Posted: November 10, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
For every question you answer correctly, you earn 10 points.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 1: The correct answer is b). Ferrets dine well and often at your expense. They don’t mind if they eat the same meal over and over again, as long as someone else picks up the tab. In general, they don’t have set mealtimes. They like to eat until they are full, whenever the mood takes them. And you buy into this. Why? Because your ferret is smarter than you are.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 2: The correct answer is c). You don’t want the ferrets to destroy the sofa from the inside out. While it may seem that your ferrets dig and burrow in sofas carelessly, thus destroying them, actually ferrets are skilled interior decorators. They know when a sofa is not right for your home. Your ferrets are smarter than you are in this regard. Trust them. Don’t try to save the sofa that your ferrets are gutting. It’s not right for you.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 3: The correct answer is c). Ferrets don’t have health insurance purely to make you prove the full measure of your devotion. Further, they are smarter than you. They don’t want to pay health insurance premiums or co-pays. They leave that up to you.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 4: The correct answer is a). Ferrets are smarter than you. They don’t make that ridiculous face that you find so endearing for any other reason than to encourage you to give them more on a regular basis.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 5: The correct answer is d). You only think that they sleep 20 hours a day. Actually, they lie there quietly in their hammock in the dark and consider how best to outwit you. They have very few distractions — no blackberry, no cell phone, no errands to run. They have their eureka moments, which to humans just look like they are having an itchy fit. And as soon as you let them out, hah!
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 6: The correct answer is true. Ferrets stash the big flashy things in a pile where you can find them just to distract you. The real ferret treasures are in a secure hidden location where you would never think to look. The treasures in this stash can be dangerous for them or ruinously expensive. Remember that broken Rolex you were going to fix someday when you got the money? Someday will never come, because your ferret is smarter than you are. I suggest you go check your jewelry box.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 7: The correct answer is true. Some ferrets bite you nearly every time just to make you desperately appreciative of the times they don’t. You think those other times must be a display of affection. No, it’s your ferret being smarter than you, and playing with your head.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 8: The correct answer is true. Actually, nothing could be more true! The whole “Look at my poop” thing is a grand conspiracy in ferretdom. If you don’t check those poops, your ferrets aren’t sure that you are sufficiently bent to their will. It’s a simple way that ferrets can gauge your state of mind, because, of course, your ferrets are smarter than you.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 9: The correct answer is true. Ferret math is indeed a form of mind control, even more powerful than the hypnotic suggestion to “Check my poops.” Remember, many ferrets are neutered very early in life, so how else can they “be fruitful, and multiply”? Ferret math…ferret math…you are getting sleepy…two, four, six, eight…You may think that you will keep a small business, but ferrets are smarter than you.
How Smart Is Your Ferret Question 10: The correct answer is true. This is one of my favorite proofs that ferrets are messing with us. Some ferrets steal potatoes just for attention. Seriously! What did you think they were going to do with them? They’re not farmers. They don’t eat potatoes. They never plant potatoes. They drag them away, and get caught "accidentally" (but really on purpose) so that you will pick them up and cuddle them and say, “How cute! You were stealing potatoes again!” It’s done purely for attention, folks. Purely for attention. Because — all together now — ferrets are smarter than you!
0 to 25 Points — Your ferrets are snickering behind your back! You are their favorite plaything.
26 to 50 Points — Perhaps if you set up a hidden webcam, you will learn what they are actually up to.
51 to 75 Points — You are starting to catch on. It may be some time before they notice. They are not used to intelligence from humans! At first they will think it’s just a fluke.
76 to 100 Points — Well, you might just give them a run for their money. But remember, ferrets like a challenge. And they have nothing better to do than think of ways to outwit you!
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Alexandra Sargent-Colburn lives in Massachusetts with fish, ferrets, a cat, a husband and a neurotic dog. The ferrets are in charge.