Saturday, November 1, 2014

There are so many things I *could* say ...

... and I might.  Later.  Right now, though, I just want to say that Anya is the sweetest, sweetest little girl.  It doesn't matter how little time I have to spend with them, she is just happy for what she gets.  Food, water, toys, a warm room, and kind touches - even if they are sometimes sparse - and she still transforms into this amazingly even tempered, foofy, silky girl.

I am lucky.  I am so very lucky.  Thank everything I followed my gut and took her home.

(and here's to a weekend devoted to ferret laundry, room cleaning and the like ;D).

Monday, April 21, 2014

the times, they are a'changin

Last night, a coworker approached me.  She was oddly tentative, and I immediately knew something was up.   When she drew even, she glanced at me from under her lashes and said, "you have ferrets, right?  You said something about how you renovated your basement for them to run in?"

I thought, I mentioned that a long, long time ago.  I said, "yeah, yeah, I do.  What's going on?"

"I have this friend," my coworker said, "she has this ferret I'm worried about."

Ah, I thought.  "So, you want ... advice, to help your friend?"

"I wanted to come to you first," she said instead, "before I brought you up to her, maybe to rehome her ferret?  He's super sweet, but his cage is so dirty you can't see the bedding for all the poop!  I told her that's how animals die!"

I told her that I'd take him (him?  her?  I don't rightly know) if that's what her friend wants.  Or, I could help with advice, since she also claimed that her friend had the ferret just kind of dumped on her (but, still, you can't figure to clean poop out of a cage?  That's a no brainer.  And you can't use the internet to research?  How do people function?). 

I ultimately said yes, but I also said that I WOULD NOT be paying for this ferret (in the sense of a rehoming or "adoption" fee).  So, I suppose my coworker will be talking to her friend, and seeing if she'll be willing to give him (her?) up.

And I've got to get things ready for a potential new ferret.  I'm not sure how I feel about very hypothetically expanding my business.  I mean, yes, I want ferrets, but taking them in after others have had them?  Generally ends disastrously for me (i.e. Hiko) or at the very least ends up in a LOT of money spent (i.e. Hiko AND Anya).

But who am I kidding.  Owning them from kithood ends disastrously for me (Yew, Neera and Rula).  Drawing even, really.

I feel like I'm going to slowly turn into a rescue-only ferrent from here.  I think as long as I'm prepared for that kind of care-taking and its consequences, then that's not a bad thing at all.

Oh, well,  we'll see how things go.  I'd be interested in seeing his overall state, though.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

this is what they do all day. so serious.

I am in that state of constantly reminding myself, "I still have three, I still have three."  They need me, they do.  I think I need them more, though, and in a very specific way it's almost unfair to put that need on them.

I try hard to be a good ferrent.  I fail a lot.  I get so caught up in the day to day things, that the ferrets often take a backseat to everything else.  Work.  My nieces.  The other animals (having three juvenile American pits is a tough task, and one I didn't necessarily want, but have accepted and embraced).

But I still have Yogi, Sian and Anya, and they deserve the best life I can give them, not just the remnants of what's left over when I can spare to give it.  Ferrets are my passion, and they did not choose me, I chose them.  I will always choose them.

Over the weekend, I used some of my tax return to splurge, and I got Sian+Yogi and Anya some toys.  Anya LOVED them, and she lost her mind (though she hasn't even gotten all of them, yet, haha).  Sian and Yogi were not as excited about them, as about the act of strange new things being placed into their room.  I think I could have saved quite a bit by just buying Anya toys galore and letting Sian and Yogi play with the boxes and wrapping.  Better believe eyes are rolling over here.

For picture evidence, this is what their room looked like before:

This is what it looks like, now, with the added toys:

They have a ball pit, a tunnel activity set, a hidey hole alligator and count them THREE ferret trees (plus the big bed over to the right and the smaller round one are new too). 

With all that, this is what they choose to do (besides being in the cage, which in the above you can see them leaving since I'm there taking pictures):

Sorry it's blurry, my new camera is crap at taking pictures, really.  But yes, sit there.  Ignoring everything.  W. T. F.

Oh, ferrets.  They don't make a lick of sense.

