A Treasure Chest of Ferret Musings

A Treasure Chest of Ferret MusingsPet ferrets are funny little critters, and your mind will often wind up in strange places once you start thinking about them. Ferret musings often take you down paths you otherwise wouldn’t travel. But it’s all good and all fun.

That’s what our latest little ferret book is all about. In it, you’ll get:

  • Chapter 1: What is a Ferret?
  • Chapter 2: Basic Ferret-Ownership Facts
  • Chapter 3: Some Interesting and Odd Ferret Facts
  • Chapter 4: Why a Ferret?
  • Chapter 5: My Husband’s Take on Pet Ferrets
  • Chapter 6: A Straight-from-the-Ferret’s-Mouth Ferret Manual
  • Chapter 7: Ferret Name Games

And here are a few excerpts from A Treasure Chest of Ferret Musings:

Well, first off, a ferret is a small, elongated, long-whiskered bundle of energy – when it isn’t sleeping, which is most of the time. It is a creature that when active (which, again, is only about 6 hours a day) is furiously playing – running, jumping, hiding, chewing, stealing. Or not . . . because it may be asleep. A ferret, then, is a seeming contradiction – a living paradox.

Mitochondrial  DNA analysis indicates that ferrets were domesticated about 2, 500 years ago. Some people claim that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate ferrets, but there really isn’t any good evidence to support the claim. There are colonies of feral ferrets in remote areas of New Zealand and on the Shetland Islands.

Finally, and slightly related, a ferret is a marriage-saver. There is almost nothing that can lift you out of a depression or turn aside an angry mood like watching a pet ferret play. So when my wife is angry with me – gratuitously and for absolutely no justifiable reason – she will often go play with and talk to her ferrets. And then, when she comes out of her room again, she is in a good mood. Her anger has passed, and she doesn’t wish I lived somewhere else. So, thanks to Rikki and Possum and Loki and Luna, my wife’s ferrets, our marriage is still intact.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

There are many methods you can use to come up with a name. For starters, try a variation of the name “ferret,” which  derives from the Latin word for thief (furo). Just play around with that, especially if yours particularly lives up to that moniker – for example, Thief, Robbie, Raffles (a famous British thief), Spy, Robin Hood, Bandit, Dodger, etc. Of course, Ferret or Furo work just as well.

A Treasure Chest of Ferrets Musings

*     *     *

More ferret books from Karen:

“Danny and Oliver: A Ferret-Rescue Tale”Twelve-year-old Danny McGuire loves his pet ferret, Oliver – but Danny’s parents don’t. They also think he should do more of the things “normal boys” do. Still, Danny manages to remain fairly cheerful and keep his grades up. Oliver consoles him, his mountain-bike rides bring him solace, and his best friend Mike offers some hard-won advice.  It all works out, for the most part, until . . . things go terribly wrong. But, then, it pays to remember that a rescue ferret can sometimes “rescue” a bad situation

Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets HappyWe ferret owners are all a little “crazy” when it comes to our fuzzy kids. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys? These are the questions this little book will answer.

Getting Started With Pet Ferrets: A Primer for Prospective and New Ferret Owners – Karen’s goal in writing this book is simply to help people who are in the same position she was when she first started out (accidentally) with ferrets. Four years ago, she had no knowledge of ferrets and ferret care and no idea about where to turn for help. Her aim, then, is to provide all the basic ferret information in one place, making it easily accessible and fun to read. This book is meant to be, just as the title suggests, a primer for new and prospective ferret owners.

2 in 1 Ferret Book: Getting Started with Pet Ferrets and Ferret Toys – So you finally got that pet ferret you’ve been wanting. But now what? Ferrets do make great pets. They are fun, quirky, lovable, playful, mischievous, and entertaining little critters. But they also require a commitment on your part. You will need to invest time, money, and energy to take care of your woozles properly. Reading our 2 in 1 Ferret Book will aid you in preparing and getting outfitted for your ferret journey – especially the ferret-cage and ferret-readiness checklists. And then there are the toys – most likely lots of them. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys? This book contains our two top-selling ferret books with new additional material. 

 

New “2 in 1 Ferret Book”

A New Ferret Book that Includes Both Getting Started with Pet Ferrets and Ferret Toys – With Updated Information and New Material

New Ferret BookHere’s a brief description:

So you finally got that pet ferret you’ve been wanting. But now what?

