Zoe the Hamster with Bipolar Foils Death Yet Again!

Okay, well Zoe doesn’t have a bona fide DSM-5 bipolar diagnosis, but I had to rope you in somehow! imgres

(She does seem to have rather mercurial states of mind.)   

To tell you the truth, I find it interesting that the first topic I wanted to write about today wasn’t bipolar-related. That’s a novelty. I think about bipolar disorder so constantly that it feels like a part-time job. While a hamster on the lam may not be quite as fascinating a subject as bipolar disorder, it feels good to focus on the critter and give my weary brain a break. 

Actually, I do bring up bipolar disorder at the close of this post, so please bear with me and don’t scamper off! 😉  Prepare yourself for some rodent-related high drama!

My brain is not feeling too fresh today because I awoke with a head cold. I become a big baby when I’m sick, even if it’s a mild bug. I felt the creeping crud coming on yesterday afternoon while I whizzed around doing too many errands. I think that hectic pace made me vulnerable to a germ which has been making the rounds. Sneezing, weakness, and the grumpies have been my only symptoms.  

Anyway, I noticed this morning it was very quiet. Preternaturally quiet. There were no sounds of Zoe frenetically running on her “Critter Trail” wheel. I walked over to her abode holding my breath.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! My worst suspicions were confirmed.

No Zoe!

During the night she bit through layers of duct tape used as a temporary measure to cover a hole in her cage. (Before you critique me, please know it wasn’t my idea to use duct tape!) Meanwhile, our dog Lucy ran excitedly from room to room. After checking the bathroom for signs of Zoe, I sequestered Lucy there. 

Next, Rilla and I went on a hamster hunt. All the while, I fervently prayed that Lucy didn’t have Zoe in her digestive system!  

I don’t want to sound like we’re negligent hamster owners, but these things do happen. We’ve had Zoe escape once before…


I worried that it was highly unlikely for us to have another happy ending.  

I ran around the house with Rilla, snot running down my face in the mayhem. I peered into every nook and cranny for the wily brown furball. I looked down over the edge of Marilla’s bunk bed that pressed up against the wall, where there were a few inches of space between bed and wall. To my shock, Zoe’s head popped out from underneath the lower bunk.  Hallelujah! After coaxing her out with hamster grub, Rilla grabbed her as gently as she could. Relief washed over me.  

I covered Zoe’s cage’s hole with a brick instead of duct tape. 

From now on, I’m calling her the Houdini Hamster. 

Now I’m tuckered out from all the commotion, so I’m off to be a banana slug. This hamster excitement took a lot out of me, but at least I don’t have a hysterical seven-year-old on my hands. Thank God I’m not making plans for a hamster funeral.

I’m also glad I had the energy to find Zoe. If this incident happened during my bipolar depression days, I would’ve hidden beneath my comforter, unable to deal with it. Finding Zoe was a small-yet-significant triumph.

Sending you all my sluggy love until late next week,


 Fascinating Banana Slug Fact:

Banana slugs can be found hanging out in our front yard. Fortunately Lucy doesn’t try to eat them – that would be gross, as they love to slither along things such as dog excrement.imgres-1imgres

“I’m Not A Mess” Redux with my daughter Marilla

Last night I had just finished working out when my precocious daughter Rilla walked into the room.  As I stood there exhausted, she said “Mommy, I have something special I want to show you!” I dragged myself upstairs to see what she was talking about.  I thought it would be her latest Minecraft creations.

It turns out that she recorded herself on PhotoBooth singing a ditty that I wrote a few months ago. It’s called “I’m Not A Mess”, and in it I admonish the media for portraying women with mental illnesses as messes.  Rilla’s rendition was so cute, but the words were hard to make out, so we created a duet. It contains a potty sentence which might offend some people. (I explained to Rilla not to use it until she’s eighteen.)



Love him!

Below are some classic examples of women doing the “head-clutch” move portrayed by the media.  The amazing Stephen Fry is working with the Time to Change * to  publicize this issue.

Hope you like the song, and I’ll see you next Friday. Have a great weekend everyone!





images-1 My personal favorite, even though she’s not clutching her nogginimages


* Here’s the link to the article about Time to Change and its groundbreaking campaign “launched to stop depression being illustrated with head-in-hands pictures.