(and they'd have more room for the toys, if half the room didn't need to be piddle-padded.  the sad thing is, they STILL don't use them all the time.  ugh.)

Monday, April 14, 2014


I have to do it again.  April 10th I found Rula dead.

It happened much like with Neera, except the night before I noticed Rula didn't immediately snatch up a mouse to run off with.  At the time, I didn't think much of it, because I had overfed her the night before.

But, after picking up my nieces from school, I  came home and wanted to see if she had eaten.  So I go in her room, start walking to the cage, and I can see the mice in the same exact place I had put them.  Honestly, I knew right then. I just knew.  It was only a matter of finding the body.

I looked, and couldn't feel or see a body.  Then I looked at the sleepsack.  The infamous sleepsack.  The one Neera had died in last year, and that Rula never used, only - after I take it to wash - ever stuffs teddy bears into and sleeps ON top of. 

It had a lump in it, but all the usual stuffies that resided inside it were scattered around the cage.  I picked it up and looked inside, and there she was, cool, looking asleep with her tail curled over her face.  Just like her sister.

Same place, same way, and with no physical symptoms.  I think, truly, she was terribly depressed over both Neera's loss and my inability to spend as much time with her as she needed. Her final act was to get as close to her sister as she could, as she only ever wanted to do.

I don't know for sure if keeping her as a singlet was a mistake, but it most likely was.  Expanding the business was the only thing that saved Pixie, and let her live for years after Yew's death.  Maybe if I'd done the same for Rula, who loved Neera so deeply, I could have had her around for more than almost 3 years.  But I didn't, and all I know now is that she's joined Yew, Pixie, Hiko and Neera.

I love you, little one, and I just want you to be happy and with your sister again.  You waited long enough to rid yourself of that heartache.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

(2011 - 2014)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIP Hiko

It seems that lately all I do on this blog is write memorials.  Maybe that's why I haven't been updating. 

Back in September, I had to help Hiko cross the bridge.  I usually work closing shifts, so I get home late.  Usually someone is waiting up for me, and god, how I wish that were the case that night, because someone would have heard, could have been with him from the beginning.  But anyway, everyone was sleeping when I got in.

I walk in the door, and after the puppies calm down from seeing me, I notice Keiko acting strangely.  Next thing I know, I hear screaming.  I start racing down the stairs to the ferret rooms, and Keiko bypasses me, charges at the door and busts it open, and the noise just gets louder, and I know, without ueven having to see, that it's Hiko.  Keiko, confronted with the noise head on, tears back u the steps and away.

I look into the big guys' room, and Yogi and Sian are standing guard while Hiko screams and seizes, so I run back up the steps, grab the corn syrup and jars of turkey baby food, and head back down.

I get the corn syrup on Hiko's gums and in a few, he relaxes, though he's disoriented - can't stand or walk and he bites at me, but not at the other ferrets.  I get him some baby food and he eats, while his rear tries to climb over his head, so I hold him steady.

It goes on and on, these seizures.  I can't get them to stop.  So I contact our dog/cat vet at around 1 am, since I know there's always someone there.

I tell her what's going on and what I need, and she wants me to wait til the morning, because it's more expensive to do an emergency euthanasia.  Like I care about that.  But then Hiko goes into another fit, and she gets to hear it.  And I say, "I can't wait anymore.  I don't want him dying like this, I have no way of helping him."

So I head down.  She doesn't want me to be with him, because they don't have the set up for small animals in cases like this, and I look at her, and tell like hell will I not be there with him.  I will not abandon my guy because you don't think I can take seeing him jabbed in the heart.  What I can't bear is even entertaining the fact that he, whether or not he's conscious of what's going on around him, might have to face having that done to him, in his already agonizing last moments, all by himself.

He knows me - I've loved him unconditionally for the three years I've known him.  I'm the one that taught him that it was okay to  trust again, to relax, to be silly, to be snarky.  To be a ferret again, when every other human he had experience with betrayed him.

And it was rough, I won't lie.  I watched as she tried over and over again to locate the heart.  Watched as the syringe filled with blood, and she kept saying I'm sorry, I'm sorry, they're just so small ... and I told her it was okay, at that point Hiko wasn't feeling much, already slipping away.  I just stroked his front paws, and kissed him.  Told him how loved he was, told him thank you, and that he could rest now.