Ferrets do make great pets. They are fun, quirky, lovable, playful, mischievous, and entertaining little critters. But they also require a commitment on your part. You will need to invest time, money, and energy to take care of your woozles properly. Reading our 2 in 1 Ferret Book will aid you in preparing and getting outfitted for your ferret journey – especially the ferret-cage and ferret-readiness checklists.

And then there are the toys – most likely lots of them. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys?

This book contains our two top-selling ferret books with new additional material. 

Our new 2 in 1 Ferret Book will give you the basics of ferret care and the low-down on ferret toys. It’ll also save you some money – always a good thing this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

 

How Would Pet Ferrets Train and Manage Their Humans? Take a Look . . .

Our Humorous Little Ferret Book is Finally Here – A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.

Here’s the description:

So you really think you “own” your pet ferrets and that they live in “your” house? Well, think A Ferret Manualagain – because it just may be otherwise. And that’s exactly why we’ve written this humorous little book, “A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.” It examines ferret training and ferret care from a ferret’s-eye point of view. Here’s what you’ll get . . .

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Toys – Get What You Really Want

Meal Time – Make ‘em Get It Right

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Real Estate – Location and Size

The Annoyance of “Ferret Proofing”

Conclusion

Ferrets are unique pets and will often, as we demonstrate in this little book, make you see things in a unique way. Enjoy.

Here’s a sample:

So, you’ve finally acquired your very own human, have you? Good for you and congratulations! It sure beats being crowded together with a bunch of total strangers in a tiny cage at the pet store, doesn’t it? But . . . while this is a great accomplishment and a first step toward a happy life in a home of your own, your job is just beginning. You have a lot of work and a long road ahead of you.

First of all, humans aren’t really very teachable. But, then, there are very few animals as inquisitive and as intelligent as ferrets. That means training your human will require, in varying degrees as your unique situation demands, inventiveness, persistence, consistent application, and time.

Okay, let’s get started. 

 

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Following are the four important truths about or principles of human nature that will form the foundation of our guidelines and rules for training and managing your human. Remember these and adapt your training tactics accordingly, and you should see some success in your human-training efforts.

1. Humans are basically lazy creatures.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

Because they are lazy, then, and slaves to the law of inertia, humans are just downright hard to train. The difficulty lies in getting them to change a behavior. For some bizarre reason, they prefer the familiar and easy to the better course. And never forget that humans just aren’t as smart as ferrets. There’s really nothing you can do about that, though.

For a human, it takes a lot of effort to learn something new and change a thinking pattern and/or a behavior. That’s why they dig in their heels and resist change: because it takes effort. Ironically, though, humans often expend more energy resisting change, owing to their inherent laziness, than they would actually making the change. (But, remember, they’re just not all that bright.) So, one of the keys to successfully training and managing your human will be persistence. You will simply have to work at it assiduously until you’ve achieved the desired results.

Just don’t give up. Success could be right around the corner.

And here’s another sample:

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Never, ever underestimate the power of poop. But keep in mind, too, that with every power there are attendant dangers. Here’s what I mean.

We ferrets have our own peculiar and distinctive pooping preferences – especially when it comes to location. Your human, however, will have a hard time fully understanding this and grasping our uniqueness as pets. And, as a result, they just lump ferrets in with other pets – say, dogs* – and think that, like those other pets, we just stop and poop wherever we are when we get the urge. In addition, since your human really does believe he or she owns you, your human may try to determine for you where you should poop. But don’t fall for either of these poop-related fallacies.

Keeping in mind our four principles of human nature, work toward a cage-and-litter-pan configuration that suits you. For example, if your human does even a little reading, she will know that placing a small piece of your poop in a litter pan is supposed to encourage you to do your business in that pan. Sounds a little disgusting, I know, but just humor your human, and try to do a little pooping in that pan where the piece is. Hopefully, your human will also realize that we like to back into a corner to do our business and, knowing this, will have provided triangular-shaped corner litter pans. This will, of course, make it much easier to play along with your humans pooping plans.

If, however, you just can’t bring yourself to poop in the pan designated by your human, then it’s time to exercise the “power of poop.” Just find the spot in your cage where you’d most like to do your business and then start pooping there. Your human will then either move that pan to or buy another one to place in your preferred spot. Pretty simple, really.

But do be careful. If you don’t poop judiciously and strategically, you may find a whole floor of your cage covered with litter pans. And this, of course, would greatly decrease your play and sleep area. Even worse, if you don’t confine you pooping to only one floor of your cage, you may find litter pans cluttering all the floor areas. So . . . have a pooping plan.

