DISCLAIMER: I don't actually have any pets of my own but I cat sit for two lovely moggies, Dexter and Archie, and I hamster sit for Toffee.

Not at the same time, I hasten to add, in case any of the relevant owners are reading.

There's nothing more boosting to positivity and wellbeing than having a soft wee creature around to talk to, another little heartbeat in the house.

So imagine my delight when I discovered the inaugural Glasgow Hamster Show happened to fall on a weekend when I was in possession of Toffee.

And it was in Yoker.

I've never been to Yoker so that and the chance to take a day trip with a hamster was levels of excitement unfelt since... well, ever.

The Saturday came and off we went in the car to Yoker. Me, a grown adult woman, and Toffee, fast asleep in his nest.

On arrival I went in first to check out the lay of the land. Toffee's cage is huge and it was raining so I wanted to dash in quickly to see what was what before carting the cage in.

There was my first error.

It turns out you can buy small travel cages to transport your hamster to such things as the vet and the Glasgow Hamster Show.

Almost everyone there had their hamsters in neat little carry cases.

And almost everyone there was under the age of 12.

Erk, I thought, there's no way I could come in with a massive hamster cage and without a young child to justify my presence.

What to do?

I sauntered round, casually, pretending I was just looking at the lovely hamsters.

I realised this made me look even worse, particularly given I didn't even have a hamster with me. Just strolling around the Glasgow Hamster Show, a lone, hamster-less adult, like a weird creep.

It was time to go home, defeated.

Walking briskly back to the car I checked Twitter and there was a photo from a Twitter-pal of her hamster (and her child) at the Hamster Show. I messaged her. She said she would keep me company.

Toffee and I were back on!

Lugging the cage and a still sleeping Toffee, back we went and I set up the cage to wait for the two judges to come round and assess my small friend.

Now, I know Toffee is the best of all hamsters. He is an industrious little fellow, loves to keep himself busy, and he is unfailingly tame and friendly.

Yet, I admit, I was nervous on his behalf as the judges lifted off the top of the cage and scooped him out to begin their assessment.

Next door was James, a young man with his hamster Alan (names have been changed). Alan was a very fine little creature indeed and I really thought a shoe-in for top prize.

The judges told James and James's mum that Alan was the first 24 out of 30 they had.

Toffee was assessed. We lost half a point for having the wrong type of bedding his his cage (grossly unfair to the hamster, I thought, it's not his fault his humans have failed him) but Toffee was well praised for his "excellent tone" and "good nature".

"We've all been there," the judge reassured me as I apologised profusely over the substandard bedding.

The judging over, we had time to relax by running through tunnels and seeing what the cafe had to offer.

Then, the big moment. Prize giving.

The organisers had everyone gather round as they announced each runner up, leading to announcing third, second and first places.

I waited for Toffee's name to be called. It was not called. The numbers of remaining hamsters dwindled. There was only a handful left.

Surely Toffee wasn't going to be in the top 10? The top five?

We were up to third place. Myself, James and James's mum were getting agitated. Third place was announced - it was Alan.

And then... second place... Toffee!

Having watched child after child after child go up to shake hands and take their rosette, up I went, for once in my life at least a head taller than anyone else and only slightly embarrassed to be the only adult exhibiting a pet hamster.

Now in possession of Scotland's second best hamster, I was elated. Toffee had an extra yoghurt drop. It was honestly marvellous.

Multiple scientific studies have shown that pets are a boost to good health and self-esteem. They are vital members of families.

That's why I love our Perfect Pets competition, the highlight of the year.

So, good luck to everyone with whiskers and paws entered into our Perfect Pet competition. You might not be Scotland's second best hamster but you're still extra special.