Wednesday, February 27, 2008

mustela putorius furo

Today we went to the miniature zoo which I have also heard referred to as Petco. Garrett is fascinated by the fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, cats, turtles etc. Today, however, we discovered a new kind of animal. It really was a novel sort of pet for the both of us, given the fact that they are illegal in California. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! There is something Utah has that California doesn't have other than a giant salty lake. And I am actually admitting it! So, um, you know it must be good.

And now you can all be witnesses to the fact that Garrett and I desperately want a ferret. Er. Well, that is to say that Garrett thought they were cute little buggers and his mother very nearly left the pet store with one. But then she remembered the fact that she's already two cats over her preferred animal allotment so it's gonna take a couple of dead felines to make her the proud owner of a ferret.

Here is the deal. They are kind of like a cat. But whereas the world has cats, I don't think quite as many people have ferrets. I like being unique. That's, of course, why I bought an pygmy albino grizzly bear instead of a golden retriever. He just resembles a golden retriever, is all. Did you know you can litter box train a ferret? Well you can. And they can live in a cage or they can run around your house. Or both. Presumably. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day which is great because then, when the ferret owning newness rubs off, you only have to deal with it for six hours each day. Right? 24 minus 18 is 6? Math wasn't my strong suit but I'm thinking I could take care of anything for six hours. Except maybe thirty two preschoolers. Additionally, they are good hole hunters so, if I ever took up rabbit hunting, a ferret would probably be quite an asset. Undoubtedly, your life will be richer by knowing that ferrets have been used to run cables and wires through conduits. But the best part, the very best part of owning a ferret would have to be the weasel war dance.

Oh yes, you read that correctly. According to Wikipedia, the weasel war dance "is a colloquial term for a behavior of excited ferrets. The war dance usually follows play or the successful capture of a toy or a stolen object. It consists of a frenzied series of sideways and backwards hops, often accompanied by an arched back, dooking or hissing noises, and a frizzy tail."

Unfortunately a ferret's lifespan is typically between 7 and 10 years. I have a very hard time with the passing of animals in general and to have to say goodbye to something that does the weasel war dance just seems desperately tragic.

I still want one though, you know, for running wires through all my conduits.

When I was about eight I got a hamster and named him Jeremiah. His middle name was Lamentations which I still think was clever for a girl who only three years before that had given the name "Candy" to her puppy. If ever we were to get a mustela putorius furo I would probably have to let my son name it something like "Lightning McQueen" when what I really want is to call him Obadiah or Moses or Amos or maybe Bill. Garrett the ferret would have been good but, well, it's been done. Wouldn't want to call the kid and have the ferret come running.

In other news, it is 50 degrees outside. There aren't words for how giddy that makes me.


  1. I love ferrets! My neighbors used to have a couple when I was growing up and I was always so jealous!

  2. If two feline deaths is the only thing keeping you from owning a ferret, I will get on the next plane to Utah. Don't worry, I'll take care of them in the basement. You won't hear a thing. No? Fine. I do like "Garrett the ferret". But, as I enjoy naming animals the animal they actually are, I would vote for "Ferret". But seriously, you should get one.

  3. I love this blog. I love that it is about ferrets, and I love that Garrett loves Petco (maybe those cool animal books his aunt buys him are having an effect...) Or maybe he is just a boy who likes watching small animals run around and do weird things. Whatever one works for me.

    And I second the getting a ferret idea.

    Also, I think it's weird that you can't own a ferret in California, yet all of our Petsmarts and Petcos sell ferret supplies. You also can't own hedgehogs here. Apparently they are illegal by default - just because they aren't on the legal list. I went through a "hedgehog wanting" stage not too long ago, hence the random useless information.

  4. So, do you remember the night that Kyle's friend across the street left his ferret cage open and the (illegal!)ferret somehow ended up in my backyard and my dog Kimmy...had him for dinner? Yeah, that was a fun night! The ferret was pretty cool, though (before all of the teethmarks and the rigormortis!) It smelled really bad, though (alive, I mean!) Something about their earwax, so make sure you buy earwax remover when you buy all of your other cool accessories, if they make such a thing! I'll have to ask Kyle if a certain friend of the ferret owner ever stopped calling him a murderer every time he passed him in the hallway at school. You know, a dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do! It was in her yard, even if it was exotic and illegal!

  5. We had on once. Her name was Carrot. Carrot the Ferret. She was probably a boy. Either, I'm certain s(he) hated the name.
    50 degrees feels like heaven, doesn't it?

  6. Ferrets and fifty degrees. Hooray for both!

    (I will graciously refrain from mentioning that we have already planted our garden in Portland. Oh. Woops.) :-)

  7. Um, not to burst your bubble, but they have digging issues, they can tear up a carpet like it's nothing...they are weasal reelated WEASEL...that isn't a nickname for those that are up to no good for nothing. Just a friendly warning from someone who used to know someone that had 2 of them (yes, in california, shhhhhh)