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Surprising Places Ferrets Hang Out

Have you ever found your ferret in these surprising places?

By Rebecca Stout
Posted: August 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT

Page 2 of 2

The Next Buzz On Ferrets
In December's The Buzz On Ferrets column, Rebecca Stout explores the question, “Does your ferret ever pass gas or do something else that surprises you?” Want to send an answer for her to possibly use? Click Here>> 
The deadline is October 15, 2011

Traveling with ferrets can have its share of challenges no matter how careful you are. Heather McLeod of Nova Scotia brings her ferrets along on her travels. “I will let them have playtime in the car, so they can have an extra stretch. This worked well for years. Enter a Ford Focus and Ceilidh — pronounced Kaylee.”

After a trip to a convention, McLeod rounded up her ferrets to put them in their cage. Ceilidh was missing, and she couldn’t call him because he is deaf. She searched the car repeatedly and then extended that search to outside and put people in the area on notice. Upon returning to look in the car again, she found Ceilidh sitting on the front seat. Months later he disappeared in the car again. And once again, he mysteriously reappeared. The scenario was repeated yet again before the mystery was solved. “For some strange reason I opened the glove compartment,” McLeod said. “There was Ceilidh, curled up just as comfortable as you please. There was no way a ferret could have gotten in from behind in any of my previous cars, so it never occurred to me that it was possible with the Focus.”

© Courtesy Valerie Mascho
Buckie the ferret escaped outside and was found under a neighbor's blackberry bushes.

Ferrets are often attracted to obvious and typical hiding places outdoors, such as tall weeds, leaf piles or the insides of pipes. For instance, Valerie Mascho of Washington found her Buckie in the property next door buried under blackberry bushes. She adds, “But I didn’t find him, my husband’s black Labrador did! He’s such a good doggie, because AJ is deaf!”

But sometimes our little ferrets find themselves in truly astonishing places. One day, David Taylor of Yorkshire, England, heard his daughter scream from her room, which had a Velux roof window. He describes what he found, “Lo and behold who is outside on the roof, a ferret called Mouse that had gone missing the day before. How she got on the roof we will never know!”

A nimble little female named Issy owned by Renee Downs, the coordinator of the Ferret Emergency Response and Evacuation Team, once made a grand escape in her Alaska home. Downs and friends were frantic searching for the little gal. Things were looking bleak until a neighbor made an amazing discovery — Issy sitting in a live trap he stored in his garage.

Mary Nye Segalla of Virginia also experienced a bizarre outdoor discovery one day when she couldn’t find her ferret, Harry. “I ran all over the property calling him, looking for him, convinced he had gotten out somehow. I found him in the garage, inside the grass bag that was attached to the lawn mower.” Segalla gets major props from me for even thinking of looking in a mower’s grass bag. Her ingenuity saved her ferret’s life!

© Courtesy Ruth Craig
Shamus the ferret not only escaped the house, he found his way into an outdoor barbecue!

My favorite story came from Ruth Craig, who hails from Florida. Her ferret, Shamus, was so slick that Craig didn’t even know he had been missing. A banging noise on her back porch caught her attention, so she went to investigate. She stood stunned as she watched the top of her barbecue grill moving up and down. Then she heard a scratching. “I flipped the lid open not knowing what to expect. There Shamus was. Covered in meat grease.” She figured out that he had pushed the corner of the window screen out to escape the house. Hanging beneath the bottom of the grill was a small can to catch meat drippings. She assumes that Shamus was guided by the smells, and he must have climbed up the center column and slipped through the small hole. “He got through the lava rocks and onto the grates. When he was done doing whatever he had to do, he started banging the lid. So I rescued him — rescued him right into a bath. Then, fixed the screen before anyone else got out.”

© Courtesy Anita Due
Skipper the ferret was found in the paper shredder. "I hunted the entire house down adn finally I heard some rustling from the corner," said owner Anita Due. "There, peeping sleepily up at me amongst the shredded paper was Skipper ferret!"

Ferrets bring their surprises daily to their owner’s lives. I think what surprised me the most though, was not where people found their ferrets, but how many ferret owners were up to the challenge to outwit the little stinkers.

Caution: Curiosity killed the cat, and it could kill your ferret. Dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, trashcans, open toilets, openings in the walls around drain pipes, spaces underneath appliances and kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, vents, windows, doors — all of these are dangerous places that ferrets commonly gravitate toward in their search for new, exciting places.

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