He did, he did, and then I drove home, tried not to hear the screams that had been ringing in my ears for what seemed like days, tried not to feel as helpless as I really was.  Tried not to feel alone along the deserted streets, and the sleeping house that I knew awaited me.  Tried not to think of my ferrets as dominoes that kept falling down, one by one.

The others, all of them, even Anya who never met him face to face, got to say goodbye.  Yogi did not treat him like he had Pixie - where he couldn't acknowledge her body, because it'd be real.  He laid with him, cleaned, burrowed his head into Hiko's chest.  It seemed to me that he was trying to find what was missing, that sturdy thump that let everyone know that Hiko was there, that in any second that unique personality would burst forth.  He stayed, gave Hiko the honor that Hiko, to my surprise, had bestowed on Pixie when she passed, that Yogi was too grief stricken to do for her.

He stayed.

And it was fitting, a comfort, to my lovely little boy.  So troubled when he came, and who blossomed into such a character in our care.

I am so glad I found you, Hiko.  You deserved a happy life, and though it was too short, I'm glad you got to experience real ferrethood before you left us.

Be happy, sweet boy, my first rescue.  I wouldn't trade these past three years for anything.

I love you, Mister Hiko.  Always will.

November 2010 - September 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

pointless, maybe, but definitely entertaining.

Yesterday, it was Hiko's turn to be off.  I guess they like to keep me on my feet, or something (PROTIP, babies,  YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THAT.  I'LL LOVE YOU ANYWAY).  But, he was splayed out on the ground, and honestly for a moment I thought he was dead. 

Luckily, nope, not the case.  His ataxia is getting worse, though, and from playing and fighting over food, they had messed the sheet up, so it was bunched and there was a lot of flexi tile showing.  Now, the flexi tile isn't what I'd call slippery, but for a fella who sometimes can't even stand without going arse over head, it's probably very tricky.

So I got him up, fed him some baby food (and while he was eating, there he went, rear end trying to climb right over his head) and helped support him while he ate, and then got him on the carpeted hallway so I could clean the room and straighten out the sheet again.

The thing with Hiko is, I've had him tested for every disease I could think of, and insulinoma was one that was tested for REPEATEDLY, because ever since I've gotten him (waaaaaaaay back in 2010, hahaha) he's had these wonky episodes, where his motor control just goes phhhhhhhhbt.  So far, he doesn't show anything but adrenal disease, and that at a very early stage.  So, I'm thinking that maybe this is purely neurological, or the result of physical trauma (I know he was initially rescued by a NC chinchilla rescue, housed with other ferrets that did not like him; was adopted by a couple where: he escaped the bathroom where he was housed and got into house venting; he was attacked by a dog, and "given" to a two year old as a pet, and the two year old, of course, did not handle him properly, which was the reason he was being rehomed when I got him) that's just amping up now that he's getting older.

As it's gotten worse, I've had the inevitable thoughts.  Thoughts about helping him cross the bridge, because I am stumped.  I've done the testing, and now I can't afford to continue it, if there's something there (cancer, etc) to find (and with ferrets that's a hard thing, getting a concrete diagnosis, believe you me).  So, yes, I've thought about it, and I realized that if he lives most of his days with a dull, distant look to him that the kindest thing will be to schedule that final appointment, and I will.  I was almost convinced last night, but (as they so far do) the moment passed, and he was busy tootling around (not at all gracefully, but happily) before he curled up to sleep.  That gave me enough incentive to stop crying, suck it up, and realize he DOESN'T want to go, yet.

So, I do what I can: feed him every couple of hours (in case it IS insulinoma and we can't see the tumors OR register it on the glucose meter), make damn sure he has textured flooring, keep his nails trimmed religiously, and keep an eye out for episodes.  Next time, when it happens, I think I will actually vid it, so I have physical proof of it, AND I won't have to rely on my memory to describe the incident, either.

So, that's Hiko news.

