Instagram hipster hamster
This hipster hamster is shooting to Instagram fame with her edgy style and characteristic bowler hat.
Tiddly is a hamster of many talents, turning her hand to painting, gardening and even playing the saxophone!
Owner Emma Townsend, 22, has just graduated from Arts University, Bournemouth with a degree in Animation.
Originally from Bath, Emma started taking photos of Tiddly for a bit of fun, but as her Instagram following has ballooned she was inspired to photograph Tiddly in a range of scenarios and even hopes to create a TV series based on the hamster’s activities.
Tiddly is a year and a half old and has been Emma’s companion throughout her time at university and is now living back home with her in Bath.
It was love at first sight for Emma and Tiddly, with the hamster’s unique and loveable personality showing through from the moment the pair met.
Emma said: “Buying a hamster was a bit of a spontaneous move- I was feeling a bit lonely at uni waiting for my housemates to come back, so I went to the pet shop and that’s when I saw Tiddly.
“She wasn’t very cute when she was a baby, there were loads of hamsters in the pet shop and when their cage was opened they all started running out apart from her- she was just there asleep in the corner, completely not bothered.
“She loves humans and it very tame- she’s actually never bitten anyone in her whole life.
“She always follows me around the house in her ball and she’ll happily sleep on my chair whilst I watch a film, which is adorable but she snores really loudly!
“People always think that hamsters are really unintelligent but Tiddly knows her name and always comes when I call her.
“When I bought her I thought of her as a bit of a child’s pet, but she’s so intelligent and I’ve completely fallen in love with her.”
The characteristic hat came later when Emma saw it in a doll’s house shop and thought it would fit perfectly on Tiddly’s head.
After that, Tiddly shot to Instagram fame as fans loved her hipster style and ‘Best of British’ look.
Emma said: “I bought her hat from a doll’s house shop- I walked past with a housemate and saw it in the window and we thought it would look adorable on her. It was only £2, we got home and balanced it on her head, took a photo and found it hilarious.
“At first it was just a funny thing, but as soon as loads of likes were coming in and people were following, it started to feel like everyone was waiting for more photos.
“She’s such a happy-go-lucky hamster and she’s really photogenic. She has a very symmetrical face and always looks like she’s smiling.
“The hat definitely gives her an edge, and she looks like a truly British hamster!”
Tiddly’s success on Instagram has inspired Emma to use her skills in animation to create a TV series based on the hamster’s adventures.
The account helps Emma to establish how many people are interested in Tiddly’s story and develop ideas for what she should do next.
She said: “I set up the Instagram account because I had been drawing Tiddly for a while as part of my course and I wanted to see how many people would be interested in a hamster in a hat!
“Turns out quite a lot and I’m actually planning on taking a year out to work on a TV series about her using my animation degree. The account really helps me with finding out who is interested in her story.”
To get the photos, Emma simply gives Tiddly one of her favourite treats, either a peanut or a chocolate drop, and balances the hat on her head for a minute or two.
Emma said: “She loves chocolate drops, so when I take a photo I just put down a chocolate drop or a peanut, put the hat on and then take a few snaps.
“She’s only really ever wearing the hat for about a minute at a time, and I always make sure she’s never uncomfortable.
“My favourite thing about the photos is obviously her. I want to keep it simple and not overdress it so Tiddly remains the main focus and she’s not uncomfortable.
“She always looks like she’s enjoying herself in the photos and that’s really special to me.”