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Was IBU to freeze DD’s hamster?

(337 Posts)
SandyDrawsBadly Fri 01-Mar-19 09:33:54

I came downstairs on DDs Birthday to find that Wonder Woman the hamster was dead. Stupid fucking hamster

I didn’t want to upset DD on her birthday so didn’t tell her before I dropped her at school. I doubled checked when I got home in case it had been sleeping, but this was one cold dead stiff hamster and it’s red eyes were all grey, so it was definitely dead.

I didn’t want to ruin her birthday, but I didn’t want a slowly decomposing hamster in the warm living room either. so I popped it into a freezer bag and hid it underneath the frozen veg out of the way. I got her out the next day, defrosted her in the cage and “discovered” her death the next morning. Two days post birthday.

I was telling my friend but she said this was ridiculous over protective parenting.

So, was I unreasonable to freeze the hamster and has anyone else done stuff to save upset as I can’t be the only one, surely!

WonkoTheSane42 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:35:50

That’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever heard.

Girlinthegarden Fri 01-Mar-19 09:35:53

That is utterly barmy.

That said, I wouldn't have wanted to spoil her birthday either.

GiveMeSteam Fri 01-Mar-19 09:37:12

How old is your daughter?

Doidontimmm Fri 01-Mar-19 09:37:38

Your daughter can’t be that bothered about the hamster if she didn’t even notice it was missing??

JugglingMummyof2 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:38:14

Welllllll - your DD cannot be too attached to the hamster if she didn't even notice it was missing for two whole days!
If she was attached to it then YWNBU to protect her on her birthday but from your OP not sure why you bothered....

EyeOfTheTigger Fri 01-Mar-19 09:38:34

Well, it saved the upset of your DD knowing about the hamster's demise on her birthday. It doesn't seem as though she was that invested in Hammy though if she didn't look in the cage once in two full days and notice her missing.

JugglingMummyof2 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:39:00

Cross post Doidontimmm

DoneLikeAKipper Fri 01-Mar-19 09:39:01

Why did you need to do all that? Surely you could have waited a couple of days to tell her without freezing and defrosting a hamster corpse??!

Forgot Wonder Woman, the poor sod should have been called Quick Defrost Dinner from the way you treated it.

Ginnymweasley Fri 01-Mar-19 09:39:42

Well that is strange.... I kinda get where you are coming from but freezing a hamster is kinda odd you have to admit.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 01-Mar-19 09:39:47

Is that not ever so minty and rank putting an animal corpse where there's food.

HaventGotAllDay Fri 01-Mar-19 09:40:59

Has anyone nominated this for classics yet?

They will. hmm

Strugglingtodomybest Fri 01-Mar-19 09:41:36

I think it was reasonable to do that seeing as it was your DD,s birthday.

lottielady Fri 01-Mar-19 09:42:25

Awwlookatmybabyspider most freezers are full of bits of animal corpse, though, aren’t they?

Burgers, sausages, chops...

Moneys2Tight2Mention Fri 01-Mar-19 09:42:29

Is that not ever so minty and rank putting an animal corpse where there's food

What, next to all of the frozen chicken/beef/pork corpses?! grin

I think it's utterly mental behaviour but also something I would do too, fab thinking to not ruin your daughter's birthday!

NCforthis2019 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:44:17

You froze a dead hamster under the peas? This is some serial killer shit.

DailyMailWankers Fri 01-Mar-19 09:44:37

@Awwlookatmybabyspider animal corpses are food for most people envy (not envy)

NorthernRunner Fri 01-Mar-19 09:44:58


Is this true?? How did it even cross your mind to put the thing in the freezer?

I’m somewhere between laughing and total disbelief.

Hamsters do not live that long, it’s a shame but would it have really ruined her birthday? How old is your daughter? I’m afraid I would have just told her that day. You are creating a rod for your own back if you aren’t going to let your child experience real life

ittakes2 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:45:08

I'm a bit confused - if she did not notice her hamster was missing for two days including on her birthday then how close to this hamster is she?

littlemeitslyn Fri 01-Mar-19 09:45:18

Lottie 😁

madcatladyforever Fri 01-Mar-19 09:45:31

i would have done that too, my son was incredibly sensitive over the death of his pets, still is as an adult.
The death of a pet would most certainly ruin my birthday so I don't think what you did caused any harm at all.
A friend of mine recently had his pet in the freezer for a month until he found the right burial spot for her.

