Luna’s Great Adventure!

Luna and Garret are recent arrivals to the shelter. You may recognize Garret’s name.  He is the young fellow who was surrendered because of aggression. Turns out he was an incomplete neuter.  Once the testicle was removed Garret’s aggression disappeared and he was returned to his family.  Unfortunately, the family decided to re-surrender both Garret and his cage mate Luna as they no longer had time for them with the new baby.

Luna and Garret are very high energy.  With mostly older ferrets in the shelter, it is quite a change to have such energize bunnies running around. Love it most days!!!

Luna and Garret were out for playtime.  About an hour into their play time, I heard the loud tinkle of a wind chime. I love wind chimes and I have several hung up along the walls of the shelter room.  When the window is open, the breeze creates a lovely melody.

My prized wind chime was a gift from my husband. It is a large outdoor wind chime from Schrimer’s. Cost him a small fortune many years ago and it is so beautiful I don’t want it ruined by actually putting it outdoors. So, it hangs right in front of the shelter window and I smile each time I see it.

So, back to Luna and her adventure! I hear the tinkle of my wind chime.  Each wind chime has their own unique sound. I recognized the tinkle as my prized outdoor wind chime. Hmmm, the window is closed and so I should NOT be hearing the tinkle.

I dash in to the shelter room and there is Luna. She is swinging on the wind chime.  She has climbed up the Ferret Nation cage and from there onto the wind chime. She looked back at me when I hollered her name! The look was a typical teenager “whatever”.

As I approached her to take her down, she realized that maybe she was in trouble and should make her get-a-way!  From the wind chime through the blind and hung up on the screen!  I ALWAYS keep my window closed when ferrets are out playing. I never want to experience the tragedy of a ferret falling to its death because the screen gave way. Thank god I had that rule in place.

So many funny things happen in the shelter and I almost never get to document it on my cell or camera. This time I just happen to have my camera on the coffee table and grabbed it as I ran to the shelter. I was able to get some good pictures before I put the camera down and rescued Luna.  Her thanks was a ticked off weasel war dance and an attempt to scale the Ferret Nation cage for another go at the wind chime!

Luna and Garret are up for adoption to an experienced ferret owner. These two are a real handful! Wonderful, but definitely a handful!

Enjoy the pictures of her Great Adventure. PS – she has claimed the wind chime as her personal diva spot and I am constantly taking her down now!  Should I remove the wind chime – NO, some times you have to say “It’s my house damn it and I get to have something for me”.

Luna swinging on my outdoor wind chime in front of the window in the shelter room

Luna swinging on my outdoor wind chime in front of the window in the shelter room

 

Luna in her best Diva pose on the wind chime

Luna in her best Diva pose on the wind chime

Luna thinking of getting down-nope!

Luna thinking of getting down-nope!

Luna back to sitting pretty and giving me the LOOK. She looks like a statue!

Luna back to sitting pretty and giving me the LOOK. She looks like a statue!

Luna deciding that Mommy is mad and maybe she should make a get-a-way

Luna deciding that Mommy is mad and maybe she should make a get-a-way

Luna realizing that she is stuck

Luna realizing that she is stuck

Help Mommy= I stuck

Help Mommy= I stuck

New Toy – Not!

I am the first to admit that I spoil my ferrets.  I am constantly fussing over the cage set up to make sure it is safe.  I have Adrienne’s beautiful soft split hammocks and lots of towels or blankies to snuggle in.

I am a fixture at the Dollarama, on the look out for new toys for the fuzzies to enjoy. Gosh, I even re-did the rec room floor; tearing out the old stinky carpet and putting in vinyl plank flooring.

I have toy boxes upstairs and downstairs filled with stuffies and jingle balls. What more could a ferret ask for?

I had Zippa and Zorrow out playing in my bedroom. Yes, it is a designated play area during the day.  I have tubes under the bed and dog beds for them to curl up in.  The ensuite bathroom is not a play area and I keep that door closed.

I went to put these two furries to bed and discovered bits of toilet paper at the end of my bed? What the heck? I see the bathroom door ajar. Crap (pun intended) I must not of closed the door properly and they pushed it open.

