"Emily," she said. " think we have your rat. ...There was a tiny rat or mouse
running across our floor, but he was so pretty so we picked him up. we thought he might be yours."
"yeah, i think that's my hamster," i said.
Apparently he had jettisoned his little hideout-pod straight off his cage and had probably taken a very hard landing on my floor. Judging by the distance from his table, he'd gotten some pretty sweet air.
"Well, our cat was out, so we put him in the cat cage," she said. "But the cat came home, so James moved him to a box. He wasn't even afraid of the cat."
James took the phone for a second and went into great detail about how the little scaramouche had bitten his finger. "tick!"
While I was on the way over, they fed him grapes and milk like a little dionysos. As a result of his pampering during this little stint, I'm expecting many more such occasions in future.