*(Note: It’s often the case that humans have other pets, dogs more often than not. And, owing to their innate lack of intelligence and tendency not to observe well, your human will sometimes want you to be friends with a dog way before the dog is ready. So . . . be careful when this happens. Avoid both teeth and crushing paws. If a dog does get too rough with you, don’t bite in self-defense – the dog will likely bite back. Instead, run and hide under the nearest low piece of furniture – and stay there. Your human will see your behavior and be more cautious about introducing other pets after that.)

 A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human – we think it’s a fun little read.

What is a Ferret?

Panda Ferret in Plastic DrawerFerrets, because they are meat eaters, belong to the Carnivora order, as do dogs and cats, wolves and lions. As we move further down the classification line, we see that ferrets belong to the Mustelidae (which means loosely “weasel” or “mouse killer”) family, and this makes them remotely related to badgers, sea otters, wolverines, and polecats. So far, then, it seems our pet ferrets, our favorite fuzzies, are in the company of some pretty tough (and perhaps stinky) critters.

Next, we find ferrets in the genus putorious, a Latin word that means “stench.” (Just think of the word “putrid.”) Then, they are in the species called furo, which come from furis, which means “thief.” Big surprise, huh?

So, taxonomically, a ferret is . . . a weaselly, mouse-killing, smelly thief. But pet ferrets aren’t really very closely related to weasels, and most of them don’t kill mice (unless they are fed a whole-prey diet). They are, however, incorrigible thieves, so that part’s pretty accurate.

This description, though scientifically sound, doesn’t really tell us much about what this creature we love really is. So . . . just what IS a ferret?

Well, first off, a ferret is a small, elongated, long-whiskered bundle of energy – when it isn’t sleeping, which is most of the time. It is a creature that when active (which, again, is only about 6 hours a day) is furiously playing – running, jumping, hiding, chewing, stealing. Or not . . . because it may be asleep. A ferret, then, is a seeming contradiction – a living paradox.

Second, a carpetshark possesses the attributes of several different animals all bundled together in one lovable package. It displays, for instance, the zany playfulness of an otter. (Just think of otters in all the Disney shows we watched when we were kids.) It has the sneakiness and curiosity of a cat – which, just as with cats, can get a ferret into some less-than-ideal predicaments. And a ferret is like a dog in that it often engages in hilariously entertaining (to us) and embarrassing (to the ferret) antics.

Finally, on a more serious note, ferrets are great pets – but only for those willing to make the necessary investment. For just like people – and they are a lot like humans, too – they require vaccinations and regular medical check-ups, as well as a quality diet, to remain healthy. They need their own living space and quality sleeping quarters. They have to have scheduled play times and lots of chances for socialization with both you and others of their own kind.

Pet ferrets are, in short, members of your family. And here are a couple of our picks in ferret-care books for tips on how to keep your paradoxical, multi-faceted, furry family members healthy and happy . . .

Ferrets for Dummies by Kim Schilling

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets by Karen Hearing

 

We Finally Got It! – Ferret Nation Ferret Cage

After three years with Rikki and Possum in a cage that I really disliked, I added two more pet ferrets, Loki and Luna. Because I took Loki and Luna from a friend who had to get rid ofNew Ferret Nation Cage them, I also got their ferret cage.

It is a Ferret Nation Cage. I love the size and roominess. It’s definitely big enough for four ferrets.

What I really like about it is the way I can hang so many ferret beds and hammocks in it. I have four beds, three hammocks, and a climbing rope in this Ferret Nation Cage. And there is still plenty of room for my fuzzies to play.

Also, because I have a certain ferret (whose name I won’t mention, but Possum would be a good guess) who likes to fill empty corners with not-so-nice presents, I also have five litter boxes in the cage – four on the very bottom of the cage and one on the top floor.

What I also like about the Ferret Nation cage is that I can close off one section with my ferrets confined there while I clean a section above or below the one closed off. Another plus is the huge doors that make it easy to work in the cage and to take out or put in fuzzies.

This cage has legs with castors. The extra height makes it easy to work in, and the castors make it easy to move around. And the tray below the cage compartments is handy for storing toys and cleaning stuff.

The one thing I don’t like about this ferret cage is the very shallow trays. I wish they were much deeper. I’m always finding litter and poop on my bedroom floor.

You know how ferrets like to back up to walls to use the bathroom. Well, Possum will find a way NOT to use the litter boxes and just back his little booty to the side of the cage and then poop over the edge of the tray and on the floor. And this, of course, means extra cleaning for me! I do wish the trays had been a little better designed.

