Posted: December 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Chris' ferrets were unsure about showering with her, and tried to hide from the water.
I find animal lovers to be passionate, sensitive and empathetic for the most part. I also find that different types of animals sometimes attract specific types of people. The ferret is a very special animal that seems to attract a very special kind of crowd. The ferret community is filled with creative, humorous and open-minded folk. They are a unique and often-generous people. Their enthusiasm sometimes extends to great lengths. Sometimes … insane lengths.
I was not the least bit surprised by the flood of replies that poured in from readers when asked “What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your ferret?” And being a ferret lover myself, I was not the least bit surprised by some of the stories about the extraordinary things they have done for their ferrets.
My Ferret Confessions
Now, before I cast any stones, I took a long hard look at some of the things members of my family have done for their ferrets. My husband, a 200-pound macho man from South Philadelphia, bought matching leather motorcycle jackets, matching sweater vests, matching T-shirts and various other wardrobe items for his two fuzzy lovebugs. It’s most entertaining to watch his huge thumbs bumbling around while dressing the ferret boys as they dangle helplessly from his hands with their eyes glazed over.
My youngest son held birthday parties for his ferret, complete with a ferret cake and gifts. My oldest son, Chet, brought his ferret to a business meeting one day because he had worked overtime that week and missed his little buddy. His supervisor was not amused.
Of course, I’m not like all the “others.” I don’t fit into the crazy ferret fanatic stereotype whatsoever. It’s perfectly normal that I taste everything that goes into my ferret’s mouth to make sure it’s tasty; or shop at the local Toys R Us for them; or hang teeny tiny, ferret-sized Christmas stockings up next to ours in our home each year. There’s nothing strange about any of that.
Among the many sweet, but odd things you may find people doing for their ferrets is bathing or showering with them. Darlene Wilcox, a ferret mom residing in North Carolina, is among the bathers. “Addie and Booboo were a little nervous about it, but once they saw Mommy in there, they relaxed. If they got tired, they had me to rest on!”
Chris from California also shares the shower with her ferret babies. “I took a shower with the kids because they were afraid of the water. While in with them, they tried to hide behind me to keep the water from finding them. The funny thing was the tub was plugged so no matter where they hid, they were standing in water.”
Courtesy of Natalie Fontane and Dave Kirsch
Natalie Fontane's and her boyfriend spend all night making food for their ferrets, which the ferrets enjoy very much!
Playing Chef For Ferrets
Ferrets seem to be able to manipulate and milk every ounce of sweetness out of their owners. The extremes people go through to please them can be incredible. Today, some pet owners take the natural approach to feeding their pets and also cook for them. Natalie Fontane enlists the help of her boyfriend for marathon cooking fests for their ferrets in their Nevada home.
“We go to the store and nearly buy them out of chicken leg quarters,” Fontane said. “I try to make him leave one or two packages for other customers. Then we go to the checkout and get odd looks from everyone else. Do we have 18 kids? Do we have a restaurant? No on both counts. We have six furry monsters that must have their duck soup! We spend all night on this, and it gives us hand cramps, but it's worth it to watch them lap up our creation and leave the bowl fat and contented.”
In Arkansas, an equally devoted ferret mom takes great joy in spoiling her ferret babies. “We give them spoon feedings of soft ferret diet every night,” said Michelle Chastain. “After they finish eating, we wipe their little mouths for them.”
Ferrets On The Job?
Taking pets to work is growing less and less unusual. Unfortunately most work places do not allow pets. However, that does not stop some ferret owners. They find a way to spend as much time with their beloved pets as they can, one way or another.
Linda Lee Gallmeyer of New York read an article during her work break about a couple who couldn’t find their ferret. “They had left for work and came home to find it trapped in a rolled up sleeping bag. In the same article I read about a ferret that was trapped in a dishwasher. These articles were about the dangers and ferrets,” Gallmeyer said. “Well, I was in tears. I knew my baby, Jenny-Mae, was safe as she was in her ferret condo when we are not there. But of course this was eating at me. After my break, I asked if I could take an hour or so off to run home for a personal reason. I came home, hugged and kissed her, gave her a treat, locked her back up and drove all the way back to work. Of course I now have to make up the time, but that’s OK. I had to see that furball.”