Just got in the door from my niece's piano recital and discovered our cat was babysitting the missing hamster on our stairs. For real. So Miss Naughty Hamster has been returned to her cage, where upon careful inspection it was discovered that the wheel attachments have enough of a sliver open to facilitate hamster escape. It has been remedied. :-)
I knew that the cat had been following the hamster around the house because of her weird behavior lately, and I also knew from past experiments with our friend the garage mouse that our cat was WAY too wimpy to actually eat (or even bite) another live creature.
On to the next adventure.