Saturday, January 21, 2006

Boris and Natasha

Fellow Hungarian and bloggerette, Kimber, had a post about her cat recently and in it she also mentioned that she has ferrets. Well, it got me remembering when I owned ferrets…so, here is a tribute to ferrets and ferret lovers everywhere.

The year was 1992 when I saw a ferret for the first time in my life. Having been raised in California where ferrets were illegal to own as pets, I had never even heard of them. Since I was about to leave the Active Army in Washington and move back to California, I knew there wouldn’t be another chance, at least for a long time, to purchase a ferret. So, I took that chance and bought a cute little white thing with blue eyes and a black tail.

I had NO idea what a ferret was really like or how to take care of one. I just knew that I HAD to have one.

The first time it fell asleep I thought it was dead or in some type of a coma. The thing would not wake up…no amount of shouting or prodding would disturb it. I later found out that ferret pups need deep sleep when they are young.

I also found out that Boris was deaf.

But the most disturbing thing I found out was that ferrets had musk glands and my ferret still had his. Oh, and by the way, I also realized that ferrets were related to skunks…a point I wish I had known BEFORE buying Boris. (But then again, I probably wouldn’t have gotten him and that would have been a shame…he turned out to be a great pet. We just had a few speed bumps to go over first!)

*Note~ Most store bought ferrets are descented and fixed...they often have a musky scent but nothing bad.* (I just got lucky...maybe Boris didn't hear the call for the musk and sex organ removal van. He was deaf, ya know.) We corrected this problem very quickly.

It was during one of those death sleeps that a powerful smell emerged from Boris and engulfed my barracks dorm room. I was not supposed to have an animal in the barracks; especially one sleeping in my bed’s slide out drawer. Since he was a little thing, I thought I wouldn’t have a problem hiding him until I got released from the Army…about one week. Heh. That was before the musk monster made its appearance. My roommate was very sweet and helped me de-fumigate the room…I kept Boris in my pockets mostly, so I never got in trouble. PHEW!

When I moved back to California (Monterey…Dave was enrolled in a Russian course for the Army and, yes, we were married already. I’ll have to explain all that stuff in a later post. Let’s just say that the Army is not very good about joint-assignments.), I would take Boris walking on the beach. People would come up and ask me what he was. Since ferrets were illegal to own, I said that he was a Californian Land Otter. Most would shrug, looking a bit puzzled. Others actually said, "Ah, yes! I’ve heard of those." Silly people.

*Another Note~ Ferrets are related to skunks, minks, polecats, and otters.* (So I was really just stretching the truth...hee hee.)

Another fun thing we discovered about Boris: since he was deaf, we were able to sneak up on him. Sometimes, if you didn't make any sudden movements, you could scare him so badly that he would actually scream in terror. Ferrets don't make those cute chittery noises that you hear when they are in the movies...but they do make a sort of happy grunt when they are playing. They hop up and down on all fours...side to side...grunt grunt. Yeah, and they can scream...hee hee.

One time Boris got some scotch tape on his paws. He freaked...literally ran around the room pooping as he ran...scared the poop out of him. It was so funny to watch that I didn't even mind cleaning up the mess. I just laughed as I scooped.

FYI: Ferrets travel well in your pocket, sleeve, or just inside your jacket.

When Dave got reassigned to Fort Riley, Kansas, we had to move Boris across country with us. It was fun. We went to the Grand Canyon with him and he would fascinate tourists that were there from all parts of the world.

As we drove, he started to cuddle up with this fur thing we bought at an Indian village in New Mexico.

It was then that we concluded: "Boris needs a playmate."

For Christmas Boris got his friend, Natasha.

If one ferret is funny, two are hysterical.

They loved the snow, would dig and hop away in it.

They also loved packages with styrofoam in it. I wouldn't recommend styrofoam as a playsource though. It tends to stick to ferret fur...and gets spread all over the house. Also, if one ferret is into something (like styrofoam) you know the other one isn't far behind! Ferrets also like to steal socks and stuffed animals to play with under couches and beds. We'd constantly find their little stashes of treasure in strange places.

The next Christmas we got another addition to the family...Keegan. He was quite interested in the ferrets. Don't worry, we watched them all very well.

When not playing with us, the ferrets played in their huge cage. I've heard of nasty things that ferrets can do to babies if unattended and even though my ferrets were really sweet, I never took a chance!

Some of our friends had ferrets too.

Keegan had fun discovering new furry faces.

As Keegan grew older, we took the ferrets for walks (really more like drags) and let them swim in the lake. We had a lot of fun with these furry friends. Unfortunately they died when Keegan was about four years old (Boris first, Natasha not long afterwards) and we couldn't take care of new ferrets since we moved to Boystown, Nebraska later that year. But, we enjoyed them while we had them. They were the best little fur thieves in the world!


Running2Ks said...

K2 was so afraid to pet animals, but at the zoo (recently) she was willing to pet a ferret. It was sweet. Related to skunks, huh? Fabulous accessorizers--who knew? Scared of tape? Little-known fact.

What a sweet family addition Boris came to be :)

M. C. Pearson said...

Running2ks~ Man, you did it again! You commented right after I pushed publish and before I could correct the picture mixups! So funny! Yeah, Boris was awesome. Maybe we'll have ferrets again some day.

Fred said...

I've never seen so many pictures of a ferret. The kids wanted one when they were little, but we settled on a dog instead.

I never knew they were related to skunks. I'm kinda glad we didn't get one; I would have returned it. You were very patient.

M. C. Pearson said...

fred~ Most are descented...I just added that into the post so people know. We had to get the musk gland removed form our stinker.

Trinity13 said...

