Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And It's Only Wednesday

What a week it's been. And it's only Wednesday.

It started on Sunday. Well, Monday really as the events occurred after midnight. See, both Patrick and I were coming down with coldy/fluey things. His first day at the new job was Monday, and of course I wanted him to get his rest. Besides, I couldn't sleep, so I moved to the couch.

Teddy came with me. If you don't remember Teddy, that's us to the left. He's the adorably cute one. Everybody thinks so. People actually stop us on the street and ask to take his picture. They think he's sweet.


Teddy isn't allowed on the bed, but he has full run of the rest of the furniture. As soon as I lay down he jumped up and snuggled next to me. Which was nice. He's warm and soft and smells good, so I didn't mind having him there.

I did mind, however, when he wanted to go out at 2:30 in the morning. This isn't unusual for him, and in fact is more or less his regular schedule. I was just hoping he might be so excited about being on the couch that he would forget about the midnight pee.

But he didn't, and so out we went. He did his thing and ran back in the house while I locked up. When I came around the corner I saw him furiously rubbing his snout against the carpet. At least that's what I thought he was doing.

Remember Bob?

That's him on the right. He's a hamster. Quite small. Fuzzy. Cute. Brother to Jeff.

At least he was.

That's right. Was. Because Teddy wasn't rubbing his snout on the floor. He was shaking Bob. And Bob came out the worse for it.

How Bob got out is a mystery. He was something of an escape artist, and had gotten out of his cage on a number of occasions. In fact I'd already rescued him from Teddy twice and another time from Andrew, who actually had Bob in his mouth and brought him to me like a gift.

In those instances Bob got out because someone left a cage door open. But this time both doors were wired shut, specifically to prevent another nighttime adventure. The only conclusion I can come to is that Bob teleported. That would be just like him.

Anyway, now Bob is dead. If it's any comfort to you, it was all over very quickly. Shiba inus are hunting dogs, and Teddy did his job with efficiency and precision. Much like a ginsu knife.

I put Bob in the composting bin.

So that was how Monday started. But things perked up on Tuesday when I received word that book reviewer Bob Lind of ECHO magazine named my novel What We Remember as both the best mystery novel and overall best novel of the year for 2009.

Thanks, Bob! It's always nice when people like your books. And it's particularly nice when they call them things like "the best book of the year." And it's great fun to be on that list with my friend Greg Herren,  whose mystery novel Murder in the Garden District was also in the Top 10.

As it happens, the paperback edition of What We Remember comes out on April 30. I'm not saying you should get it or anything. You know, if you really don't want to read the best book of 2009. But if you do, the stores will have it. Just in case.

Now look. I'm sad about Bob (the hamster, not the reviewer) and all, but I'd be lying if I said this news about having written the best book of 2009 didn't up my mood a little bit. I mean think about it. Bob had a pretty good life. He lived on the edge. He saw more in his 18 months than most hamsters see in twice that time. And he went out in a blaze of glory.

So let us remember Bob as he would want to be remembered -- not as a tragic figure but as a hamster with a brave heart and fantastic whiskers.

Did I mention that my novel What We Remember was named the best book of 2009?


vicky said...

och, you even make me smile about the demise of wee bob, bless him.

oh and congrats on the best book thingy ;)

Kathryn said...

Condolences on Bob, and congrats on the book!

Gretchen said...

Congrats on the lovely review, and very sorry about Bob. Since I'm allergic to fur but really wanted a cat when I was a kid, we decided to try a hamster on the theory that less fur might mean less allergies. He/she also escaped, but we never knew of her/his fate. I sometimes think that hamsters are actually small octopi who are exceptionally good at camouflage.

Miss Quoted said...

In other good news, my Borders had SOLD OUT of Jane Bites Back, and said they would have more in on Monday.

I am sorry to hear about Bob, let's raise a glass to him tonight in honor of his heroic hampster heart. He lived BIG!

Nancy said...

You never have had very good luck keeping hamsters in their cages. I remember the two that got out in VA and we found one a week later sitting on the side of the tub. Sorry he had to go the way he did but you are right that he lived a happy life, just look at who he got to spend it with.

Big congrats on the best book of the year review. I agree 100 percent.