I don’t know if I can write this post without crying.
Is that silly? It’s been ten years. TEN YEARS. And I still get really sad and weepy.
Man, why did I edit photos to be so tiny back in the day.
I had gotten Flix on December 28th 2006 as a friend for our female hamster Hammie (her real name was Crimson because she had red eyes, she was a gift to my ex husband who was my bf at the time for his birthday) and they got along pretty well. I feel like Flix cared for her more than she cared about him.
He was named after the Rank 5 mission Goblin in FFXI which was a game I was obsessed with back then. In the mission Flix Blix is a Goblin who wanted creatures and humans to live in peace and instead was killed in the end for it. This mission always made my heart hurt and I wanted to name my hamster in memory of Flix Blix.
I can be so dramatic sometimes.
But I called him Flixie or Flix or Fuzzy Butt. He was my best friend. And he was kind of like a little dog. I’d tell him he cant come out and play unless he drank water so he’d go and drink water. If I called his name he’d come running to me. He loved food and he loved yogurt drops.
When my anxiety came, it came HARD and FAST.
I didn’t at the time know what anxiety even was. I didn’t know what I was feeling was anxiety and I didn’t know how to cope with anxiety attacks, at all. I didn’t know they WERE anxiety attacks. I just knew there were moments when I was the most sensitive about things and that sensitivity turned into a really intense pain in my chest that left me crying and angry and often times I would trash my entire room and cry.
It would wake Flix up and he would come rushing to the side of the cage closes to me and start squeaking louder and louder until I stopped and looked at him. He would sniff the door frantically and climb trying to get to me. He’d slow to softer squeaks when I’d pull him out and cup him in my hands and cry into his fur.
He always calmed me down.
Having him around reminded me that despite whatever was happening to me and happening to my mind that I didn’t understand that there was a soul who loved me and who cared about my well being. And who needed me.
My boyfriend at the time blamed me for my anxiety. Told me I was making it all up and I could “get rid of it if I wanted to”. He blamed me for making it up to “keep him away from my house”. I don’t know why that was even a factor or something relevant besides that he hated living with his family (due to a situation he himself had caused but never took the responsibility for) and used me and my house as an excuse. So since I didn’t want my room to get “dirty” I wouldn’t have him come over — granted the things my OCD asked him to were too much to ask anyway and he would talk down to me about how stupid I was being. I don’t know why I married him, that’s a story for a different blog post.
I didn’t know what was happening and I didn’t know anyone I could turn to for help. When my anxiety showed up, all I had was Flix and myself to try and figure out what was going on. And it was hard and scary. But I’m always thankful Flix was there through all of it.
I took him to the vet every six months and he was healthy as ever. Until about a month before he passed away. He had just turned 2 which is pretty long in hamster years. And he was healthy throughout those 2 years.
I have more photos of him, but I can’t find them as Facebook wasn’t around back then and most of them were on my MySpace. But maybe I’ll edit this post the morning of and find them and stick them here.
I was working at Six Flags which kept me away most of the time.
I remember coming home one night and Flix hadn’t jumped up to greet me when I got home, he was still in his bed. Something was wrong.
He couldn’t use his back legs. He couldn’t climb up the tube to his room and he struggled to get down it when I would put him up there. So I had to take away his room and the tube and I made him a little bed next to his food bowl.
Flix was also very tidy. He would take the shells off his sunflower seeds (sometimes I’d help him) and tuck the seeds under his bedding but throw the shells in a corner. They legit had a tiny pile in a corner and I’d clean it up for him every morning. So when I saw that he had trouble keeping his food and bed clean I took more time to help him.
Then came a time he couldn’t get to the water bottle himself, so I had to help him do that too. I didn’t mind, I just wanted him to be as happy and as comfortable has he could be. He was 2 and if he had a stroke and lost use of his legs, there was nothing anyone could do. Hamsters in general are a bit hopeless in certain illnesses because they’re so tiny and not many vets are trained to care for them. They have short lives anyway so no one really bothers, which has always broken my heart. But what can you do?
I don’t know what happened next.
He just started slowing down. He stopped eating. He stopped drinking water. It seemed like everything took too much energy away from him and I hated leaving the house. Hated leaving his side. I tried everything I could to help him.
I found baby food at Target and though it would help, so I mixed it up and he gobbled it up like he was starving. Sometimes I blame myself for feeding him so much that day. Did I cause him to overeat? Did he die because of me? I felt guilty about it for so long. I blamed myself for so long. I couldn’t stand the thought of getting rid of his cage after he had passed. I couldn’t stand how quiet my room was. I couldn’t stand how empty and alone I felt. And I couldn’t stand that I was thrown to face my anxiety by myself.
You can tell in the last photo how hard it seems for him to even keep his eyes open. These were taken hours before he passed away. I can’t help but think he held on so long for my own peace of mind. And I know he didn’t want to leave me by myself.
My boyfriend at the time was leaving to go home Flix screamed. I didn’t even know hamsters could scream then he was breathing deeply and weirdly. I had called him back and we watched Flix take his last breaths. I was stroking his back and telling him it was okay to go. That I love him and I’ll miss him, but it’s okay. As soon as Flix took his last breath my boyfriend announced “well that’s that” and left to his friends house that night and didn’t contact me once at all. I spent the night balled up on my bed sobbing the entire night.
We buried him the next day next to Hammie and they’re both still buried in my parents backyard.
There was so much in my life at the time that was unfair when I look at this photo. So much I had to fight for. So much I had to fight against. So much I was alone for. And the thing that kept me going was this fuzzy butt little soul that saved mine night after night for 2 years.
It’s been ten whole years since you’ve been gone Flix. And I still miss you all the time.
I made my hamsters a blog and when Flix started to slow down I tried to write down everything he did to remember him. HERE is the blog post I had made ten years ago.
I honestly don’t care if anyone thinks it’s silly that ten years later I’m STILL crying over a hamster. and I’ve heard people tell me it’s just a hamster and to just buy a new one. And I honestly feel bad for the people who THINK that way. Who never took the time to GET TO KNOW their animals.
So I’ll sit here. I’ll cry. I’ll remember his life. Because no one knows how important it was and is to me. No one knows how much it helped pull me out of the darkness of my anxiety when it started happening. No one was there, just Flix. And like I said, because of that I’ll forever be thankful.