When I first moved here, I knew no one, had precious little furniture, no television, etc. About this time of the year during my first year teaching, I became deathly ill. I had not built my immunity to the children yet. As I lay around pondering when death would actually occur, I decided I needed companionship. Soon after, I purchased a hamster for $3 and about $150 worth of Habitrails. He was cute.