Ferret Wrangling.

The ferret boys had quite the romp today. Generally when I clean their bedding, I let them run loose through the house, but because I hadn’t ferret-proofed the living room before hand today, I attempted the impossible: cleaning their cage while simultaneously trying to keep them from escaping. Believe me, I would have had better luck convincing Sarah Palin that Global Warming really was influenced by humanity.

I mistakenly thought I would have a chance at it for the sole purpose that only one of them, Nate, was awake. As soon as I opened the bottom door to get at their bedding, Nate came to investigate and very discreetly (or so he thought) tried to slip past my hand. I shoved him back. He tried again. I shoved him back. This went on for a few minutes as I scooped out the dirty bedding and dumped it into the trash. A few times the only reason he stayed in was because I somehow maneuvered my leg so that I could push him back with my foot, bracing myself with one hand, and scooping with the other. It was very much like trying to play a game of twister with a ferret, a trash bag, and some very stinky Carefresh.

Everything was going according to plan until I realized that I hadn’t brought the new bag of Carefresh close enough for easy reach. Here was my mistake. Instead of shutting the cage door like a thinking individual would do, I decided to just reach for it while still holding Nate back with one foot. Nate, of course, saw his opportunity, and while I was half-sprawled across the carpet trying to grab the corner of the Carefresh bag, he jumped my foot in one smooth, graceful leap, and was gone in a furry little flash. I jumped up and tried to head him off before he could destroy the living room but he ducked into the kitchen and made a head-long slide under the refrigerator. While I lay on the tiled floor and tried to coax him out, I heard the unmistakable sound of a cat being terrorized by a ferret (it’s a very distinct sound, half-hiss, half-growl, ending with a high-pitched meow). Popping my head up over the kitchen counter, I saw that Drake, our other ferret, had woken up, seen a clear and undefended escape route and taken it, making a bee-line for Merlin, our youngest cat, sleeping on a pillow on the floor.

To cut this already too-long story short, I finally managed to get Nate out from under the fridge with a ferret treat, saved Merlin from Drake’s play-tackles, got them both back in their four story ferret apartment, and got the bedding cleaned and replaced.

Ferret wrangling should be a paid gig. I’d be a gold-star professional.

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