1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Love, Ferret Style

We've replaced one house guest with another. This new guest is of the furry and ferrety variety.

We are babysitting my boss's beloved pet ferret Lucy while he and his family are at the beach this week. She has a cage, but they let her out for extended romps about the house. Since we have two large, unfriendly felines in our house, Lucy can't have the same freedom she's accustomed to. We put her cage in the front bedroom (which the cats aren't allowed in anyway) and let her out for playtime when we can.

Her presence in the front bedroom made me notice what a total wreck it is. Since we have four bedrooms and only actually use one of them for sleeping, the others have become depositories for various types of junk. The back bedroom is the cats' room. It features two litter boxes, various scratchers, indoor-outdoor carpet, and chairs in front of each window so they can partake in the scenic backyard views. The second-to-back room is the guest room. When we don't have guests (okay, and even when we do), it's where I stash all my eBay stock. The third bedroom is ours.

Then the front bedroom is the leftover spot. It's where we stack boxes that have never been unpacked, our winter bedspread and pillows, extra furniture, luggage, light fixtures waiting to be hung, and rugs waiting to be unfurled. This is the room that may or may not one day be a nursery.

And now it's got a baby. Lucy likes to hide inside a rolled rug, nudge a ball with her nose, steal socks and pull them inside the rug with her, chase and bite feet. She's got a weird ferrety smell, she yawns massively when you wake her up, and she can get pretty vicious with Elmo.

All in all, she's pretty cute and a low-maintenance houseguest.

The cats disagree, of course. Henry is deathly terrified of her. Ever since she arrived Friday night, Henry has been slinking about the house looking around corners and over his shoulder, or hiding behind the couch. I brought her out to show him so maybe he'd view her as a rodent rather than a threatening beast. That didn't work. The fear only increased.

Meanwhile, Alistair (resident mean-cat) sniffed her briefly and then flopped himself on the floor across the room and gave me a look that said, "So what?"

I tried again yesterday, only this time I carried the cats individually into Lucy's room to let them watch her on the floor playing. Surely then they'd see how non-threatening she is. Nope. Henry froze with terror in my arms, and Alistair mustered his customary hissy attitude.

So I've given up on the cats and the ferret becoming fast friends. I guess it's for the best anyway. A ferret loose in a big, old house is probably not a good idea - too many places for a squirmy girl to hide.

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Greg said...

For some reason ferrets are illegal to keep as pets in Ca. During the last Governors election the powerful ferret lobby endorsed Arnold because he appeared with a ferret in one scene in the movie Kindergarten Cop.

4:34 PM  
mindy said...

I had a ferret named Simon for years - I adopted him while in college. He was a lovely pet - very easy to care for, loved attention, and sat with anyone interested in petting him.

They are infamous for the sock/foot obsession. And watch your dolls - Simon LOVED old dolls (maybe the smell?) and would drag them across the floor and shove them under my bed or couch. It was quite a showstopper, watching a rodent pull a baby doll across the floor by it's toes.... it always looked like horror-movie theatrics.

If you want a friend for life, they get especially excited about raisins and peanut butter. Anything sweet, really. Watching them eat PB is funny, they get into it!

8:04 PM  
Kristin said...

Thanks for the raisins and pb tip! I'll try that tonight. :)

9:46 AM  

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