A few evenings ago I had to have my ferret, Little Nicky, put to sleep. He was 6 1/2 years old, but it was still not long enough. Anyone who has lost a pet will understand that feeling.
He was a special ferret. One of the few “part polecat” ferrets FFP ever bred. He was long and lanky, wiry and strong, and very, very smart. He could stand up longer on his back legs than any ferret I’ve ever owned. He didn’t just sit back on his haunches, like most ferrets do, he stood up on his back legs, and he’d hold that pose for a long, long time.
He never liked other ferrets. He was sweet as pie to people, but if you were another ferret, the fur would definitely be flying! He didn’t just grab and shake, he went for blood!
One day, I got an albino female into the shelter who had an attitude that rivaled Nicky’s. Sometimes, when you have a case like that, if you put them with a tougher ferret, it gives them an attitude adjustment and then they’re willing to get along with other ferrets. Doesn’t always work, but she’d been escaping her cage and scaling fences . All to beat the snot out of any and all other ferrets.
So I let her out with Little Nicky. She ran over to him, opened her mouth and went to pounce on his scruff. Nicky turned, flipped her over with his nose and ROLLED her across the floor! Then he went on his way, sniffing. I was flabbergasted! Snowflake ran back over to him, opened her mouth, leapt into the air intending to land on his back, but somehow Nicky just turned, and rooooolllled her across the floor. She jumped up and shook her head (she was dizzy from all the rolling). She tried one more time and Nicky gave her a shake (so very gently compared to what he did to any other ferret) and rolled her until her little eyes were rolling, too.
She jumped up, shook it off, and went about her business!
To say I was surprised was an understatement. Watching carefully, I left them out together to play. After they’d played as much as they wanted, they both climbed up into Nicky’s cage and curled up together! Well! From that day on, Nicky had a girlfriend.
Nicky outlived his girlfriend by a couple years (she was pretty old to start with). We tried to give him a new girlfriend, but he was having none of it and we had to rescue poor Snow from out of his mouth. He was a loner after that.
Nicky’s mission in life was to steal and hide as many bags of food and treats as he could. He used to ransack the EVO samples from the box in the front hall. We’d f Pandora Pandora Charms Charms ind bags of EVO in the bathroom closet, upstairs in the hall, on the stairs, and under my dresser. He had quite the stash going under there. He also collected various other thing Pandora Charms s he liked . Insoles from my husband’s boots, my bra, nylon mesh laundry sacks, and last but not least, he tried to stuff a roll of toilet paper under there. It didn’t fit so he shredded it first, then used the fluff to make himself a nice nest.
If you bumped into him in the hallway, he’d dance and run back and forth like his tail was on fire. It was pretty funny. He also liked to stalk Sheila’s cat and try to go kitty back riding. The cat w Pandora Charms as NOT amused.
I’m going to miss his little rascal face, his stealing ways and his hoards of treats. He was king of the Dooker Delights and near the end, he got as many as he wanted. He died of kidney failure and complications from IBD. I’m really going to miss that polecat boy of mine.
It is tough to lose any animal especially the one close to you. I lost one young ferret(5 months) to a recliner(my fault). It still upsets me when I think about it, My daughter lost one of her’s to cancer and had to have her put down. She was a basket case over it . Luna was basically resued by my daughter from a home where she went to buy a female ferret. She told me that the people had her in an exersise ball like a hampster and that was the only freedom she had, As soon as she saw that she said she would have paid them anything to save Luna from that kind of life. They wanted $40 “just to get rid of her”. Poor girl was neglected. she was skinny and had a tumor on her side that looked like a piece of pepperoni, discusting. She got the tumor removed and gave her three “good” years. We didn’t even know how old she was, but she was a sweetheart.
I also lost a beautiful yellow lab “Jo Jo” to an idiot driver on the street in front of my house. The speed limit is 25, he was doing at least 45 when he hit him. The dog jumped on the door because he wanted out with my husband and I. We were out with the neighbors and their and grand children and the kids next door watching fireworks. He saw someone he didn’t like and ran out of the house and into the street. Thank god it wasn’t one of the kids. If the kid driving would have been doing the speed limit, he would have seen the dog. Unless he was on the phone or something!!! Now everytime I se an animal hit on the side of the road I think of Jo Jo and tear up and that was 2 1/2 years ago. He was healthy and only 7 years old.
That’s so sad about the ferret and the dog. And it does take a while for that feeling of guilt to go away. I don’t know that it ever goes away completely, but it gets a little easier to handle. I have some guilt issues with Nicky . he had some kidney damage due to living in the shelter and catching the runs from too many ferrets living in one place, and another time his water bottle broke and he nearly died of dehydration before I realized what was happening. I’m sure his life was shortened from that.
The thing is, that when we cause our pet’s death whether it’s directly like the recliner or indirectly like with the broken water bottle we have to take it as that animal was here to teach us a lesson. Some lessons are more painful than others, but I know you will never, ever lose another ferret to a recliner. I am paranoid now about checking water bottles to make sure the water is really coming out. A friend lost a ferret in a dishwasher accident . you know she never opens that thing when the ferrets are loose.
I believe there are certain animals send here to help us learn certain lessons. They volunteer for the job and know what’s up ahead of time. I believe animals know the whole story and we’re the only ones who forget. That’s my personal philosophy, and it’s helped get through a number of tragic accidents that happened to ferrets I’ve adopted out. Otherwise I’d go nuts.