Just then Zorrow came bouncing out of the bathroom with the unwrapped roll of paper towel firmly clenched in his teeth.  He scooted under the bed before I could blink.

My only word was – oh, oh………………..

ferret toy - NOT!

ferret toy – NOT!

You guessed it, they had pried open the cabinet sink doors. All my supplies were strewn about. Zippa was trying real hard to get a grip on the roll of toilet paper that she had “dug” out of the package. When she saw me she bolted for the bed.  She knew this was NOT a designated ferret toy.

So, I now have a custom roll of toilet paper that I have to figure out how to still use!

Custom detailed roll of toilet paper a la ferret!

Custom detailed roll of toilet paper a la ferret!

I have one other comment.  I am very relieved that Zippa and Zorrow did not decide to stick their heads inside the toilet paper tube.  Years ago a ferret actually suffocated after getting stuck in one.  All my USED toilet paper tubes are automatically torn in half before being placed in the recycle bin.  Thank goodness Zippa hadn’t tried to go through the toilet tube tunnel!

Off to Wal Mart. Time to buy those baby locks for cabinets! I swear, ferret proofing is never over!

 

How to NOT step on your sleeping ferret

The MFA has a handout “Ferret Proofing” your home.   I wish we could also ferret proof our ferrets! Years ago after a “near Squish” scatter rugs were banned from my house and added to the list under Ferret Proofing.

Carpet runners have crept back into my house now that I have vinyl flooring through out. When the ferrets are out playing I will never step on a bunched up carpet runner.  I know that a silly ferret may be hiding under there.

I hang up wet towels after my bath and my clothes go into the hamper immediately.  I do not give the ferrets  the chance to curl up under these things. One moment of inattention and hurry could lead me to stepping on a sleeping ferret. I have a dozen safe sleeping nest boxes all over the house but we know that the ferret will choose the most dangerous place to sleep if they can. If only I could ferret proof the ferret!

One trick I have learnt over the years is to put a ferret blankie down were a ferret insist on pooping and I don’t want him to; such as behind the bedroom door or even in front of the bedroom door when the Plexiglas partition is in place.

I left Rosie and Finnigan out in the ferret room to play as an overnight treat. These two old ladies do tend to go potty where ever they want, not even in corners!  I put a blankie across the front of the shelter room door hoping to discourage a mess at the door.

This morning it was time to put the old girls back in their cage and let another cage out to play.  I lifted the Plexiglas divider and looked down at the flat blankie.  I gently patted the blankie and sure enough even though it looked flat there was a small warm ripple (couldn’t even really call it a bump because it was so small).

"Flat" blankie in doorway

“Flat” blankie in doorway

A tiny little face poked out of the folds!

Finnegan poking her head out from the blankie on the floor

Finnegan poking her head out from the blankie on the floor

Finnegan is half a pound soaking wet, maybe! She is so tiny.  My miniature Eskimo Miki had wanted to dash past me into the ferret room to “clean” any crumbs up.  Miki weighs 30 pounds; she would have caused a fatal squish had I let her bolt past me into the ferret room.  The reason Miki is so overweight is because of all the ferret food she steals. She is very good at it!

Miki cleaning up ferret "crumbs"

Miki cleaning up ferret “crumbs”

I peeled back the blankie and my sweet Finni was not much interested in leaving her current sleeping spot. Finnegan is the same little girl that hid in my grandson’s boot and had me on a worried hunt for over 30 minutes!

Finni and Rosie were put back to bed in their cage. A kiss on the nose, now safe and snug as a bug in the rug! LOL

Finnegan uncovered and not wanting to move from her blankie in the doorway!

Finnegan uncovered and not wanting to move from her blankie in the doorway!

If you have anything on the floor and you know your ferrets are out; enforce the rule “Never step on anything  a ferret can sleep under or in!

New Hiding Spot

I had my three old ladies out playing on Sunday morning.  I was changing some litter boxes in the shelter room and these scrawny ferts can fill a litter box quicker than any other cage so I was doing their cage!  Mariko, Finni and Rosie will tootle about for about 45 minutes before finding a nest box to crash in. It had been an hour and I knew it was time for them to go back to bed.

