Four years ago, Whizz and I bought Mavis a ‘therapy pet’ for her birthday. You might be imagining a cute little kitty, a furry bunny or a playful puppy but no, it was a hamster, which Mavis and her two housemates named Toast. As you can imagine, buying a hamster includes the purchase of specialist acrobatic and caving equipment along with an appropriate jailhouse. It took all day to find the ideal hamster and his home, but we all had a lot of fun zipping between the pet shops of Nottinghamshire.

On arrival, Toast’s home was set up in the living room of their incredibly nice townhouse student accommodation in a gated estate in Nottingham, with a view of their communal gardens (all of them had the view Toast, Mavis and her flatmates).

Anyhow, this week, we received the sad news that Toast was taking his last breath. It wasn’t entirely unexpected as he had lived longer than most hamsters – presumably due to his happy and active life (a lesson for us all). So now, all they had to do was arrange his funeral…
and therein lay the problem.

What would you do with a dead hamster? Flush it down the loo? Bury it in a flowerbed? Stick it in the food bin? We have always buried our pets in the garden – apart from Milo, the dog, who would have needed a human sized trench and we were too grief stricken to face that extra hardship.

Here is the text conversation we had with Mavis today (names changed to protect the fearful):

Mavis: Charlie is too worried we will get caught burying him, so Toast’s currently in our freezer while we wait for a b****y pet cremation
Whizz: Where were you planning to bury him?
Me: A cremation?!! That will be pricey. Can you not find a discrete place
Mavis: In the communal garden, we definitely aren’t allowed but also who is going to know
Mavis: £60
Whizz: Is there not an area of woods or something where it would be easier to not attract attention? Probably needs to be quite deep
Mavis: Charlie is too scared to get caught
And Lucy thinks it’s wrong to do it in secret, because “he deserves better”
Which I can’t argue with ? he was a good little boy

But I think he deserves better than to be in a Mr Kipling box in the freezer next to the mince ??

Whizz (typically): If he gets cremated then he’ll have lived up to the name Toast

What? £60 to save Charlie’s finer feelings. Get a grip people.

But I couldn’t help laughing at this first (or even other) world problem, then felt a bit guilty as I thought they might be sad.
‘Don’t worry,’ Mavis reassured, ‘we’ve been laughing about it too.’
‘Played the funeral march as he was put in the freezer ?’
RIP Toast
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


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