The oldest Metallica Hamster, Meat had visited the vet a few times in his life but was never phased by them. He was always as adorable with them as he was with us and even in his final vet visit in Thursday, he behaved impeccably.

It began last weekend when Meat started to drag his back legs and seemed very lethargic in his manner. It got to the point that we said goodbye to him on Sunday, thinking that he wouldn’t survive the night. He surprised us all when we checked on him on Monday morning and he was there looking up at us with that cute little face. His energy levels had picked up which we were delighted to see but he was still having problems walking. We thought it was best to see a vet but I knew that the prognosis was unlikely to be good.

I arrived a little bit early at the vet’s practice. The lovely receptionist asked me a bit about Meat and he even got the opportunity to show off how adorable he was to her. The vet called us in straight away and took a history of what had happened. After an examination I was told that Meat had a stroke but at his very advanced age, he would be unlikely to recover enough to give him much of a quality of life and the best option would be to put him to sleep.

I spent a few moments alone with Meat whilst the vet went to get the consent form during which Meat looked up at me with a certain calmness. Did he know what was going to happen? Was he thanking me for making the decision that he was clearly unable to make?

Meat was put to sleep at 10:11 am on 4th June 2015. Like the other Metallica Hamsters who have gone before him, he will be missed but always cherished in our memories.