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.
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.
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?