What Can This Fuzzball Teach About Goal Setting?

by Brad Isaac on July 17, 2007

fuzzball This is my daughter’s hamster. Her name is Fuzzball. She is a very goal oriented hamster who knows exactly what she wants and then goes after it.

I think it was Aristotle who said “Passion has no depth as a hamster’s heart.” Or something like that. ;)

The other night we had her out holding her and playing with her before bed. Hamsters are nocturnal so our bedtime is her playtime. Eventually though, we bid her a fond farewell and went to bed.

As I slumbered away around 2 a.m, I heard some rustling at the foot of our bed. “Cut it out Sophie”! I snipped at one of our dogs. But Sophie was not in the room. HMM…

So I rolled over and went back to sleep. A few minutes later I heard rustling again. But this time it was at the head of the bed. “That dog is going to get it.”

I angrily flipped on a light.

“What is going on?” Kim mumbled.

I looked under the bed — no dog! I couldn’t believe I was dreaming. I had to have heard something.

Suddenly Fuzzball burst out from behind my night table and ran straight for me. “Fuzzball!” I said startled – I almost hit my head on the nightstand.

Kim was immediately awake. “Did you say Fuzzball? How is she in here? ”

I considered the possibilities. I figured when we put her up we forgot to close the latch on her cage.

So we put her back in her cage and made sure that the latch was closed snug. And for good measure, we put a new bottle of shampoo in front of her door just to make sure that she could not get out.

Back to bed. We laughed each other she’s a funny hamster.

We were just about to doze off again when we heard a crash from the living room. We both jumped up and ran in to find Fuzzball’s door was wide open and the shampoo bottle was tipped over on its side. Fuzzball was heading down the ramp. “How the…?” I said. We put her back and I tightened the latch.

Sleep didn’t come as easy the second time. There was increased racket coming from the living room. Kim couldn’t resist peeking and she went to check. She came back and reported that Fuzzball had figured out a way to hook her forelegs at the top of her cage and was “dropkicking” the door of her cage. About that time, Bam! The cage was opened again.

That is one persistent hamster” I said.

As I attached the new clasp onto her cage it occurred to me what Fuzzball’s success strategy was.

  • she did not scatter her efforts sloppily from here to eternity.
  • she also did not complain when the latch did not open.

No, instead she had one focused plan. She took action. And she applied a whole lot of persistence.

So there I was in the middle of the night thinking If this little Fuzzball can reach her goals, what’s our excuse?

Update 11.6.08: Sadly, Fuzzball passed away this morning November 6, 2008.  I took her to a pet hospital.  The vet said she had had a stroke or had sustained a spinal cord injury while on her running wheel last night.  Her family mourns her passing.

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July 18, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Wow, I never knew hamsters were that smart. Really persistent too…

July 18, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Hamsters are born escape artists. I had one who escaped from his cage more than once! We can learn a lot from hammies, I reckon. :)

Brad Isaac July 19, 2007 at 7:17 am

V. Neely, Zen question for you… are they naturally born or made?

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