As you’ve seen, there’s somewhat of a dictator pattern in my hamster names. I went old-school with Ivan because he reminded me of the research I’d done once on the tsar, and one crazy dramatic story in which Ivan grabbed his spear and started directing the choir with it at church. Ivan the hamster is still pretty young, judging by his round body (trying to catch Syrian hamsters when they’re young is like trying to hold on to a water balloon — they flatten out as they age) and size. I’ve only had him for a little over a month. But he is wild-eyed crazy.
When Ivan runs on his wheel, it’s not loud in a squeaky-wheel sort of way (otherwise, I’d get out the canola oil) — it’s loud in an elephants-running-through-the-room sort of way. He knocks around and rearranges the furniture, so to speak, that I’ve just finally had to leave all the cubbys and mats where he wants them. He hasn’t shown any defined preference for food yet, besides Anything and Everything But Pellets. He’s not exactly big on being handled at this point and shoots around the cage like a fuzzy bullet when I try, but he’s gregarious to the point where he comes and takes treats out of my hand (and, obviously, likes a photo shoot).
A little wild and very lovable, I’m looking forward to Ivan growing up and taming a bit more. Not so much that it saps his crazy-czar spunk, though — can’t wait to see how he’ll drive a hamster ball. Hamsters are such great pets (especially if you’re a night person) and have to be one of the most adorable critters out there, from the teeny tail to pink nose.