We’re lucky enough to live really close to family, like, 30 doors away close, and Husband’s Aunt has kids aged 7, 9 and 12, so Sausage loves to go round there and play. Aunty has two hamsters and about 9 months ago, Sausage became fascinated with them, deciding that she wanted one. Now, my daughter may only be two and a half, but she’s a single-minded little bugger (like her Mummy…) and for weeks, all she could talk about was hamsters.

Naturally, when Sausage wants something, I want her to have it, so I started on at Husband about getting her one, and being the exceptionally wonderful Husband and Father that he is, he obliged by buying Sausage the most palatial cage you’ve ever seen, three floors no less. I managed to find a couple who rehomed unwanted rodents and they happened to have a young female, who we adopted and named Happy. She’s a lovely little thing and apart from her Steve McQueen tendency to escape (that’s a whole other story…!) she’s fitted in well with our little family.

There’s only one problem. Hamsters, on average, have a life span of anything from 18 months to three years, and if you’re any good at maths, you can work out that if she was 6 months old when we got her 9 months ago, she’s now 15 months, and potentially near the end of her life cycle. And that thought, I just cannot shake. When we got her, she lived in our sitting room, but we decided that it wasn’t hygienic as our kitchen, though a separate room, is kind of in our sitting room, and we didn’t like the thought of there being rodent poo that close to the place we prepare food. So we moved her to Sausage’s play room, and though she’s perfectly happy in there, it’s a bit chilly, so we cover her up when she’s asleep.

And every time I lift that cover up, I expect her to be dead.

I know it’s ridiculously morbid and I should just forget about it, but I think it’s partly to do with the fact that I just won’t know what to do with her on the fateful and unfortunate day that I do discover that she’s slipped off this mortal coil. And further more, it’s been making me think about my own mortality, which, considering I’m prone to a wee bit of madness anyway, probably isn’t the most healthy train of thought for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Happy, I do, but in a way, and I’m loathe to admit this, I think I’ll be relieved when she passes (as long as it’s a natural occurence after a long and happy life, you understand) because I won’t have this sense of foreboding everyday. Selfish isn’t it? Please don’t think that I’m wishing her dead, I’m really not, I just..oh, I don’t know, I just know that I’ll be glad when I don’t have to do a daily investigation into whether my pet has become an ex-pet.

And there’ll be none of this ‘replacing her with another, almost identical, hamster for ten years so as not to upset Sausage, until one day she asks us if her hamster is immortal’ bollocks. We’ll explain it to her somehow, without scaring or upsetting her….but then that’s going to be easier said than done, isn’t it?

God. Who’s bright idea was this hamster-ownership lark, anyway?!