Potter, Katie's hamster of 4 1/2 years, passed last night. I went to make sure that he had water and food before tucking Katie in bed and I saw him laying right next to his food dish, which had plenty of food in it. I knew the moment I saw him that he was gone. I picked up his limp body, rigor mortis had not set in yet so I knew he just expired, and I tried to discreetly take him downstairs in hopes that Katie would not notice, but she did and the tears just streamed down her face.
Chris and I both explained to her that Potter lived a very happy and long life and most hamsters do not live more than 3 years, but because she loved him so much and took very good care of him she added to his life. When she calmed down and realized that, she took Potter and lovingly wrapped him in tissue and put him in the shoebox we got for him.
Then she suggested that since we have 6 mice (don't ask, miscalculation on Chris part for feeding the snakes) that they need a bigger home so she wanted to clean it out and let the mice live in the cage. When all was said and done and I finally tucked her in she whispered in my ear that she would like to have another pet. OY!