Rosie - you can't see me!

Rosie – you can’t see me!

Finni- I smell something!

Finni- I smell something!

Mariko-This is my best smile!

Mariko-This is my best smile!

My  nine year old grandson, Holden arrived early for his bi-weekly Sunday visit with me. I normally have all the ferrets back to bed before he arrives. This is not a safety issue from me but from the “powers that be”.  Of all the ferrets in the house, these three, if given the chance might “gum” you to death! I follow the rules and the ferrets are locked up.

I needed to put the girls to bed because it was time for their duck soup and because my grandson is not used to watching where he walks (has not learnt the ferret shuffle). Of course also for the above stated reason.

Rosie and Mariko were curled up in the nest box behind the TV and I put them back in their cage. I couldn’t find Finni!  I knew that she hadn’t gotten out when Holden came in the front door, but, where the heck had she gotten to? Holden was told to play in his bedroom with the door closed while I looked.  I checked all the usual sleepy spots without any luck.  Then, I went by the front door to check the bed in the closet.  Holden’s boots lay where he had taken them off – in the way – right in front of the front door!  I bent down to move the boots to the boot rack and I little face peeked out. I ran for the camera but by the time I came back, she was almost out of the boot.

I called Holden to come see.  We both laughed and I grabbed the opportunity as a “teaching moment” . Now Holden understands even more why the furries have to be back in their cages because they can choose the silliest places to sleep and might get hurt!

Finni in Holden's boot

Finni in Holden’s boot

Finni woken up from sleeping in Holden's boot

Finni woken up from sleeping in Holden’s boot

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CHECKED THE TOYS?

A huge thank you to Dan and Melissa for allowing me to share their heartbreak loss of Sara.

Sara passed away at home from what we feel was  an undiagnosed blockage. You see sometimes when a ferret eats something they shouldn’t it causes a partial blockage. The ferret is still eating “sort of” and pooping but not a normal poop, kind of stringy.  When they have the start and stop eating and pooping you can be thrown off thinking it is a flu or tummy upset and not a blockage.

Could we have saved Sara? She was seven years old and getting frail. Would she have survived surgery?  This blog is not about the blockage. It is about checking your ferret’s toys on a WEEKLY basis.

The chewed tennis ball was found the night Sara passed.  Now this tennis ball had been part of her toys for the last six years and she had never chewed on it.  What made her decide to chew on it this time? We will never know. It wasn’t chewed like the picture below, but enough of the fuzz was pulled away from the tennis ball that Dan & Melissa realized that she had been chewing on it.

even the fuzz off the tennis ball can cause a blockage

even the fuzz off the tennis ball can cause a blockage

I know I am on my soap box but if my nagging can help just one family put this safety protocol in place, then Sara has not died in vain.

You see, I have seen this in the shelter over and over.  A stuffy that everyone loves and is carried around but never chewed until it is. A blankie that is dragged into the nest box behind the TV suddenly has chew holes in it!

I have had the stomach churning panic of discovering a chewed stuffie, blanket, even a broken jingle ball without the ball!!!  Years ago after having to hairball 20 ferrets because I did not know which ferret had chewed the stuffie.  All the toys were checked and  any toy that might cause a blockage was thrown out. Out went all the tennis balls. Out went all the stuffies with foam inside. My ferrets were not happy but I had peace of mind.

I have a dedicated play room now  for the fuzzies and after each play time I check the toys and floor for any bits of material. I admit to being paranoid about blockages and yet I still get the occasional scare when I find that blanket with a chew hole in it! grrrrrr

Every Saturday, I throw all the washable toys in the washing machine. I check each item closely and if I see any signs of seams wearing or signs of chewing; the toy is discarded.  The toys are washed with soap and  vinegar so that they are clean and sterilized!  The same goes for all those blankies in all those extra nest boxes all over the house.

The message here is don’t assume that the safe toys will always be safe. Check them weekly for any signs of chewing and of course the toys have to be washed at least every month or every second week.