Dear Ferret Rights Society, I Apologize In Advance. Sincerely, Red

Not to come off like the girliest girly girl living on Princess Planet, but I hate every member of the rodent family. That means mice, gerbils, hamsters, and all the other species in the animal kingdom that fall into some variation of that category. You can argue that the little fuzzies that you keep as pets aren’t rodents, but if it’s tiny and hairy and should be living in nature or animated and singing about Cinderelly, I want no part of it.

When a friend’s hamster died and the huddled masses gathered to bow their heads and mourn the loss, I was not asked to deliver the eulogy. Possibly because it would have started with, “I never understood why the hell you guys even bought that little wheel-running woodchip-gnawing ball of disgustingness in the first place.”

Ahem. May she rest in peace.

A few months ago, one of the kids at school did a good job on something and earned the honor and glory of feeding the classroom gerbil. (Interestingly, the exact opposite technique could’ve been employed to get me to behave back when I was in school: “Do your homework, Red, or else you’ll have to hold the wiggly ball of terror for five whole minutes.”) Anyway, the teacher was preoccupied with something and I happened to be in the room, so she asked if I’d take the gerbil out of the cage and hold it while the kid fed it. Um, what? I’m sorry, WHAT? I stood there, not knowing how to articulate the depths of my squeamishness, and wanting to be helpful but not at the expense of actually having to touch the godforsaken creature that I’d been careful to avert my eyes from all year long. Eventually one of the classroom assistants noticed my cold sweat and stepped up.

I could go on, but suffice to say that mice, in all their incarnations, are not high up on my list. So imagine how thrilled I was when I got to spend Saturday night with three ferrets, one of which didn’t have any hair. Let me back up. My friend discovered that two of her coworkers had totally random connections to me, so we all got together for dinner. Afterwards, we went back to one couple’s house for chocolate martinis and continued conversation. I don’t believe I’d ever been around a ferret before, let alone three at once, prancing around like they owned the place. It was like the animals had taken over the zoo. AND DID I MENTION ONE OF THEM WAS HAIRLESS? It looked like a sad shrunken camel.

I tried my best to laugh it off and not reveal the extent of my hysteria when they darted over my toes and almost up my pant leg. They skittered across the floor, jumped from the couch to the coffee table, slipped in and out of cushions, and aged me about fifteen years. You never knew where they were! Was one of them behind you? Was it about to jump on you? And more importantly, WHO LIVES LIKE THIS? Dogs, I understand. Cats, sure, knock yourself out. Maybe I could even forgive the errant reptile. But FERRETS? And multiple ferrets at that? This is your home, not Petco!

It posed even more of a dilemma that, while I actually went to high school with the ferret owner, I had just met his wife that night and I felt like it would maybe be a faux pas to dropkick their family pets and then whip off all my clothes and burn them in their living room, all the while screaming uncontrollably. I waited until I got home to do that.

I almost included a picture of a ferret at the top of this entry, but every time I started to upload it to Flickr, I could feel it crawling on me. Sob.

13 Responses to “Dear Ferret Rights Society, I Apologize In Advance. Sincerely, Red”

  1. 1 stefanie June 11, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    OK, your disdain for cheese and potatoes I will never understand, but this? This I can relate to.

    A college friend of mine got both a ferret AND a lizard as a pet. I went to visit her one weekend and was forced to sleep in the same room as them. IN THE SAME ROOM. No amount of alcohol prior in the evening really prepared me adequately for that. As if the shifty ferret wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, the lizard liked to leap from window sills and furniture unexpectedly. You thought leapin’ lizards was just something Annie said, but no. Those things actually do hurl themselves across the room.

    Nightmares. That’s all I have to say. Gah.

  2. 2 -R- June 11, 2007 at 10:48 pm


    I always think that I am ok with rodent type animals until I actually have to be close to one, and then I freak out like a little girl.

  3. 3 Killer June 12, 2007 at 4:20 am

    My little brother bought a stinky ferret, then moved back in with my parents. He would let it run around wild in his room and poop anywhere it wanted. The room smelled like a barn; a barn with a two pack a day smoker living in it.

  4. 4 Elizabeth June 12, 2007 at 7:59 am

    I say, if an animal looks so much like the draft snake I keep in front of my door that I might actually confuse the two, it’s not a pet that should be running free around the house.

  5. 5 Shesabigstar June 12, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Seriously? People let these things run loose in their house? I thought having them in a cage was bad enough…but to let it run around your house? I have to go…this whole post is making me itch!

  6. 6 abbersnail June 12, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I heart you. This made me giggle so many times. And shudder. And then giggle again.

  7. 7 Darren McLikeshimself June 12, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Chocolate martinis and hairless ferrets? How is that you and I had the exact same Saturday night?!

  8. 8 Married Jen June 12, 2007 at 10:40 am


    My older, male cousin who used to buy us beer/liquor when we were underage and let us smoke at his apartment had 2 albino ferrets (running loose) AND several tarantulas & scorpions (in the closet). Same thing w/ the ferrets–you never knew where they were. And they stunk! They were always popping their heads out of the couch cushions… Needless to say, the fact that I hung out there should have been a clue to myself, at an early age, that I “might” have a drinking problem. Or maybe I was just really stoned?


  9. 9 lizgwiz June 12, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Okay, just for the record, ferrets aren’t rodents. They’re carnivores, like weasels. Feel better? No, I didn’t think you would. 🙂

  10. 10 nabbalicious June 12, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    I’m weird about rodents. Pet rat and mice? Well, I wouldn’t want one for myself but I’ve held ones that have belonged to other people before. And I freak the fuck out if I even THINK one is in our home.

    Hamsters? Those little bastards bite. I hate them!

  11. 11 Matt June 12, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I am starting to notice a trend of your posts featuring a naked and screaming you:

  12. 12 Red June 13, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    You love it.

  13. 13 p.s. I Love You June 18, 2007 at 11:12 am

    No, no, no, bald ferrets look like an old man’s penis. Crap, now I have to remember why I know what an old man’s penis looks like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: