I tend to be a night owl as it's the only "free" time I get away from husband and children. So, one night, I was enjoying my quiet time and watching a bit of t.v. when I heard a faint sound. Curious, I hit the mute button on the remote, and listened more intently. Sure enough, I heard what sounded like an alarm. Getting off the sofa to investigate, I crept by my son's room, the bathroom, my bedroom and sound got louder, the further down the hall I walked. Standing outside my daughter's room, I opened the door slowly. The alarm was from her clock and it was loud. I turned on the light since I knew she wasn't sleeping in the room and walked over to the side table and turned off the sound. And that is when I noticed the cage. The empty hamster cage. Panic set in and I ran to the bedroom door to shut it. I went back to the cage and looked over it, top to bottom; no hamster. I got down on my hands and knees and started peeking around furniture, under the bed, and in every possible place I could think of and still no hamster. The only place I couldn't look was behind my daughter's bookcase as it was too heavy for me to move. So, I get the hamster's food out of her cage, Zoe is her name, and place it on the floor, in hopes that it entices her to come out for a snack. I then leave the room, turning off the light and shutting the door behind me and grab a towel to hopefully block the space beneath the door to ward off a possible larger escape route. Not knowing how long she's been on the run, I look in the hallway, in the bathroom and even the living rooms but see nothing. After a few minutes, I return to the bedroom and using the light from my cell phone (I can't find a flashlight to save my life), I scan the floor for the escapee, picture any movie scene where a prison break has occurred and the swooping flood lights are moving back and forth in search of the suspect; all that was missing were the loud sirens and the dramatic background music. Then, my light spotted something small and furry. "Ah ha," I exclaimed, "There you are!" I immediately rush to turn on the light, she's frozen in fear at being caught, and I knew my chance to recapture her were waning. Have you ever seen a hamster run? They are quite mobile for being round furry things; regardless, the chase was on. I knew I needed something to catch her with, so I used half of her big platic ball, she enjoys rolling around in, as a cage of sorts. She ran under the bed, then around the perimeter of the room and finally trapped herself among the multitude of shoes my daughter owns. For once, I didn't mind her not listening to me about putting her shoes away. I placed the object over Zoe, then found a coloring book to slide beneath it, so I could carry her back to her cage. Once she was safely inside, I looked for how the little critter got out in the first place; but it wasn't hard to figure out. There was a hole at the top of the cage that had a missing piece, so as a quick fix, I had stuffed a wash rag in attempt to ward off an escape. Apparently it didn't work. So, lesson learned and points noted: first, hamsters are amazing climbers, second, don't use wash rags as a patch when something more durable is needed and finally, call it coincidence or what have you, but it was a darn good thing that alarm clock went off; otherwise, I'd still be looking for a hamster to this day.