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 Top 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.