It’s official – we have our very own pandemic pet: our new ferret named Blaze.
How did we end up getting a ferret?
Well, it’s a good story.
Lots of Ferret Research
It all started with Chromebooks. Our kids were excited to bring home Chromebooks from school when Safer at Home started in Wisconsin. That very first weekend, they did extensive research on ferrets, collaborating on a Google slides presentation.
Here’s one of their slides:
Previously, both kids had brought home books about ferrets. My daughter even has a friend who has two ferrets at home. She loved playing with them when she was over there.
They pretended to be ferrets. They learned how to draw ferrets.
More ferret research continued during virtual learning. They each found books online about ferrets.
Ferrets are not Rodents!
They are part of the mustelid family that includes badgers, weasels, otters, and minks.
“Did you know that ferrets are the third most popular pet in the United States?” my son told me.
Both kids wrote a report about why we should get a ferret. They printed their reports and presentation, stapled them together, and presented them to me and Daddy O. in a green folder. My daughter chose green to help us say “yes.”
I guess they are also learning the art of persuasion.
How a Ferret Won Out
After constant badgering about getting a ferret, Daddy O. and I started to seriously consider it. We knew a few things were true:
- Our 15 year old Sumo Kitty was not a fun pet for our kids.
- Our kids have always loved animals.
- We want a pet that will actually play with our kids.
- We have plenty of time at home right now.
I texted our friend with ferrets, asking more questions about what’s involved in taking care of them. They are very social animals that need attention, so we wanted to make sure our kids were up to the task.
I called our vet and asked how we could introduce our old kitty to a ferret. They recommended keeping them separate for about a month. Another local vet clinic also offers boarding services for ferrets, so we would still be able to go out of town and make sure it would be okay.
I called two local pet stores that indeed had ferrets in stock. The kids hoped to rescue a ferret, but we could not find any available.
With our kids being eight and ten years old, we decided that a ferret would be a good companion that lives about 6 to 10 years.
I saw Blaze on a trip to the pet store when she was asleep. She was the runt of the litter – the last one remaining. Pet store employees assured me that she was sweet.
Daddy O. and I agreed that the kids should come along and see her out of her cage before we decided to buy her. On a Friday afternoon, I brought the kids to the store. An employee opened her cage and brought her out.
She was so little and happy as we all took turns holding her.
Our mind was made up then and there. She would be our baby ferret!
The kids excitedly helped me pick out a cage, carrier, litter box, hammock, and toys. They looked at each other with wide eyes, thinking, “What?! Mom is really letting this happen.”
I felt like such a hero!
Ferret’s First Time at Home
While I assembled the cage, the kids played with Blaze in her dedicated room (also the kid’s playroom) in our basement. They are in love!
Here she is at the end of playtime, ready to rest in her hammock.
She really can squeeze herself into tiny spaces. Here she is peeking out from under her cage.
Another view of her. She loves playing with cat toys that have long been abandoned by our old kitty.
First Week at Home
At eleven weeks old, Blaze needed a check-up and another round of vaccines. The kids and I took her to a local vet and dropped her off curbside. She passed her exam with flying colors. Even the vet tech said she was sweet. We got a few more tips on ferret care too.
The next day, we gave Blaze her first bath. We decided to use a plastic storage bin as her tub. It worked okay. She didn’t love it…
The kids have settled into a routine of caring for Blaze. Before eating breakfast, they head to the basement to clean our her litter boxes and feed her. She sleeps quite a bit but still has time to run around outside of her cage multiple times a day.
I think she’s getting bigger too.
She is getting better at climbing around her cage. She’s on top of her cube here.
Many action shots are a bit blurry because she moves around so quickly. Here’s one that is sort of okay.
I’m happy to report that all is well with our new furry ferret friend!