When Dave Eyley, of Oxfordshire, England, found his hamster, Rhino, lying lifeless in his box, he dug a two-foot hole in the backyard to give his pet a good farewell.
He waited a few hours, however, in order to be sure, as the Monty Python TV team might have said, that:
“This [hamster] is no more! He has ceased to be! He’s expired and gone to meet his maker! He’s a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace!”
Sure enough, the hamster had not stirred. So Dave closed the box and laid the hamster to rest.Next day, however, Dave, who is a painter and decorator, got a call at work. It was his neighbor saying she’d seen Rhino scurrying around outside.
Dave hurried home and ran into his garden … only to find a hole at the spot where he had buried his pet … and an empty box.
“I couldn’t believe it. He was cold and lifeless when I buried him. He had rigor mortis,” he said. “I left him all day to go to work, and he was in the same position when I returned. I poked him several times, but he didn’t move. He was dead. I put him in a plastic box and buried him … and that was that, or so I thought.”
Dave and his family have renamed Rhino. Now his name is Jesus.
What might have happened to the hamster. Veterinarians say that hamsters can go into hibernation if their body temperature drops. And there had indeed been a cold snap in England. Hamster guardians are advised to warm their pets back up. And if they’re not sure what’s going on, to take the hamster to their veterinarian.
Rhino/Jesus doesn’t seem to be any the worse for having been buried. Dave and his family are delighted to have their pet back.
“Whether the sudden cold snap last week had made him go into some sort of hibernation mode, I don’t know,” he said. “But it’s a fact he came round again and burrowed out of the hole I dug with a spade in the garden.”