LellowYedbetter Fri 01-Mar-19 09:46:33

I really hope the daughter turns out to be 16 or something

TheOrdinaryPoster2 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:46:40


I froze DSs snake when he was on holiday as I knew he’d want to be there for the funeral

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 01-Mar-19 09:46:56

Good point.grin

JaretsGirlfren Fri 01-Mar-19 09:46:58

Weird! my DD thinks that the big guinea pig is at guinea pig boot camp for bullying the little one

MrsJDornan Fri 01-Mar-19 09:47:06

So for 2 days while the hamster was in the freezing and then defrosting she didn't mention where he was? By the sounds of it I don't think she'd of been that upset

Also depending on her age, children need to learn that animals die

WineAndTiramisu Fri 01-Mar-19 09:47:54

I did the same, years ago, when my pet hamster died, there was snow on the ground and I couldn't dig a grave with my little trowel as the ground was too frozen, so I froze him then buried him the week later when the ground had defrosted... Slightly odd I know grin

Nomorepies Fri 01-Mar-19 09:48:50

You defrosted a hamster. This is beyond weird. I call fake

moaningitsabingthing Fri 01-Mar-19 09:48:57

Well my mum didn’t tell me my aunt had died for two days because she didn’t want to ruin a school disco. So I kinda get it (but don’t’s taken me ages to believe people when they tell me things are ok!)

onalongsabbatical Fri 01-Mar-19 09:49:14

My older dd looked after younger dd's hamster while younger was on holiday (older dd adult by then and living away) - hamster died, hamster put in freezer so younger dd could be involved in funeral. Perfectly sensible solution, crack on OP.

Walnutwhipster Fri 01-Mar-19 09:49:39

Sorry but that's hilarious. I'm sat in hospital with tears rolling down my face. I think it's a good call. You didn't go out and replace it with an identical hamster, merely delayed DC's grief and didn't ruin their birthday.

Moneys2Tight2Mention Fri 01-Mar-19 09:49:50

defrosted her in the cage ffs grin grin I am still chuckling

Monty27 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:50:52

Unreal shock
Pea and hamster soup anyone?
envy sick emoticon

Reallyevilmuffin Fri 01-Mar-19 09:51:20

Why not the garage?

ShadyLady53 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:52:32

WTAF did I just read shock. Unreasonable, no. Bonkers, undoubtedly.

My parents just swapped dead pet for new identical pet. No freezing involved.

LellowYedbetter Fri 01-Mar-19 09:53:13

I used to work somewhere with a morgue and the staff would often pop food items in the “ahem” cold areas to keep them fresh until shift ended

SandyDrawsBadly Fri 01-Mar-19 09:54:15

Ok, replies.
First off the hamster was in a freezer bag so it wasn’t like I’d nestled it up with the wafer thin ham in the fridge. The stuff in my freezer is also in bags and not loose, so no hamster cross contamination occurred. hmm
Second, didn’t notice after school as it was soft play party > too much cake and pizza > bed. After school club the next day and found it the following morning. Like most youngish children her love of the hamster was fickle, but judging by the tears when she did find out, I called it right.

I could have left it in the cage, but the central heating being on, I didn’t want her to discover it in any state of decomposition either.

My friend was clearly right. She’ll have a good laugh at my expense over this thread grin grin

SandyDrawsBadly Fri 01-Mar-19 09:55:35

why not the garage
Terraced houses don’t have garages and I wasn’t going to leave it in the yard for the cat to discover.

Armadillostoes Fri 01-Mar-19 09:55:42

YANBU-You didn't cover up the reality of death, just put off dealing with it for a bit.

As for people suggesting that your DD can't have been that attached to the hamster because she didn't notice for 48 hours, I think that they are missing the point about children. The reason that kids need support caring for pets is that they are still developing an understanding of responsibility. Lots of children might be quite attached to a pet or a person, but not great at putting in the everyday effort. If a child wanted to go to play in the park rather than visiting a grandparent, it doesn't mean that they wouldn't be distressed if the grandparent died.

HoppityFrog3 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:56:45

WTF have I just read? confused

And I thought I was a bit batshit.

I feel 'normal' now!

Nnnnnineteen Fri 01-Mar-19 09:57:12

I thought the shampoo in her own eyes was a bit precious, but this is weird... what will you do if it happens to something bigger, like a dog, or grandma??

