When a dad was forced to take in his daughter’s pet hamster, he actually grew to love the little guy. So when his daughter was off at college, and he accidentally misplaced the furry little rodent, he nearly lost his mind.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, 19-year-old Steph Veerman said her dad, Daniel Veerman, took in her hamster when it was evicted from her mom’s place. But over time, Daniel grew to adore the little guy just as much as his daughter did, even though he wasn’t too “keen” on it in the first place.
Daniel explained that he “grew up with German shepherds. I’ve never had, you know, when I first got it, it was like a mouse. It wouldn’t be my first choice of pet. But then I got attached. And even more, because you’re taking care of it for your daughter.”
Then, after growing fond of the hamster, he lost track of it one Sunday afternoon when he was cleaning its cage. And as Daniel explained to Buzzfeed, he just lost it. “I had a meltdown. I was having a freaking heart attack.”
The hamster had somehow escaped the clear ball that Daniel had put him in. The next 12 hours would be some of the most difficult and trying hours of his life. In fact, Daniel now describes that time as a “nightmare. I was calling him, screaming his name, thinking maybe he knows his name. I was looking with a high-powered flashlight.”
Over the span of that 12 hours, Daniel kept Steph in the loop. And luckily for us, she later screenshot her dad’s texts and shared them on Twitter. The screenshots have now been shared nearly a half a million times.
Daniel first texted his daughter, “Please call me a[s] soon as you get this it’s an emergency.” Steph tried to calm her dad down by explaining how “it’s just a hamster” and that it will all be okay.
But Daniel only continued to freak out. “Oh my God I’m so sorry honey I’m so sorry I’m looking everywhere. I’m so wicked sorry I’ll keep looking all day. I can’t believe this.” The dad went on to tell his daughter that he will never stop looking and that he planned to call out of work the next day if he didn’t find her hamster.
Steph replied, “Dad- he’s just a hamster I don’t blame you at ALL. You shouldn’t skip work you are a lawyer and he is a hamster.” Daniel then shared photos of the booby trap he created in order to catch the little guy.
As the rest of Daniel’s texts revealed he did not calm down, regardless of how many times Steph tried to tell him that she didn’t blame him and it was all going to be okay. Thankfully, Daniel’s booby trap worked.
Daniel told Buzzfeed, “Right after nightfall, I saw him run across the floor and said, ‘Thank god.’ I came back and saw him standing on a book, cleaning himself, and I grabbed him.” It was a book about President Nixon.
And although Chester might not realize he’s now one of the more famous hamsters in the world, Daniel is just thankful he can relax knowing Chester is back in his cage. “He’s safe now. Good lord. I was a mess. This little bastard destroyed me today.”
He went on to tell Buzzfeed, “I am an empty-nester now, and rather than having my kids around all the time to take care of, Chester is the substitute. I transferred a lot of parenting to the animal. I felt like I was taking care of my daughter, so when he disappeared, I panicked.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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