My first time seeing a ferret was when I watched Kindergarten Cop. I thought it was very cute, but my hubby has no desire to own one. So, I'll just have to settle my sweet cat! But, I love your pics! I'm sure the ferrets where a lot of fun!!!

Kimber said...

AWWWWW - What cute ferrets...I will have to post pictures of our cuties...FYI our ferrets came DECENTED - Thank God!!!
They really do make great pets...and they are so fun to watch play together...Our ferrets also hop on all fours and make a cool sound we like to call...errrperter errrperter...LOL...hard to describe...but really cute...
Our ferret named Zoey is super sweet and will cuddle in your lap if she is sleepy...the other one doesn't like to cuddle - but cracks us up regularly - and even takes on our Cat - with no fear - in fact Duncan (the cat) ends up running from Cloe - way funny!

Takes for the tribute - and what another fun thing to have in common...are sure we aren't sisters??

Blessings ~Your hungarian ferret loving friend ;)

Kimber said...

duh - that should be "Thanks" for the tribute - Okay - I'm tired and going to bed now :)

Kimber said...

okay - one more time - should read "Are you sure we aren't sisters" - go to bed now Kimber, I mean it!!

Okay - go on and just laugh at me!

M. C. Pearson said...

trinity13~ Yeah, they were fun. I used to own a cat before I became allergic.

Kimber~ You crack me up!!! Dant warry abooot yar spwewing! I mezz up all thee tyme two!

Kimber said...

Mimi - thans for understooding my spwewing!!! Not in bed yet...errr...couldn't go to sleep without posting pictures of our ferrets...ENJOY :)

Dennie McDonald said...

A ferret! that was the first pet the Dh and I got - the apts we lived in didn't allow cats or dogs but the never said anything about ferrets... her name was Nikki = she was too much fun!

(love the pics!)

Pia said...

MC, they're so cute! believe it or not, i never knew about them until now.

An Ordinary Christian said...

I never knew! Very enjoyable read.

Darlene said...

They are adorable. Growing up, I wanted one so bad, but my parents wouldn't hear of it. A teacher had two of them which she brought to school a few times. So I guess they were legal out here in Manitoba Canada.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Wow! That's one long post. nice Pictures.

First time I saw a ferret was at husband's parents house when I went to meet them for the first time.

They scared me.

julie said...

I think ferrets are way cute!!!!
Fun post.

cube said...

My brother had ferrets so I already knew they can be good pets. But the photos of the pocket ferrets are precious.

A Human Bean said...


I am shocked. You broke stat laws and lied to people. I hope you have repented. **Say the above words with feigned self righteous indignation.**

That must have been a lot of fun.

Jennifer said...

That is so COOL!!!! I must admit, I am not fond of ferretts. They creep me out. But I have to say, your story does make me think twice about the critters.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I'm not a ferret person, but they look cute.

Hope you can have another go registering on my map. I'd love to have you on it.

Kelly said...

One time Boris got some scotch tape on his paws. He freaked...literally ran around the room pooping as he ran...scared the poop out of him. It was so funny to watch that I didn't even mind cleaning up the mess. I just laughed as I scooped

That's too funny. Do you laugh or cry or both!

Jaime H. said...

How are you feeling???

M. C. Pearson said...

Kimber~ Your ferrets are so cute too!

Dennie~ It was a great first pet, huh?

Pia~ They are fun animals!

Ordinary Christian~ I need to post you in my links...I keep forgetting!

Darlene~ Yeah, I think California and one other state in the US has a law against may have changed by now though. I think it is because the states are worried about overpopulation of the animal...that is why they are supossed to be fixed!

m.g.~ they like to scare cracks them up! They do the "I scared her!" dance and hop around. But watch out, if you get too close they might just lick ya to death!

Julie~ Thanks, I miss them.

Cube~ Cool beans! They were so much fun to carry around like that!

Beanie~ Shocked and slightly embarassed by the sight of Mimi with a ferret...or something like that right?

Jennifer~ Yeah, I can see people being creeped out...until you play with one...then you realize they are even more frisky than cats!

Jean-Luc~ I will try...maybe I need instructions. I'm just not even sure what to click!

Kelly~ I have to admit that some happy tears leaked out as I guffawed my way through the poopies.

Jaimie~ getting better slowly...thank you! Keep praying, I may have to have another round of anti-biotics and that doesn't sound good for my stomach!

The Curmudgeon's Rant said...

You had a pet weasel? Better than a skunk, I suppose.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

My step daughter had three of them. Killian, Gargamel, and Perdida. Perdida looked like your white one.

Here in New York it's illegal to sell them if they haven't been descented and nuetered. they little buggers breed like rabbits.

They were a lot of fun, but they don't last really long. I forget what it is but ferrets are really susceptible to some particular sickness. They all usually die of that.

My daughter knows all that stuff, I forgot. Over the last two years, each of hers have died. They're all buried in our pet cemetary with little headstones.

Jaime H. said...

Do you need more antibiotics for infection, or for wheezing? Almost always when I've had asthmatic bronchitis, the antibiotics took out the infection, but I was still wheezing after I stopped coughing. I had to take Prednisone to get rid of the wheezing (and, boy, does that stuff work!)

Ballpoint Wren said...

Mimi, this is a great post! I never knew anything about ferrets, except:

1) They are illegal in California

2) Every pet store sells ferret food, cages, and other supplies, anyway!

oregoncelticlady said...

No ferrets at my site but a really lovely fairy! Come see....

M. C. Pearson said...

Curm~ LOL

Bonnie~ Yeah, I don't know how Boris escaped the knife!

Bonnie W~ I remember I had no trouble getting supplies for the Bomeister while we lived in Monterey. How funny.

Oregon Celtic Lady~ Love Oregon...and I adore your pictures you posted of your fairy beautiful daughter!!!