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I frequently dream that my pet hamster has escaped from her cage. In the real world she's only escaped twice, once from her cage that I stupidly left open and once from her exercise ball which she's managed to figure out how to open silently. There was a period where she could unscrew it from inside but it would always make a noise. She's now become stealth hamster and can escape silently. To date I've always apprehended her within seconds.

Given that this is a concern of mine, it isn't surprising that I dream about it. I tend to dream about things that are worrying me, occasionally fortuitously achieving resolution when conscious distractions are removed.

However, my latest dream involving hamsters was stranger than usual. Thinking back now it's a bit vague and fuzzy, as dreams tend to be in the light of day, but there were recurring images/ideas. I'm also unsure of the order of events.

I was at home, and there was a cardboard box filled with furry animals. Upon closer inspection it proved to be filled with lots of neatly lined up kittens, very young kittens. They all had little round blue eyes. They were very calm, and most of them were white. They were so pretty, and I remembering being glad that we had them, although at the back of my mind I was worried what would happen when they all got bigger and couldn't be kept in the box. The kittens were happy to be picked up and played with individually, each kitten remaining in the box unless I moved it.

Then there was a box of hamsters. I began to worry about hamsters because although they were not very large, hamsters (Syrian variety) can't live together when they are more than a few months old as they fight. I didn't know how old they were, so I thought it best to separate them. I found another box, which was blue and plastic, with compartments and began to move the hamsters over into this box. I didn't know what was going to happen next, but I was determined to load these hamsters up separately to keep them from fighting.

As I was moving the hamsters, the box began to change. It still was split into compartments, but the dividing 'walls' suddenly had holes in them, and the hamsters were able to move around. Then holes developed in the main sides of the box, and they started to escape. They weren't moving very quickly, so were easy to catch, but it was a never-ending task.

While I continued to scoop up the hamsters and return them to the holey box, I noticed that they were multiplying. There were more and more appearing, and the new hamsters were smaller. Eventually the hamsters were tiny; perfectly formed but just the size of the top joint of my thumb.

I woke up as I was holding a tiny hamster, and had to go into my living room, just to check that it wasn't overrun with hamsters. It wasn't.

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