Mr Grey ( name is not real), a middle aged man, calls in a distress centre crying incessantly, “My hamster has died, my hamster has died.”
“ I am so sorry to hear that. I understand your pain.” replied the operator.
All he was repeating was, “My hamster has died.”
The operator was puzzled as to how to help him. She remarked, “Okay, would it be fine if we get you connected to an animal shelter, where they will help you out, to get another pet, perhaps another hamster? Would you like to go to the animal shelter?”
He kept crying and repeating the same words.
A team was dispatched to find out more.
He was living in a cramped basement, all alone with the hamster for the past 8 months.
Almost 3 years ago he was working in a finance office. He had a wife and two children, 8 and 6 years old. The wife was a stay home Mom.
During the credit crunch, he lost his job. After he was laid off, he could not find a job, despite running around for months. He started to get irritable, and quarrels began with the wife over finances. He hit her a few times, though regretted later. The wife went on to do a part time job to sustain the household. But, he became more abusive.
After an year and a half, he slid into severe depression, when they were served a notice to leave the house, for non payment of the mortgage. He had to be admitted into the hospital for 3 months.
Distressed with his escalating abuse, the wife parted ways, taking the custody of the children. After release from hospital, he was refused custody on account of inability to support the children.
All that he could get was a hamster, which was a family pet. The hamster was his only company for 8 months.
One day, old and sick, the hamster passed away. Through the death of the hamster, his last link with his family was lost.
This is a true story.