It’s fair to say that not everyone you live with will share the exact same values as you. As it turns out, my housemate and I… not that similar.
My housemate was an animal loving vegetarian who dreamed of getting a house-pet (or twenty). Given the size of our incy rented flat, my other housemate and I weren’t so keen.
However, reflecting on how much I begged and begged my parents for pets as a child, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to morph into my mother. So I set out some ground rules. I said she was allowed to get a pet if she kept it in her room at all times, we didn’t pay for its upkeep out of the house account and she didn’t expect us to look after it if she went away.
So despite our ample warnings that beneath their cute furry disguises, they’re nocturnal, sleep-depriving devils, Hammy the hamster was welcomed to our home (sort of). She insisted she could sleep through the noise of Hammy working out on his wheel, but inevitably it became a problem.
Therefore, every night she would carry the cage out to the living room and bathroom where he would push his bedding (which lets face it, was used as much as a toilet as for sleeping) through the bars. Of course, arguments followed… a hamster-mess-free house was just a prerequisite for peace.
About 6 months after getting the hamster, he died. Trying to be a good friend, I feigned sadness…. That was until en route to work I received a text saying that she was considering storing Hammy in the freezer!
Clearly, grief was blurring her awareness of the line, the line she had very much crossed.
A few texts later, I thought the message got through. That was until, feeling like chicken for dinner, I opened MY freezer drawer to discover my chicken was a lot furrier than I remembered.
Rage, horror, confusion? All frankly understatements.
My housemate burst into tears and said she didn’t think it was a problem, “there’s other meat in the freezer”, she said. In the end, Hammy’s the frozen body descended (slow motion) down the communal rubbish shoot.
To this day, I’m perplexed. I can only assume her well-thought through plan was to pack the deceased fluff-ball amongst her Christmas stuff, travel a couple of hours on a heated train to her home town and bury it when she was back. I’m all up for “resting in peace”, but in the end, I draw the line in and amongst my frozen chicken breasts and peas.
Emily Maskell, Guest Blogger @splittable