But other than that, I really like our new Ferret Nation Cage. And Rikki and Possum really like it, too. They’re not stuck in that small cage anymore. They also like the two new playmates that came with their new cage.

A Ferret Manual

Here’s an excerpt from our soon-to-be-released little book titled A Ferret Manuel: How to Train and Manage Your Human. It’s a humorous, ferret’s-eye view of the often comical relations between humans and pet ferrets.

So, you’ve finally acquired your very own human, have you? Good. Good for you and congratulations! It sure beats being crowded together with a bunch of total strangers in a tiny cage at the pet store, doesn’t it? But . . . while this is a great accomplishment and a first step toward a happy life in a home of your own, your job is just beginning. You have a lot of work and a long road ahead of you.

First of all, humans aren’t really very teachable. But, then, there are very few animals as inquisitive and intelligent as ferrets. That means training your human will require, in varying degrees as your unique situation demands, inventiveness, persistence, consistent application, and time.

Okay, let’s get started.

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Following are the four important truths about or principles of human nature that will form the foundation of our guidelines and rules for training and managing your human. Remember these and adapt your training tactics accordingly, and you should see some success in your human-training efforts.

1. Humans are basically lazy creatures.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

Because they are lazy, then, and slaves to the law of inertia, humans are just downright hard to train. The difficulty lies in getting them to change a behavior. For some bizarre reason, they prefer the familiar and easy to the better course. And never forget that humans just aren’t as smart as ferrets. There’s really nothing you can do about that, though.

For a human, it takes a lot of effort to learn something new and change a thinking pattern and/or a behavior. That’s why they dig in their heels and resist change: because it takes effort. Ironically, though, humans often expend more energy resisting change, owing to their inherent laziness, than they would actually making the change. (But, remember, they’re just not all that bright.) So, one of the keys to successfully training and managing your human will be persistence. You will simply have to work at it assiduously until you’ve achieved the desired results.

Just don’t give up. Success could be right around the corner.

2. Humans are incorrigible creatures of habit.

This truth about human nature is tightly bound up with the first one above. Because humans are lazy, they are also creatures of habit. They tend to keep doing the same thing the same way over and over because – well, because it’s just easier for them that way. It will take a lot of effort on your part to get your human to do something in a new and different way.

But the good news in all this is that once you’ve trained your human to engage in a certain behavior, your work is usually done with respect to that particular thing. Your human will keep doing whatever-it-is out of habit without thinking about it. While this aspect of human nature makes training your human quite a bit of work, it does mean that managing a behavior once inculcated is fairly easy.

Suppose, for example, you don’t like the food that your human has been giving you. You can’t, of course, just tell your human about it – she can’t speak our language. (Again, keep in mind that humans aren’t as clever as we are.) But after you’ve put in the necessary training effort (using some choice training tactics I’ll get to in a little bit), most of your work will be done. When your human learns to buy the kind of food you like best, she will keep doing it simply out of habit, even if she forgets the reason she started doing it in the first place. Once trained, humans are generally pretty easy to manage . . .

And here are links to our other ferret books:

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets

Ferret Toys: Keeping Pet Ferrets Happy

“Danny and Oliver: A Ferret-Rescue Tale”

 

Some Interesting (and Slightly Odd) Ferret Facts

Below are some interesting ferret facts that you may not be aware of:Albino Ferret and Panda Ferret in Cage

  • Ferrets are crepuscular creatures. (Crepuscular is a Latin word meaning “twilight.”) And this means that ferrets are naturally most active near dawn and dusk – when it is neither bright daylight nor fully dark.
  • The Latin word furittus, which means “little thief,” gives us the name “ferret.” This is a fitting name because pet ferrets love to steal shoes and small items of clothing and hide them under beds and dressers.
  • Mitochondrial  DNA analysis indicates that ferrets were domesticated about 2, 500 years ago. Some people claim that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate ferrets, but there really isn’t any good evidence to support the claim.
  • There are colonies of feral ferrets in remote areas of New Zealand and on the Shetland Islands.
  • Keeping ferrets as pets didn’t really take off in the US until the 1980s.
  • It is legal to keep ferrets as pets in Brazil only if they have been implanted with an identifying microchip and are sterilized.
  • The sideways hopping and jumping that you see your fuzzies engage in when they want to play is sometimes called the “weasel war dance.”

Find out more about this curious critter called a ferret here and here.

