There was a time in my life when if you’d looked in one of my dresser drawers, you would have seen something like this:

Some people become Crazy Cat Ladies. With 6 ferrets in my home, I was well on my way to becoming the Freaky Ferret Lady. I’ve always had to be different.

They ruled the roost in my home. My dog, who was a part border-collie-part-we-were-never-quite-sure mix, tried to herd them, to no avail. You’d find weasels in my dressers and my closets, and we learned quickly to check the bed carefully before jumping in. Even in the phases of my life that I WASN’T worried about losing some extra junk in the trunk, my butt still had the potential to squash a snoozing ferret.

Being the Freaky Ferret Lady was fun. With ferrets in your home, you don’t even need a TV. They’d bounce around the house doing the “weasel war dance,” or slink up behind me for a quick ankle-bite. But there were drawbacks to having six of the little buggers, too. With six slinky Poop Machines running around, my life was a neverending battle to keep things clean. Because my ferrets were all close in age, they all started developing the health issues that they tend to plague them as they grow older at about the same time. My vet bills actually put me in debt for a few years. Ferrets also have a shorter life span than dogs or cats, so it felt like my heart was constantly breaking as my fuzzbutts aged and moved on.

So as hard as it was, I made the decision not to keep replenishing WeaselVille. I will most likely always have ferrets in my home, but no more than one or two at a time. Right now, the weezer who has my heart is this little guy:

That’s Vinnie. His full name is, of course, “Vin Weasel.”

But life works in mysterious ways. Although the only critters in our home – besides the constant invasion of stink bugs – are Vin and the cat (Sylvester aka Sly aka Fat Boy), I am still located in Ferret Mecca. Several years ago, the neighbors I referred to as “The Asscracks” (they’ll be fuel for another blog entry, someday) moved out. As luck would have it, the people who bought their home were ferret lovers, and brought 3 with them. At least, I think it was 3. I’m not sure, because the number has grown and changed a lot over the years.

Their current count is 11. That’s right, 11. As much as I love ferrets, I can’t imagine it. The wife is currently not working, but I imagine her day as a dawn-til-dusk run through the house retrieving the latest gift left in a corner. Especially since their house is always spotless. I know firsthand what it takes to keep things looking like that when you’re weaselfied. 

But for a lot of people, ferrets are like Pringles. You can’t have just one. Or two. Or three.

They’ve actually helped me fight my own addiction. When I need a weasel fix that can’t be satisfied with just one ferret, I visit and am instantly surrounded by carpet sharks. Before I know it, I’ve got two or three ferrets in my arms and a few more trying to climb up my legs or, in flip-flop season, nibble an ankle or toe.

Even though we’ve only got one little guy now, our lifes are still completely weaselfied. As I write this, Lee is sitting crosslegged on the floor in front of Vin’s cage. We let Vin out to play a lot – in fact he often has the run of our bedroom for the entire day. But because Sly AKA Fat Boy plays a little rough and I’m slightly afraid that he might mistake Vin for a midnight snack, they aren’t allowed to be together unsupervised. So when we aren’t watching them, Vin is either in a closed-off room of his own or in his cage.

But there’s a reason people say things like “ferret that out for me, would ya?” or “how do I weasel my way out of this?” After having the same cage for over a year, Vin has discovered one spot that allows him to squeeze through the bars and escape. If you saw this space and Vin, you’d say “no way in hell.” We wouldn’t believe it ourselves if we hadn’t seen it. But he squeezes and squishes and mooshes and contorts until he manages to literally ooze out.

So there sits Lee, attaching additional blocks to the cage while Vin watches him with an expression that is both curious and irked.

I feel for the little guy. I often wish I could squish and squeeze and ooze and contort my way out of work. But in people life, things don’t work that way.

Someone’s gotta pay for all the food and clean the poop.

About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
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8 Responses to Weaselin’

  1. Matt says:

    “Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals… except the weasel.” –Homer Simpson

  2. Heather says:

    Not to start things but there is a ferret up for adoption at the ASPCA here in Annapolis names Kumar. http://www.aacspca.org/adoptable-other

    Hope to see you soon!

  3. akamonsoon says:

    Wow, six at once. I was wondering how you had come up with the name ‘Six Weasels.’ The most I’ve had at once is three but I did temporarily take in a fourth that was a rescue until he could be adopted. Monsoon is my only child now. She too needs to be surpervised with the dog. I think the dog wants to just play, just like Sly, but she can be a bit too rough for Monsoon. Then when Monsoon gets fed up she’ll nip Abby on the nose.

    I am amazed at people that can keep up with so many ferrets. The breeder that Monsoon came from had quite a few and the place was spotless. You could barely even make out a scent. I, on the other hand, feel like I’m constantly cleaning and spraying Febreze on things. Now that Monsoon has lost her eyesight she no longer looks for the corner little box and will she go where ever she is.

    A Weasel Mom’s work is never done but it is really the labor of love.

  4. Ter says:

    I remember when you got Vin. Gosh, have I been reading your blog *that* long??

  5. hawleywood40 says:

    Ter, crazy, isn’t it? And I’ve been reading yours since back when you first moved out on your own – time flies!

  6. hawleywood40 says:

    It really is a labor of love, Jennifer. I remember when one of my ferrets, Joey, was nearing the end I was medicating him with a syringe 3 times a day and bringing him home chicken nuggets from Mickey Ds because that’s all he would eat – he wouldn’t even settle for homemade nuggets – they had to come from McDonald’s lol.

  7. hawleywood40 says:

    Awwww, it is soooo tempting for me to start up again, Heather! The only reason I don’t is that I worry about being able to afford good vet care for more than Vin and Sly right now. I am going to share this with my “Weasel Neighbors” though : )!

  8. hawleywood40 says:

    Matt, love it and wanna learn to live by it : ).

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