One + One + Three! A Story of Ferret Math
Story written by Sarah Charlton, November 2018
I have always had an interest in the quirky out of the ordinary pets, so seeing an ad for two ferrets looking for a new home stood right out. These two little sweeties named sugar and bailey turned my life upside down (in a good way) I thought I had my work cut out from day one and that was just the beginning!
Sugar hence the name was a sweet heart loved everyone and gave the best cuddles her best mate bailey however took some warming to shall I say. Bailey tested and pushed buttons being a first time ferret owner and having a hissy chomper of a ferret was daunting and at times I did think "what have I let myself in for and why did I do it?". The satisfaction you get when that trust and bond is built and your very scary fuzzy becomes a total sweetheart who you trust completely is amazing. Sugar and bailey started a whole new level of ferret maths!
I had sugar and bailey almost a year when I unexpectedly gained an addition making my duo a trio. I really do think biscuit chose to come find me as no way was I expecting to walk to the car one evening and have a ferret run up to me and start trying to climb up my leg! This chunky little fellow, Biscuit, had a brief stay with us before being reunited with his owner. A few weeks later I received a call asking if I would like to offer Biscuit a more permanent home as his owner was going to work away and felt he couldn’t give him the time he deserved. I had gotten rather attached to the troublesome chap while he was staying with me so I said that I would try him with sugar and bailey, let them decide. They got on fab straight away so that settled it, I now had three ferrets.
I came across North East Ferret Rescue (NEFR) on a Facebook page after needing a bit of advice on settling Biscuit in properly. I spoke to quite a few people who gave me great advice and added me to their page. It wasn’t long before I decided that I wasn’t keen on uneven numbers and thought it would be a great idea to give a rescue their second chance in life! After arriving at Gillian’s with my trio they picked themselves a friend and spice (then Abigail) returned home with us.
A few weeks later I saw a post on the NEFR Facebook page for the cutest poley hob needing a home and yes, you guessed it, love at first sight and along came Chookie!
It was at this point I decided that more space was needed and I made the decision to upgrade from a ferret hutch to a rather large ferret towers shed. I really believe this is the reason I ended up with so many lunatics, after all “one more ferret won't hurt as we have all this space“.
I had no intentions of bringing any more fuzzies home but when returning Spice to the rescue for spaying I spotted Sandy. She was being spayed the same day and I couldn't resist. While trying sandy with tribe I spotted the most handsome little albino hob named Dynamite who had snuggled up with my lot in the corner and fell asleep. Yep both Dynamite and sandy came home with us!
A while later tragedy struck! Unfortunately we lost Sugar to lymphoma and Bailey who was now the grand old age of nine passed away. Within months we had lost two of our beautiful group and I was devastated to say the least but I am so grateful for the time I got with them and will always cherish the memories, after all it was these two very special fuzzies that turned me into the crazy ferret lady. D.I.P Sugar and Bailey.
A year later I lost Dynamite unexpectedly which was very hard as it was so sudden. We don't know exactly how old Dynamite was as he was found straying in a TNT warehouse. He was very scared and in a bad way. Although I didn’t get as long as I would have hoped for with him, I am so proud that I helped change his life for the better. He grew to be the most cuddly and bouncy ferret and had his own little game of jumping off the hutch into my arms (which is great when you you're playing along but not so much when you're busy, don’t realise he’s launching himself off the hutch and you’re not expecting it) D.I.P Dynamite my gorgeous little man.
Some months after we lost Dynamite a friend came to me to tell me he had found a ferret he thought was mine. I only had to glance at the sheer size of him to know that this cat size ferret was most definitely not one of mine! I had a spare cage so I took this rather large chap in and got him scanned for a microchip at the vets. Unfortunately he wasn't micro-chipped so we left posters dotted around the area. No one came forward for him so I very appropriately named him boss and he joined the gang.
Skipping forward to my first Alnwick camping event (which was fab by the way) I was introduced to Michelle who as-well as her fuzzies had brought along some unwanted kits that had been handed in. After a full weekend of trying to fight, it I fell for my little cow bag of a piranha and came home with Millie my first ever kit and believe me I was in for a shock. Kits are a whole new level of ferret owning!
Millie was tiny so I had to keep her separated from the group until she was a little bigger and was able to stick up for herself with the older ferrets. I felt awful seeing her alone so after hearing of more unwanted kits I collected a teeny tiny Alfie (which is hard to believe as he’s now huge) and they became best friends overnight.
I was soon able to merge them into my group and had my final (or so I thought!) total of seven very mischievous little monsters.
When NEFR closed its doors to become a Trust, Michelle and a few others decided to open their own rescue Little Paws Ferret Rescue. I had some excess food and dropped some off with Michelle to help feed some of her growing number of ferrets. Michelle showed me round and introduced me to some of the inmates (bad idea). Now you all know where this is going and obviously it’s all Michelle’s fault! Cole instantly caught my eye if you see him you’ll understand why! He did have some trust issues to start with and we didn’t think he would be able to live with other ferrets.
I also met Archie and again fell in love but he was reserved. Unfortunately (for them) it fell through and we were overjoyed to have him as he is the loveliest, most cuddly little cutie you could ever wish for.
The Rescue was full to bursting and I still had my eye on Cole so Michelle thought why not try them together? Everyone loves Archie and Archie loves everyone so surely we might have a chance of changing Cole’s mind and finding him a friend. She was right it worked perfectly and I took them both home. Although they currently live separate to my group of seven I am slowly trying to merge them together for playtimes.
I attended my second annual camping event, although we couldn’t stay overnight. Michelle had yet again brought more unwanted kits to tempt me. There were five kits in all that she was unable to leave behind for the weekend and after pinching some obligatory cuddles a feisty little sweetheart named Willow gave me those “take me home” eyes and she came to live with Cole and Archie.
I now have ten ferrets. One big group of seven and a group of three. There is no more room at the inn and Willow will be my last and final addition to the mad house.
The saying is true, whoever thought diamonds were a girl’s best friend clearly never owned ferrets!
Sadly, since this was written Sarah lost Cole suddenly in his sleep. We would like to say a final goodnight to a real superstar and a beautiful soul x