More Famous Ferret Names

In a previous post I wrote about movies with little fuzzy actors in them. I found out thatPanda Ferret Playing most of those ferrets did not have names. In my opinion, that is discrimination against our famous fuzzies.

Most movies that have dogs and cats in them provide the names of the canine and feline actors in the credits. Of course, most people don’t feel toward fuzzies the way we obsessed ferret owners do.

Anyway, here is a very short list of famous ferret names:

  • Podo and Kodo – from the movie Beast Master
  • Pan – from the movie The Golden Compass
  • Rodolfo – from the movie Along Came Polly
  • Jasper – from the movie Jake and Jasper

I also found out the names of Paris Hilton’s ferrets – Dolce and Gabbana. I don’t think she has them anymore, though, because it is illegal to keep pet ferrets in California.

My favorite famous ferret name I saved for last . . . and that is . . . Rikki Tikki Tavi! That is the name of my albino ferret. It is taken from the children’s story “Rikki Tikki Tavi” written by Rudyard Kipling.

Find out much more about adopting and naming pet ferrets here.

Famous Ferrets . . . with a Huge Apology

I owe everybody a huge apology!

I have watched The Lord of the Rings at least a thousand times, and I never noticed itPanda Ferret in Plastic Drawer. There is a ferret in The Fellowship of the Ring. You get to see the little fuzzy (actually, only its head) for just a couple of seconds.

It’s at the part where Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry are at the Prancing Pony, when Frodo is talking to the innkeeper about seeing Gandalf. The innkeeper tells Frodo he hasn’t seen Gandalf, and then you see hobbits talking with one another. Right after that, you will see a man with a ferret sticking his head out of the man’s coat, and the man is feeding the ferret something.

Like I said, I have watched that movie a thousand times and never caught that part. That just shows that I need to pay more attention to the movies I watch.

I can tell you that the little fuzzy has no name in the movie.

As I was researching this famous ferret in The Lord of the Rings, I also came across a few more movies with our favorite actors (little fuzzies, of course). Here are some of the famous ferret actors I came across:

  • Kindergarten Cop – The fuzzy actor had no name. But he did save Arnold in the movie.
  • Beast Master – The famous ferrets’ names in this movie are Podo and Kodo.
  • The Golden Compass – The fuzzy’s name in this one is Pan. I think this is a very cute movie.
  • Along Came Polly – The famous fuzzy character’s name is Rodolfo.
  • Harry Potter – Mad Eye Moody (who is actually Barty Crouch, Jr.) turns Draco Malfoy into a ferret in The Goblet of Fire. Also, at the end of The Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Harry’s and Jenny’s son, Albus, has a ferret in a bird cage.
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – I could not find the names of these famous fuzzies, so I assume they were not named.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – As we know now there is a famous ferret in this movie.

These are just a few of the movies that have famous fuzzy actors in them. And again a great big “I’m so sorry for giving the wrong information about the ferret in The Lord of the Rings!”

The Husband’s Top 5 Negative Rules for Owning Pet Ferrets

Guest Post by Michael Hearing

As you know my wife, Karen, has two pet ferrets (or woozles or little fuzzies or fuzzy kids, as she sometimes calls them). I like Rikki and Possum a lot too. I love to watch them play and cut up and do goofy things. But, still, there are drawbacks to wives’ owning pet ferrets – and most of them involve money. That’s why I’ve formulated “The Husband’s TAlbino Ferret Rikkiop 5 Negative Rules for Owning Pet Ferrets.”

Rule 1 – Never let your wife get the mail.
If your wife has pet ferrets, you should never allow her to check the mail box. Why? It’s simple really. Because on any given day – and you can never know for sure when it will happen – a pet-supply or ferret-supply catalogue could arrive. In fact, the Doctor’s Foster and Smith catalogue just came today.

Here’s how it usually goes. I’ve gone to town to run some errand, and my wife checks the mail while I’m gone. So I get home and find her seated at the kitchen table poring over the new catalogue, feverishly marking pages, panting after all the ferret toys and ferret accessories she wants to buy for Rikki and Possum. So, hoping to avoid the inevitable, I go to my desk and pretend to work. But it doesn’t work.

Karen comes skipping in and says, “Oh, Michael, look at this. Rikki would just love one of these.” Or: “Michael, look!” At this point the catalogue is thrust in front of my face. “Possum, really, really, really needs one of these.” And so it goes for awhile.

Eventually, I mutter, “All right, we’ll see. Maybe we’ll get those for Rikki and Possum later.” But I know that, in order to keep a pleasant atmosphere in the house, I’ll soon wind up buying the desired ferret supplies. Last week, it was $33.00 worth of ferret litter. Who knows what it’ll be now that she has the new Doctors Foster and Smith catalogue in her hands.