PinkiOcelot Fri 01-Mar-19 09:57:49

A few years ago, one of dds hamsters died. It had been snowing so DH said the ground was too hard to bury it. So we made a little coffin and put in the garage to bury when ground softened. Only we forgot all about it and wasn’t until I was going in and out of the garage thinking what’s that disgusting smell?!

It doesn’t look like your dd was too bothered about her hamster though if she didn’t notice it missing after 2 days.

edwinbear Fri 01-Mar-19 09:57:51

You put a dead hamster in your freezer?? shock I'd not be touching any food out of that until it had been disinfected.

HoppityFrog3 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:57:54

I have 2 questions.

1) Did your DD not notice the hamster missing for 2 days?

2) Why did you not just get a replacement hamster?

teyem Fri 01-Mar-19 09:58:10

You don't get this shit in Wonder Pets.

Hubblebubbletripletrouble Fri 01-Mar-19 09:58:30

Hahahahahaah. grin

PinkiOcelot Fri 01-Mar-19 09:58:36

Like a dog or a grandma?! 😆

TheTurtleDidItAndRanAway Fri 01-Mar-19 09:59:15

Meh freezers are always full of dead things. I do think it was risky when you don't really know how it was going to defrost.

TheTurtleDidItAndRanAway Fri 01-Mar-19 09:59:42

I'd have replaced with a new younger hamster model.

WhoGivesADamnForAFlakeyBandit Fri 01-Mar-19 10:00:26

Why didn't you go to the pet shop, slam the corpse down on the counter and say you wanted another one that looked like that?

Skyejuly Fri 01-Mar-19 10:00:29

The defrosting bit is envy

hoodathunkit Fri 01-Mar-19 10:00:41

Freezings the hamster was not the smartest move.

You could have popped to the local pet shop and purchased a replacement without your DDs knowledge.

I had a 10 year old hamster when I was a kid due to this kind of clandestine hamster replacement.

mogtheexcellent Fri 01-Mar-19 10:00:53

We froze a neighbours hamster when it died two days into their holiday and we were looking after it. My mum rolled in plastic bag and then covered with foil. Did nearly get mistaken for garlic baguette one night but otherwise all ok.

Neighbours were grateful they could do a burial.

My nan did once try and revive a dead hamster by putting it on the radiator. The radiator was switched off fortunately. She was a bit gaga at that stage.

shpoot Fri 01-Mar-19 10:01:16

Hope I never have to freeze and defrost my grandma shock. There's not enough room in my freezer next to the brexit stash

BusySittingDown Fri 01-Mar-19 10:01:19

Wasn't there a thread YEARS ago about a hamster being cooked in a stew or something? I'm sure it's in classics. I think it was a troll - or Cod mucking about.

YankeeDad Fri 01-Mar-19 10:01:35

Am I the only one to think that was actually pretty clever?

Janedoughnut Fri 01-Mar-19 10:02:37

Am I the only one thinking that if I lived in the OPs house and she bought a chest freezer I'd be bloody terrified if I was feeling a bit poorlygrin

SleepingStandingUp Fri 01-Mar-19 10:03:01

OP I think you're lovely.

Crazy. But lovely.

womaninatightspot Fri 01-Mar-19 10:03:57

Our elderly cat died just before christmas. Told them a few days after as we didn't want to upset christmas. They hadn't noticed.

SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc Fri 01-Mar-19 10:04:37

This is brilliant

kingsleysbootlicker Fri 01-Mar-19 10:05:03

You did the right thing imo. But then we have mice in our freezer for our cornsnake so I wouldn't see a hamster as any different. I think what you did was very kind to your dd smile

And just to add, hamsters are nocturnal... a child at school who goes to bed at a decent time could easily go days without seeing a pet one

dutysuite Fri 01-Mar-19 10:05:11

This sort of reminds me about when my childhood friend's cat had kittens and they died. Her mum wrapped them up in kitchen towel and left them ON TOP of their fridge for two days! I was about 13 and just felt that it was a very sad thing to do.

M4J4 Fri 01-Mar-19 10:05:15

Is it funny now to call a tiny animal a 'stupid fucking hamster'? hmm

You've been watching too much Everybody Loves Raymond. Stay away from 90s sitcoms.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 01-Mar-19 10:05:17

😂😂😂 you say your dd is young - she clearly isn’t as old as 10 if she had a soft play party then went to bed. I think it was a good choice tbh.

