Posted: December 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Courtesy of Joan Vick
Joan Vick's ferrets enjoy playing on her bed, so she put the bed and box spring on the floor.
Snoozing With Ferrets
Sleeping arrangements catering to their ferrets’ needs is something else some ferret people share in common. Joan Vick’s bed in Ohio may seem a bit unusual to the average person because she has the bed and box spring on the floor. “The ferrets love to play and romp on the bed, and I’m afraid they could fall too far to the floor and get hurt,” she said. “My house is all wood floors, again because of the animals. But the bed is also on the floor because a few decided that under the bed would be a good place for a litter box.”
Debi Sadowski of Fuzzy Loving Ferrets rescue and ferrety in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, has taken her sleeping situation to another level. She sleeps on the couch so the ferrets can have their own bedrooms.
Rita Brannon and her husband gave up their master bathroom to make it into a ferret room. "It is the biggest and nicest bathroom in the house, even has a Jacuzzi tub,” she said. “Bad thing is we have to use the other bathroom, which is nowhere near as nice and is at the other end of the house. Makes for an interesting run in the middle of the night. It is a drag, but I sure do love those weasels.”
Brannon’s love of ferrets does not stop there. She created a PowerPoint presentation for a final exam in school to both share her love of ferrets and educate others. “I had my own show and tell secret weapons — live examples,” she said. “Yes, I trudged through the local community college with two carriers in tow. I brought Slinky (a girl) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (an angora boy). It was the first time I was comfortable getting up in front of my class. Needless to say I got an "A".” Her dedication to these animals extends past her own. She allowed her ferret to donate blood to help someone else’s ferret.
A Ferret House?
Along with the commonality of sacrificing bedrooms to pet ferrets, is the phenomenon of buying houses, yes houses, specifically to fit their ferret’s needs. “We were looking for a house to buy, but the deciding factor between the top three was solely based on the ease of ferret-proofing,” Pam said. “We ended up buying the house that cost $8,000 more just because there was carpet only on the stairs and in one bedroom — the carpet will be gone soon in the bedroom too.” Today, in that same beautiful home, you’ll find all of the furniture sitting flush with the floor because Pam has sawed off all the legs for her ferrets’ safety.
Cathy Ryan made an interesting and thoughtful choice in what kind of addition to build onto her home in New York. She and a talented carpenter carefully designed a sort of mini deck for her to hang out with her ferrets. It consists of a 3 foot by 6 foot step sitting atop a bottom step measuring 6 feet by 9 feet. The top step is level with the patio doors and you can walk right onto it. She now lounges and reads outside in the sun next to her ferrets in their playpen. “On any given day, rain or shine, the kids can come and go, play in their tube, crawl in their water box, tumble with one another in the fresh air or just stand in the rain,” Ryan said. “Ah, have you smelled the freshness of a sun-soaked ferret or felt the softness of a ‘rained on’ ferret?”
Courtesy Melissa Dunagan
Texas ferret Ashley Riot and her cagemate, Samantha, both steal their owner's bra.
Strange Ferret Happenings
Very often ferret people’s enthusiasm comes out in creative and humorous ways. In Melissa Dunagan’s Texas home, there is quite a sight to behold. Samantha, one of Dunagan’s female ferrets, had a bra fetish, which she discovered the day she bought a camisole that Samantha tried to run off with. “I caught her and took it away from her,” Dunagan said. “She looked so sad. So I went and got one of my old bras and gave it to her. She seemed to like the trade.” Samantha has taught her cagemate, Ashley Riot, to enjoy the bra as well.
A ferret in Arkansas seems to have enslaved Sylvia Richardson, using her mysterious mind powers to manipulate her into doing something bizarre. “I will get in the car, turn it on, roll down the window and let her stick her head out of the window while we sit in the parking lot not going any where.”
And Sheli Dougherty’s story might make a few jaws drop. The Iowa resident bought a ferret … for her ferret. Her ferret Tavi now enjoys the company of Shylo.
I think my favorite story of all comes from Marie-Agnes Compagny, a French-born lady now living in Quebec, Canada. She loves to talk about taking her ferrets, Nahum and Petit Ours (French name for Little Bear), on nature outings. How she made that possible as he grew older and more compromised is both adorable and humorous.
Courtesy Marie-Agnes Compagny
Nahum the ferret enjoys his outings in a stroller.
“Nahum was my baby since he was 10 weeks old, and since the beginning my little boy has the habit to walk with me on leash in the nature,” Compagny said. “But now he is an old little man, he will be 7 on January 10. Nahum is also adrenal, his legs are not strong like before, but he still loves to make trips in the car, and enjoys smelling the fresh air. The little pink stroller was the perfect solution to keep my little boy happy. I have installed a round snuggled basket with soft blankets, and he just loves that. I still put on his harness and leash as he asks to go out for little walks. And yes, he also asks to be put back inside his stroller. He stands up and put his little hand on it.”
The reactions some people have when they see her pushing her ferrets in the pink stroller make her chuckle sometimes and sad other times. Sad because some people get so stuck in their thoughts about how crazy the sight is that they forget to say hello and don’t see how cute ferrets are or how wonderful her love is for them.
Nothing Is Crazy
Curiously, when you ask some ferret owners what is the craziest thing they’ve ever done for a ferret, they get a very puzzled look on their faces. Their answer is something like, “I don’t know. I don’t know what is crazy or not.” And they truly don’t, because for them there is never anything too crazy or extreme when it comes to showing their ferret how much they love it.
In April's The Buzz On Ferrets column, Rebecca Stout explores the question, “What is the sweetest thing your ferret has ever done”? Want to send an answer for her to possibly use? Click Here>> The deadline is February 15, 2010
Rebecca Stout resides in rural Tennessee with her husband, two sons and beloved pets. Ferrets have been in her heart and life for 30 years. She enjoys writing, photography, animals and being a strong advocate for her autistic son.