Fortunately for me, we live in a rural area, and our mail box is about a quarter of a mile from our house

Rule 2 – Never, ever let your wife surf the Internet.
This is related to Rule 1, but the problem becomes hugely magnified, much worse than the mail-box problem. When a ferret-loving wife goes on line, she has scores of ferret catalogues and thousands of ferret accessories available at her fingertips. Seeking out and lusting after new ferret toys for pet ferrets is often called “doing research” around here.

Lately, Karen has been looking at – and making me look at – this Ferret Nation cage. I’m thinking maybe if I buy this ferret cage for her she’ll be satisfied for some time because it’s a large ferret item.  I’m also hoping she’ll be too busy setting up the new cage and watching Rikki and Possum play in it to do much “research” for awhile. We’ll see, I guess.

Rule 3 – Never take your wife to a pet store.
This one should be obvious, but it simply can’t be overemphasized. If you do slip up and take your wife to the pet store, your only recourse is to be as uncommunicative possible and to act as grumpy as possible. The object is to get her angry so she’ll want to go home.

But the best policy is just to never take your wife there in the first place. Not only do pet stores sell ferret toys and ferret cages and ferret clothes and all kinds of other ferret accessories, but they also have . . . ferrets. Baby ferrets. Really cute ones. And this is about as big a danger to a husband’s checkbook as there is. I really do think it was seeing these baby ferrets at our local pet store that made Karen so “persuasive” about getting Rikki a playmate, Possum. At least, I was able to stretch it into a present to cover two gift-giving days. (To do this you need to emphasize both the initial cost AND the ongoing costs.)

Here’s a little trick I’ve learned. If you absolutely can’t avoid going to the pet store with your wife, take her to dinner first. That way she’ll be slightly hesitant about asking you to spend even more money for ferret supplies. Try it – it worked for me last time.

Rule 4 – Never make any promises about purchasing ferret accessories or ferret toys.
There’s a twofold reason for this rule. First wives never forget ANYTHING. Also, if you have a wife you WILL have arguments. And when you have those inevitable arguments, you’ll find out that the wife you’re arguing with has remembered – vividly in every agonizing detail – all the things you promised to do but didn’t – especially the ferret accessories you promised to buy and the ferret toys you promised to make. Count on it.

The simplest solution, of course, is never to make such promises. But that’s not always possible.

When you are deep into that novel you’ve been just dying to read and your wife begins talking about her pet ferrets and all the ferret goodies she wants to get, you really have only one option at that point. If you want to get back to that action-packed scene in your book and continue reading unmolested, the best way out is to promise to buy some of those ferret things she’s going on about. Just remember what you promised, and make sure to do what you promised before much time goes by.  

Rule 5 – Never, under any circumstance whatsoever, allow your wife to come anywhere near a camera.
Cameras and wives with cameras are in most instances good and necessary things. But that’s definitely not the case when ferrets are involved. Here’s why.

When you turn a wife with pet ferrets loose with a digital camera, you’ll never get any peace again. And that’s because she will be constantly taking ferret pictures and “asking” you to look at them. When I’m deep in thought on a project for work, just on the verge a problem whose solution has been eluding me for days, I often hear a call – well, a summons really – from the other room. “Michael. Michael! Come here! I want you to see something.” I don’t answer hoping it will blow over. But the summons comes again, a little louder this time. So I sigh, push away from my desk, and trudge into the other room. Then I sit down and look at about three hundred and seventy-three pictures . . . of ferrets playing and ferrets chasing and ferrets sleeping and ferrets eating and – well, you get the picture. As I said, no peace.

I don’t know about other wives, but my wife can’t keep track of any of her belongings. So when Karen’s pet ferrets are doing something very cute and she begins frantically searching for her camera, I suddenly lose my memory too. She often says, “Oh, Michael, look at Rikki and Possum. Isn’t that cute! I wish I had my camera. Have you seen my camera?” And of course my response is: “Nooo. I have no idea where it is.”

Of course, my delineation of these rules has been done (mostly) tongue in cheek. But there’s no doubt about: any way you cut it, pet ferrets make for an “interesting” household.

 Be sure and check out Karen’s book on all aspects of owning pet ferrets – everything from adopting a ferret to ferret toys to ferret health to ferret nutrition. Kindle users can go here, Nook users here, and you can get a PDF here.