Oh My God, What Have We Done???

by Eric S Shadforth

How Two Ferrets Changed Our Lives!!!

In 1997, my wife and I lost very suddenly our little dog, Suzie. We adored her and our life revolved around her. After her passing we determined that's it, no more pets, our life style i.e. Work was not suitable for another dog. I add that we both work at the same busy private hospital and its funny how many "emergencies" arise when you are just going off duty.

After over 12 months of adjusting to no welcome home, no long weekend walks and a tidy home, we thought long and hard over what type of pet(s) would be suitable for us. We also considered the animals' requirements.

Rabbits, birds, cats, rats, etc were all considered and discarded for various reasons, so we went to our local R.S.P.C.A. centre in Coventry for advice. They suggested……. Ferrets!!!!

After we had stopped rolling around the floor with laughter, we were informed that ferrets had had a bad press, people were uninformed about them, they made lovely pets and would adapt to us.

The centre gave us the telephone number of June McNicholas and as a result we went to see June's brood. She had 3 monsters running around free. Number 1 attacked Liz's handbag, Number 2 went to sleep on her lap and number 3, well he decided I was fresh meat and proceeded to feast on my hands and any other bits of bare flesh.

Suffice to say, Liz was hooked, me - I wasn't so certain. After more debate it was decided we would have a go. We purchased numerous books, mainly American!? And phoned June so she could select 2 for complete beginners.

The first problem was a cage. We looked in all the pet stores and established that I could make one cheaper and much better, which I did. We obtained a new carry cage from a local car boot saving more money (I started to warm to ferrets at this stage).

The day arrived when a hob and jill from the same litter were ready for collection. They were just 7 weeks old but their mother had died giving birth to them.

On arrival at home, the first thing they attacked was a poor defenceless box in the cage (their sleeping quarters), then their food went all over the cage along with the water bowl. I thought maybe that they should be kept outside instead of our newly decorated dining room. (They are still indoors now!).

Well I think at this moment in time our tidy home and quiet life ended in style. I firmly believe in the ferrets motto "If I can reach it, I can wreck it". The two little, angelic darling took to our home with gusto. It now belongs to them, not the other way around.

Life with two young ferrets in the house will never be the same. To say they are spoilt is an understatement. They live in luxury, have more toys than the average child, better quarters than most humans, two "at hand" attendants to minister to their every need, a regular supply of food and water not to mention Ferretone.

They must be the most photographed pets in the land.

To say they have changed out lives sounds twee, but they have. We have great fun watching their play. Both are very different in character, Idggy being the brains and NicNac the brawn. If one susses out something the other automatically knows. They have brought back to us the sense of Fun. We want to get home and get the monsters out for their playtime, even if after 2 hours the room looks like a bomb has hit it.

I could list out numerous events that have occurred with them but I am sure all the readers could. Suffice to say Eric and Liz are hooked thanks to June, Coventry RSPCA, Idggy and NicNac.

(First published in the April 1999 issue of the NFWS News)

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