Posted: November 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Courtesy of Lindalee Gallmeyer
Jenny-Mae the ferret is a bit demanding, but her owner enjoys meeting her needs and sharing her life.
My Sweet Jenny-Mae, you brighten my day and make all the troubles go away. I wish I could take you everywhere. What makes you so special? There is not enough paper in the world to describe you. You are so lovable — a spoiled, trouble-causing princess all wrapped in one tiny puffball.
The day starts by 5 a.m. when my ferret, Jenny-Mae, and I get up. While I clean the litter box and dump out last night's food, Jenny crawls all over me. Finally I get the water bottle, and we move out to see Grandma.
Jenny-Mae spends time with Grandma while I get myself together for work. Jenny-Mae insists that Grandma give her water from her special glass that she must have every morning. The water must be the perfect temperature or she refuses to drink it and causes a fuss. She must drink while sitting on Grandma's lap, with a napkin nearby for splatters. Her face must be wiped when she’s done. I think Grandma enjoys this ritual as much as my ferret does.
Jenny insists that she knows where I am at all times. She knows that I am still home and must be with me, so Grandma comes with Jenny in her arms saying, “She is your baby and wants you.” And this is where the mess begins.
Have you ever tried to get ready for work while a ferret that wants to play is loose? It takes me forever — make-up brush in one hand, ferret in the other, bottles rolling all over the place and that darn hairbrush is under the bed again! But Jenny-Mae is bouncing, dooking and happy, and that is all that counts. No, I haven't found my lipstick yet!
Most people call my ferret Princess Genevieve, because she is the princess of the house. Her favorite Rik-E Tik-E snake toy broke. I don't know how to sew, so what did I do? I took it to the tailor. Yes, the tailor. Repairing it cost a lot and got me some strange looks, but the store didn't carry it anymore. Jenny just loves that toy. She talks to it like it's her best friend. I am dreading the day I have to toss it out. She lights up like a Christmas tree when she sees that toy!
We have a cabinet in the dining room with two shelves. Jenny-Mae is such a smart ferret that she pushes a box from the bottom shelf out and to the floor, just in place where she can jump on it and stand to reach the top shelf of the cabinet and jump in. I watch her do this all night. Sometimes I take the box and move it around to the other side. Jenny pushes it in front of the cabinet, she's smarter than I think; maybe she should bring home the paycheck?
When it's time to wash up for bed, Jenny-Mae has to be with me. So, every night I try desperately to wash my face without making a mess. Why the fear of a mess? Because Jenny-Mae is on the sink, pulling the washcloth at the corner, trying with all her might to take it. With soap in my eyes and all over, dripping wet, I try to retrieve my washcloth to finish rinsing. Sure I can shut the door. Sure I can put her in her ferret mansion. But do I? Never. That bundle of joy is too lovable, and spending time with my ferret, soap in my eyes or not, I wouldn't trade for the world.
My Jenny-Mae believes that she should sleep with me. I tuck her in every night and read her a story. She is good until the light goes out. Then, poof! She is up and wanting to come by me. I have to put my foot down on this, because she must be in her mansion overnight, safe and sound. After about 45 minutes, she settles in. This happens every night!
I love Jenny-Mae to bits and don't make vacation plans because I hate being away from my ferret for more than a day. Even though I know Grandma would love to ferret-sit, I would be miserable. I sometimes think Jenny-Mae would say, "Gosh Mom, please go and leave me alone for a while." I don't think she has any idea how she brightens my day after a hard day of work. I look forward to that bouncing bundle of joy.
Jenny-Mae loves to play hide-and-seek (or her version of scare-Mom-to-death!) and sometimes jumps out at me. I now know where that gray hair comes from! Grandma really enjoys playing with Jenny-Mae, too, and enjoys her company. I sometimes have to beg to hold my own ferret, But that's OK. Jenny-Mae is spoiled, and I know it keeps Grandma young at heart and in mind. If it wasn't for our bundle for joy, I think we both would be in rocking chairs.
Lindalee Gallmeyer has been owned by ferrets for 15 years. She believes all animals should be loved, cared for and appreciated. Gallmeyer works full-time, and enjoys golf, gardening and exercise.
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