Posted: August 25, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT
© Courtesy of Janna Hoskin
Napoleon the guinea pig struggled to get the attention of two female guinea pigs.
The I-Am-Male Guinea Pig
I had two female guinea pigs, Princess and Katonia, and one male guinea pig, Napoleon. At the time this happened, they ranged in age from 1 year to 2.5 years old. The girls lived together in one side of a C&C cage; Napoleon lived alone in the other side. The girls' compartment was 3 cubes by 3 cubes, and Napoleon's was 3 by 2.
Napoleon was desperate to visit my girl guinea pigs, and he gnawed on the metal bars constantly. He also paraded himself along the wall, making his burr sound, basically trying to get the girl guinea pigs to look at him and notice what a fine specimen of a male guinea pig he really was.
I must say, my Napoleon truly was spectacular. He was a tri-color and very large. He looked like a boy guinea pig, with his large bones and flat snout. He was longhaired, but not the way a Peruvian is (except for his rear end, and he was always upset with me when I trimmed it).
One day in particular, Princess was dosing in one corner of the cage. She was a white Abyssinian guinea pig with pink eyes, and she kept to herself a lot. Napoleon walked past her doing his strut, and she completely ignored him. She may have even turned her back on him, come to think of it.
Katonia, who was also a white Abyssinian guinea pig but had black eyes and a tan brow, would follow Napoleon along the wall, but she was really only interested in barbering his hair or snatching some veggies if he got too close to her. On this day, she was snacking away on hay, completely ignoring Napoleon's display.
Well, he kept it up for a little while, and then he decided he would show them just how wonderful a male he really was! He came down to one end and picked up a toilet paper roll in his mouth (I often treated him with hay-filled rolls) and shook that roll from one side to the other, as if to say, "Look at me! I am a strong boy guinea pig!"
Of course, the girl guinea pigs didn't bother to even glance his way.
Janna Hoskin, Saskatchewan, Canada
© Courtesy of Lori Richardson
Of Lori Richardson's four ferrets, Ayla, Frost, Codo and Rhys , both Rhys and Frost have proven they can lead her home after a walk.
I am all but totally blind. I've got regular everyday stresses and concerns just like everyone else, and, when it gets a bit overwhelming, I go cuddle a ferret. Rhys and Frost, two of my business of four ferrets, love to go outside on their leashes. I couldn't work out how to walk one, much less two ferrets, while utilizing my white cane, so I do without. I am blessed to have good spatial-orientation skills, so I usually know where I am in relation to my apartment and the normal obstacles in the area I choose to stroll with the boys.
I got distracted one day, going a ways farther than I intended. I knew I could get back home, but there was a serious, embarrassing possibility of me walking up to someone else's apartment, thinking it my own. Each apartment has its own walkway off the main sidewalks here, so I wouldn't be able to identify which was mine, until I examined the porch or door at which I arrived.
Rhys and Frost picked up on my anxiety and decided they wanted to go home, now. They made a dash toward our apartment, and I thought, "What the heck," and followed in their wake. At close to top ferret speed, we retraced our steps.
I probably would have stopped one or two apartments short of my own, but my furkids didn't. They took the correct turning, went up the two steps to the door, and pawed at the door frame. My little rascals led me home. I won't depend on them for my safety, but I can report that the performance is repeated almost every day now, when they've decided they want to return home.
Lori Richardson, Ohio
Ferret With A Tri-Colored Tongue
Back when I had just two ferrets (I now am owned by more than 30), my tiny female ferret Ginger gave me quite a scare and later a story to share with all ferret owners. Being a new ferret owner, I did not know yet that they get into everything
. The computer printer resided on the floor; again, I had not yet been taught that anything on the floor belongs to the ferrets.
Well, I came into the room to find my ferret Ginger literally inside that inkjet printer. I'm still not sure how she got in there, or how I got her out. The end result was a ferret with a tri-colored tongue! She had been licking the part with the ink on it. My first call was to the veterinarian of course, who told me to contact Hewlett Packard to find out if the ink was water-based or not.
After much time on hold, I got to speak with Ernie. Ernie found it quite funny that my ferret had been stuck in the printer. In fact, he had been thinking about buying his girlfriend a ferret, but after this call he was not so sure!
After some research, we found out that the ink was, in fact, safe and should not cause Ginger any harm. She had a tri-colored tongue for a little while, and I got a funny ferret story to tell. The printer was moved to a new location.
Chris Sayne, Pennsylvania
© Courtesy of Heather Pittman
Mojo the ferret looks innocent, but she's been known to steal her owner's bra from the laundry basket more than once!
Ferret Bra Snatcher
One of my ferrets (her name is Mojo) loves my bras. If given the chance, she pulls them out of the laundry basket and under the couch they go!
Heather Pittman, Kansas
Ferret Wants His Dollar Back
I was disrobing for bed one night, and all I had on was my socks. My husband, Bill, walked in carrying Scooter, one of the ferrets that we fostered at the ferret shelter.
"See I told you there was a naked lady in here!" Bill said to Scooter and headed back out the door.
"I'm not totally naked," I called out. “I still have my socks on!"
I heard Bill comment to Scooter in the hallway, "What do you mean you want your dollar back?"
I laughed so hard I would have wet my pants if I had been wearing any!
Melanee Ellis, Oregon