When dd was 7 we didn’t revive our much loved family dog after he was put under anaesthesia to investigate a blockage, which turned out to be very much end of life problems and he was suffering greatly. Dh came back from work and we went to say goodbye and waited in the vets office with him until he died. Dd was at school at the time. We told dd he’d died on the operating table - old age complications. No need for her to know the truth.

WorraLiberty Fri 01-Mar-19 10:05:49

Why type all that and leave out your daughter's age?

AryaStarkWolf Fri 01-Mar-19 10:05:58

omg that's so fucked up grin

PussGirl Fri 01-Mar-19 10:07:19

clandestine hamster replacement - great phrase grin

I think you did the right thing OP - it was wrapped up & not contaminating anything else.

BTW Wonder Woman??? grin hmm

Missnearlyvintage Fri 01-Mar-19 10:07:57

YANBU. It seemed like a sensible thing for you to do so as not to taint the birthday celebrations.

Even if children do not seem particularly attached to pets etc. one can never be sure of how they will react when one dies...

I wouldn't do it with a larger pet though!

Meralia Fri 01-Mar-19 10:08:53

Brilliant idea! Who wants an upset child on their birthday?

I’d have done this OP, your dd didn’t have her birthday marred by losing the hamster.

Plipplops Fri 01-Mar-19 10:09:01

When I was little my mum froze my fish when he died and I wasn’t there, seems pretty normal to me?!

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 01-Mar-19 10:09:35

I don’t agree with clandestinely replacing pets. Death is an inevitable part of life. Children will be far more accepting when their parents or other significant loved ones die if they understand death is part of life and already have experience of grief.

outpinked Fri 01-Mar-19 10:09:41

at will you do if it happens to something bigger, like a dog, or grandma??

Hopefully she won’t put Grandma in the freezer grin.

This is pretty funny OP, I think you handled it fine.

SandyDrawsBadly Fri 01-Mar-19 10:10:02

Ok first off, not trolling. Though I kind of wish I’d changed my name after discovering that I’m <checks thread> weird and batshit as well as being unreasonable grin

I didn’t want to buy another hamster as she needs to understand that pets die. Also, we have a cat now so the pet thing is covered.

A grandma has already died but she was a bit young to understand that she was not coming back.

To be clear, if it hadn’t been her birthday we’d have had the tearful goodbye that morning and I would’ve taken Wonder Woman to the “Special Hamster Cemetary” aka the bin, while she was at school.

StoppinBy Fri 01-Mar-19 10:10:22

Watch all the people get up in arms about putting the hamster in the freezer while having the other drawers stuffed with chickens, pigs and lambs wink

The vets put all their PTS animals in the freezer until they are disposed of so I can't see the difference although I do wonder why your DD wouldn't have noticed her hamster was gone for the day.

howwillwedeal Fri 01-Mar-19 10:10:24

Your daughter hasn't noticed the hamster is dead and you don't think she going to notice the hamster is dead for the rest of the day? Your daughter doesn't care for the hamster, it won't ruin her birthday so just tell her?

NannyRed Fri 01-Mar-19 10:11:25

I don’t think you were being unreasonable, you didn’t want to spoil her birthday so you did what you deemed necessary.

As a parent it’s our job to protect our children, we all have different ideas. Obviously your friend is more on the death is a ‘brutal reality of life’ camp. I think you did the right thing.

PestyMachtubernahme Fri 01-Mar-19 10:11:39

We had a gerbil die while we were on holiday. My friend who was looking after the pets popped it in the freezer. We had a funeral when we got home. DC coped really well.

Grandma died on the DTs birthday, alas we could not freeze her. It was not their best birthday.

Wherearemyminions Fri 01-Mar-19 10:14:29

We told ds when he was about 7 that Cookie the hamster had run away. We knew this was not the case as we found suspicious bits of fluff in the hallway near the smug looking cat grin

RussellSprout Fri 01-Mar-19 10:14:53

This has to be one of the best thread titles on mumsnet of all time!

GraceMarks Fri 01-Mar-19 10:15:47

I too have a freezer full of (double-bagged) dead rodents because I have pet snakes, so I don't think this is weird at all. I regularly put my own food in the freezer alongside the rats and mice and nothing bad has happened to me yet. Of course, I might just have developed a cast-iron immune system.