In OTHER news, Yogi attacked Hiko yesterday.  Yep, yesterday, when he was all wobbly.  I should have realized that feeding Hiko baby food in their room, while Yogi and Sian are out in the hallway, is not a good idea.  Yogi loves baby food as much as Hiko.  He would not leave Hiko alone (especially as Hiko, because of the aforementioned wobbliness, had stepped in the food as well):

See that?  When Yogi starts following Hiko around like that, and smelling his neck?  Not Good things are about to happen.  It's not really about maliciousness, more about Yogi getting frustrated and taking it out on the lowest on the totem pole.  I kept calling him off, but I turned around for a second to reach for something, and next thing you know Yogi was roughing Hiko up.  Got them separated, got Hiko calmed down, and took him with me to get more baby food so they could share a jar.  It worked, and then after that Yogi calmed down and they were friends again.  It wasn't like I wasn't going to give Yogi some, I was just going to wait until the room was done and they were back up to give it.  Apparently, that is not good enough. 
Lesson learned.
Also, in utterly adorable news, I gots me some lap time with all three.  Not as a group, but Hiko got in my lap and laid down for a bit (which is not unusual, he does love doing that).  Then he left to curl up in some empty trash bags they had scattered around the floor (don't knock it 'til you try it, apparently).  Then Yogi actually crawls into my lap, and curls up after some cute face cleaning.  I mean, seriously, they look like little beavers or something when they drag their paws down their face and all.  IT IS TOO CUTE, MY HEART CAN'T TAKE THAT KIND OF ABUSE. 
So, he's curled up, and I'm just about dying, because it's been a long time since he's done that.  
Meanwhile, Sian is running around like >:| >:| >:| because she can't believe she's not in my lap, even though she didn't want to be in my lap.  I think she believes she should have free access to cuddling, therefore NO ONE ELSE should take "her" space, just in the off chance she wants it.  As a result, she starts digging at my back and nipping me.  All that tantruming stuff she still has not grown out of.  Eventually, she curls up on top of Yogi (who slings his front leg over her, OMG BAYBEES, HOW SO ADORBS?) and naps, too.

Ugh, cuddle time FTW!  \o/  I've definitely missed it.  All three of them actually even cuddled together (before the laptime) braced against my leg.  That's right - Yogi, Sian and Hiko actually group snuggled.  WHAT.

In food news, they had mice the night before last:

Hiko heartily approved :)  Today, they had eggs and crushed eggshell (that pic is actually the header now, obvs), and will finish the night with pork heart.  YUMMERS :)

(you know, if there are people actually reading this, I am impressed.  This blog is not known for its coherence, or, you know, its relevance to anybody but me.  What it is known for is random badly taken pictures, CAPS, commas, parentheses, and poorly described stories.  So, yeah.  Here are my apologies.  Your eyes will stop bleeding in 6-12 hours after reading, ahahahaha. :/ )

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

in the ongoing (non)saga ...

I'd like to say I've been dedicated in trying to get Anya on to a raw diet.  And I could say that, but I'd be lying.  The biggest obstacle is being able to get her to taste anything.  There's no way I can get her semi-restrained - she becomes terrified, and I am not willing to traumatize her in the name of switching.  Trying the fasting method doesn't work, because even with a small wait (less than four hours) of having her food up and the raw soup down, she'll go into starvation, so when her kibble is given back, she won't even eat that.  She just drinks water and sleeps and gets hellaciously skinny.  Rubbing food on her nose or paw just results in her sliding across the floor (that's never worked on any of my guys.  They're not stupid, and they don't think the only way to get it off is to lick it off.  They prefer rubbing it all over me then scampering off).  So, by the end of the experimentation on different ways to begin a switch, Anya was smug (if underweight) and I had just given up, made my peace with feeding Epigen 90 (for a kibble, it's the best one you're gonna get), and moved on.

I will say, though, that yesterday, I splurged.  I decided to pay a ridiculous amount of money (see? Ridiculous) for a small bag of Wysong Archetypal-1.  It's freeze dried raw, and may be a way to get her on kinda-raw (at least a little) when it's mixed with her kibble.  I've heard it's ferret-crack, and they typically love it, so thought I'd give it a shot :)  It shouldn't cause an issue re: digestion, because it's dehydrated, and so will take longer to pass through (just like kibble).  We'll see how that goes.

Well, yep.  That's the news :)