One year on, Yukon's recycled hamster Andy is ready to tell his story

·2 min read
Andy the hamster lives in Whitehorse. A year ago, he went missing from his cage and was later found at a recycling depot. (Melissa Croskery - image credit)
Andy the hamster lives in Whitehorse. A year ago, he went missing from his cage and was later found at a recycling depot. (Melissa Croskery - image credit)

It was a year ago that Andy, arguably Yukon's most famous hamster, unexpectedly turned up at a Whitehorse recycling depot — and now his owner is going to recycle Andy's improbable out-of-the-cage adventure into a children's book.

"I've wanted to write a book before, so I'm excited about this," said Andy's human, 11-year-old Emily Toth.

"It's going to be like a children's story, so I have to make it easy-enough vocabulary and edit it enough that it's good, I guess."

Andy, a banana-loving two-year-old Syrian hamster who, according to Toth, is often sleepy, is still alive and well and occupying a two-storey cage in Whitehorse.

His big adventure last year began a few days before Halloween, when he somehow slipped through a crack in his cage and found his way into the recycling bin at Toth's house. His family panicked when they discovered he was missing — their house had five other animals, including a couple of cats.

"I was very worried about him," Toth recalled.

Melissa Croskery
Melissa Croskery

Meantime, their recycling bin had been picked up and delivered to the local depot. That's where a worker discovered Andy and put out a call on social media. Andy was soon back home with Toth, being spoiled with banana chips.

"I think he wanted to go in the recycling bin, but then I'm pretty sure he was scared when he found himself in the truck or outside in the cold," Toth said.

Toth said the story she writes is going to be about just how non-recyclable Andy ended up in the blue bin.

"I'm going to make it funny because he's the one telling the story," she said.

"I'm kind of getting it from what I think he was thinking — not what he was actually thinking."

Melissa Croskery
Melissa Croskery

Toth is hoping to sell copies of the book when it's done. She's not sure what she'll do with the money, but she's not in the market for another hamster even though Andy is getting on in hamster-years.

"Eventually I might get another one, but not right now."

Andy's adventure last year made Toth a bit of a celebrity at school, which she said she enjoyed — sort of.

"It's also kind of embarrassing that I lost him in the recycling," she said.

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