Slinky the Hamster died Thursday, April 29th, of natural causes. He was 2 years and 2 months old.

Slinky the Hamster was born in early 2004 at a pet store in Davenport, Iowa. He was soon after adopted by me and taken back to my second floor apartment in Moline.

His first adventure in a plastic hamster ball led him to a flight of stairs. He bounced down about 12 of them and the ball cracked open. Luckily, he was okay. But he earned the name "Slinky" because he went down the stairs just as a slinky would.

Slinky's early years in Moline were spent in a small modest cage (the first picture). He spent much of his free time exercising in his wheel. However, unlike other hamsters, he would not go in the wheel to exercise. He would go on top of it. As seen in the next picture, he would rest his butt on the second floor ledge and move the wheel with his hands.

In March of 2004, Slinky pursued an acting career and landed the lead role in the short film "Slinky Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Popcorn." The third picture on the left is a scene from the film. Click here to view the entire movie in Windows Media Format.

While in Moline, Slinky liked to explore the apartment. He got himself into trouble one night while venturing around, alone in the kitchen. He somehow squeezed himself up underneath the cabinet beneath the sink. He was basically inside the walls at this point and couldn't get out. I came to the rescue with a crow bar and pried apart a portion of the cabinet. Slinky was saved, and all was well. I kept a better eye on him from then on.

In mid-2004, Slinky made the move with me across Illinois to the northern Chicago suburb of Lindenhurst. He moved into an upgraded cage complete with a larger wheel, slide, and penthouse apartment.

While in Lindenhurst, Slinky pursued his passion for extreme sports. He perfected his freefall jumps from couches, beds, even file cabinets. His record was a 2-foot plunge from the top of a file cabinet.

Slinky liked to play games with us. This was his favorite game:
1. Move all food up to wheel.
2. Wait until Dan and Colleen start watching a movie.
3. Run around in wheel to make obnoxious noise resembling the sound of a rock tumbler.

He got his wheel privleges revoked quite often, by the way of a shoe wedged on top of the wheel (so it wouldn't turn).

Slinky also liked running around free-range in the bathroom, chewing on the shower curtain whenever he got a chance.

His favorite foods included soy nuts and banana chips. He never was very fond of alfalfa.

Silnky is survived by Tony the Frog, who lived in a neighboring cage for the past 2 years.

Memorial services for Slinky were held on Thursday night.