For goodness sake, everyone, rtft - the OP has answered all the questions about why her daughter didn't notice the hamster had gone, and why she didn't buy a secret replacement. It sounds like exactly the sort of thing I would do, so obviously I'm going to say you were entirely reasonable and not at all batshit grin

HappyPumpkin81 Fri 01-Mar-19 10:17:13

I don't think you were being unreasonable. I think it was a very loving and kind thing to do.

SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc Fri 01-Mar-19 10:17:47

grin at "special hamster cemetery"

AnguasDogCollar Fri 01-Mar-19 10:18:18

You are a genius and a good mum

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Fri 01-Mar-19 10:18:55

Sounds like you put great thought into your actions. That's being a damn good dm imo.

Sparklingbrook Fri 01-Mar-19 10:19:17

That is a weird thing to do.

I would have just buried it.

BassAce Fri 01-Mar-19 10:19:35

I'm surprised noone has mentioned yet that hamsters hibernate. Are you SURE it was dead and you didn't just put a hibernating, but very much alive, hamster in your freezer with the peas?!

(asking as a child who suffered three hamster 'deaths' in my family, before vet friend explained about hibernation process and showed that a stiff cold body does not automatically = dead hamster. Fourth hamster luckily escaped premature burial, but I remain traumatised by thoughts the first three woke up post burial....) confused

recrudescence Fri 01-Mar-19 10:20:20

I actually don’t think this is that weird. Anyone who has smelt a decaying mouse corpse will appreciate what you were trying to avoid.

PussGirl Fri 01-Mar-19 10:21:57

They hibernate???

OMG there's going to be a zombie hamster emerging from the "special cemetery" any day now grin

M4J4 Fri 01-Mar-19 10:22:52

Your daughter hasn't noticed the hamster is dead and you don't think she going to notice the hamster is dead for the rest of the day? Your daughter doesn't care for the hamster, it won't ruin her birthday so just tell her?

^And this. Please don't get her another 'stupid fucking hamster' that she doesn't give a shit about.

spiderlight Fri 01-Mar-19 10:23:28

Back in my student days, I knew someone who moved into a somewhat grotty rental house with a huge chest freezer full of old stuff left by the landlords/previous occupants. They lived there several months before discovering a West Highland White terrier in a bag at the bottom - apparently the ground had been frozen solid when the dog had died so the landlord had popped him in there until he could bury him and forgotten. Now that must have been a shock!

Mooycow Fri 01-Mar-19 10:24:56

We did something similar , We had 2 Chinese hamsters, one died , we did not want to upset our DD , so we kept saying things like " oh look there's CH no 1 or look there's CH no 2 " , then No 2 CH died !.
My DD , bless her said "its ok we still have another one !"
We then had to fess up that they had both died .
We laugh about it now lol .

pepperpot99 Fri 01-Mar-19 10:25:41

As Line of Duty's Lindsey Denton would say:

"Frankly for you, this is a Forensic Ground Zero".

Bleeeurgh. Don't ever invite me around for dinner shock

IggyPoppers Fri 01-Mar-19 10:25:51

Where I grew up the ground is frozen for a good few months each winter. If a pet dies over winter the freezer is the only option really, either yours or the vets. I think you did the right thing op.

Hugtheduggee Fri 01-Mar-19 10:25:58

BassAce, I had wondered that, but it's spring rather than Autumn, so surely its waking up season?

beela Fri 01-Mar-19 10:29:36

I think it was a stroke of genius.

ButtMuncher Fri 01-Mar-19 10:30:12

This is brilliant grin

LemsipLemsipLemsip Fri 01-Mar-19 10:31:34

The hibernation thing is why I didn’t think the hamster on a radiator story was weird, one of mine was revived on a hot water bottle a couple of times!

As for freezing to delay the announcement? I think it was a kind and thoughtful thing to do, you still allowed your child to grieve their pet but at a time you knew they would be able to cope better.

SandyDrawsBadly Fri 01-Mar-19 10:31:35

I know about hamster hibernating, but this most definitely was a dead hamster. She was old and it was on the cards. Just not the birthday ones.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 01-Mar-19 10:33:18

spiderlight 😳

RiverTam Fri 01-Mar-19 10:33:21

OP, you have made me smile. I bet you're a great mum.

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