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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Farewell, naughty weasels.

Posted by on June 22 at 14:13 PM

I am often accused of making poor decisions, but I have terrible listening skills, so accusations don’t faze me much. However, I’d like to apologize to all of the friends, roommates, mothers, guests and nosy strangers who have endured the ramifications of my latest bad decision/impulse buy—Rodeo and Fichus.


Three months ago, I bought a pair of ferrets (while completely sober). I wanted a dog, I don’t have a yard, so I settled for this. It was a mistake, and I’m sorry.

I made a friend drive me to Tacoma to retrieve them (thanks Ben!). The woman I bought them from was shady, and the cage they were kept in was smelly and crowded with ferrets. I quickly learned that my ferrets did not like to be held or touched. I suspect they were neglected, if not outright abused at one of their former homes. I named the female Rodeo, because she likes the taste of blood, and the male Fichus, because he’s more of a benign chewer.

In case anyone out there has never interacted with a ferret, and are under the impression that they make good pets, let me help you out: Their hobbies include nesting, biting, and shitting on things.

For about three months, we settled into a comfortable routine. I would load my pockets full of raisins when I got home from work and release the rodents. They would attempt to bite me while I threw raisins at their faces. (Ferrets hate many things, but they love raisins.) Going barefoot inside the house was no longer an option. Or standing still for more than 15 seconds at a time. Or having guests over. My ferrets hated everyone, but especially gay men. I thought that was kind of funny. (Sorry Craig!)(And Joey!)(And Jared, Eric, etc!)
When they weren't attacking me or my roommate (sorry again, Craig!), they were sniffing out the most expensive place possible to take a shit.

One day, I bought them little ferret leashes, because I naively hoped I could take them for walks, like I would a dog. When I strapped them into their leashes, they lay down and refused to move. I dragged them in limp circles around the kitchen for a few minutes, waiting for our "walk” to get fun, before I gave up and released them. They immediately loped over to my most expensive pair of leather shoes and began shitting.

Yes, they resembled intestines with fur (thanks for the warning, Dave!). Yes (Jake), they did possess the aggressiveness you'd expect if you mated an alley cat with an angry snake. But no (Mother), they were not always naughty weasels. Regardless of their faults, I think they were happier with me than at their former home. Sometimes while they were busy shitting on my things, one would stop to stare at me, and I could see gratitude reflected in its cold, beady little eyes.

They were just coming from a bad place that I couldn't help them recover from.

So after weeks of agonizing, last night I took them to a ferret sanctuary in Auburn to be rehabilitated (thanks Denise!). I cried the whole way there and back. I'm still pretty torn up about it, although the scars on my hands and my screaming roommate tell me it was the right thing to do. Still, I am oozing sadness. I feel that possibly, someone should take me out for ice cream.

Sorry I let you down, Fichus and Rodeo. Get well soon, and Good Luck.

CommentsRSS icon

Ferrets can be challenging pets. Hopefully the folks at Ferret Rescue can find them a home with someone who's got weasel experience.

a dozen beehives would have been better than those fucking beasts. thank god denise has a Gentle Soul.

Phew! At first I only read the headline, and assumed you were leaving The Stranger.

I'm glad the ferrets are going to Auburn, and not you.

I had the same reaction, Napoleon.

That's what happens when people adopt pets without researching them first. Nice to see there's a rescue that was able to take them.

Please don't ever adopt a dog.

Actually Genevieve, I did a ton of research first. My mistake was not getting them from a reliable person--like Denise.

And I grew up with dogs. Six of them.

Dogs are just as hateful. You have to walk around behind them, watch them shit, pick it up. Ugh. I wouldn't do that for my boyfriend, why would I do it for an animal?

I've found that if you never feed dogs, Dan, they don't shit as much.

Same with boyfriends.

(Can't wait to spend some QT with Stinker!)

You don't clean up after your boyfriend?!!

I like the dog owners who assume that having their animal shit on my postage-stamp lawn as long as they pick it up afterwards. Mind if I do the same to your carpet?

Boyfriends, dogs, children... I don't want them so I'll have something to clean up after.

I want them because they'll fetch me things.

Jasper didn't sign a release for you to have her photo splashed across your scandalous confessions.

I like Craigs idea of a dozen beehives, honey. I'm sending you a mesh face mask and some bisquits immediately. I've always tried to condition you to equate love with eating sweet things.

...and stinging. You can't have love without angry stinging.

Cienna - thank you for one of the best laughs in months. "Cubeland" is wondering why I am making all these gleeful noises (usually I am muttering with disdain at my computer screen). I love the slog for news - but this is life enhancing! (Peace out to the critters.)

Hola fnarf! Muy unrelated.

Get a turtle!

Low maintenence, like a doorstop with eyes. There are few things as entertaining as watching my turtle eat earth worms. In the middle of the carnage when he looks up at you with that turtle perma-smile and worm guts all over his face, that's love.

Oh, God! Why, why, why would you let those vile polecats into your abode?!

(Personally, I prefer weasels.)

C - could you put up a picture showing your ankles again? TIA

Ah, Cienna ... been there, done that. Lucky me, I started with a very young ferret and had a decent understanding of how to end biting behavior. I ended up with a mostly wonderful fuzzbucket (who still shat in corners and dug up my plants) who was hi-larious to watch "playing" with the cat (poor harrassed kitty! Lucky ferrets can't jump as high as cats) and asking for trouble by playing hide and seek with our 100 lb bird dog.

Ferrets are not easy pets. Once I said I would never again get another ferret, as much as I loved my ferret. Now I'm having second thoughts, but I will definitely think long and hard before ever getting another one.

My sympathy to you, and thank you so much for recognizing that it wasn't going to work for you, and finding a better place for your babies. I'm sure it hurts but you did the right thing. I'd take you out for ice cream, if I ever ran into you. :)

Cienna, dear, I would gladly take you out for ice cream; in my book nearly any excuse to go get ice cream would be a good one. Cheering you up would certainly count! Just, you know, give a holler.

Are you a Ben & Jerry's, Coldstone, Haagen-Dazs, Baskin-Robbins, Mix, Mora, or some-other-kind-of-ice-cream eater?

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