed with change. Rearranging furniture and getting new hairstyles. Especially, when I was stressed about something. It has carried on throughout my life. Changing around the furniture and in even more dire times I do extreme hair cuts or highlights. Change. It’s a feeling of control. And a sense of starting over. Freshness.
Hamsters don’t like their habitats being disturbed a whole lot. For this reason I only do spot cleans weekly and the full cleans are monthly. When starting out I didn’t realize all of this and being kind of a clean freak sometimes I was changing their bedding weekly. Full clean outs. Another thing was I was ignorant on what constitutes ample habitat size. So, I started way too small. Then slowly built up more and more to upgrade. This also caused a lot of moving the hamsters around.
They all seemed to take this pretty well. None of the signs of stress I read about on the forums. My hamsters don’t seem to have many bad behaviors. They don’t bar chew, etc. So, I don’t think I did much damage to them. But I do continue to switch things up. I really do it out of the worry of their welfare first and foremost. I want them to have sizable places to spend most of their time. But also I love change. I love seeing them in bigger and cuter places with new layouts and such. I haven’t done much with them and their layouts for quite some time until the new cage came in the other day. The shuffle started off a landslide
So, I decided that I had to upgrade the Robos as well as I can’t handle the heavy tanks anymore. Beautiful as they are – they are too heavy. The Gerbils have glass tanks but that will be it!
Also, I de-cluttered my living room in the process I decided to use the rodent shelf as a shelf for a lot of my things to keep handy as well as my kid’s stuff. Stuff that has been all around the living room haphazardly and driving me crazy. Now it’s all organized. But that means my hamsters and gerbils are spread out again. And I much prefer it that way again.
Now I can get access to their cages easier. They each have a special spot in the room. Except that I stack the Robo’s bins and keep them now on the floor. But that isn’t a big deal.
Here is a close up of Strawberry’s new layout. Which isn’t really new for Strawberry – just new for that cage. All this originally was Strawberry’s decor and platforms but then became Patch’s for a while until I moved him to a bin where it was big enough that he doesn’t need them. The Robos prefer one floor running space to platform climbing.
Will I change things up again? GOD I HOPE NOT. I seriously look at this and feel finally content. All but the Gerbils are in nice sized habitats. I don’t think I could do bigger or better at this point. Not with my pocket-book and not with the space I have to work with. I think it’s ample.
The Gerbils – they will get bigger and better space in due time. For now they are just fine.
One note I have to mention about Gerbils and how awesome they are is that they thrive on change. They like for it to be mixed up. I realize gerbils are seriously the pet for me because they don’t mind my changing up and giving them new things every couple of days. They get all excited again and get to work. It promotes their exercise, physically and mentally.