Chitika

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

INCOMING.

Ok, as much as I'd like to continue my story about my ferrets (especially about Shade, that guy was such a troublemaker) I just won't have the time to update potentially at all until after the 17th. I have essays and assignments and labs and finals that are just unending.

Like this except with pain.

So I'll be absent for a while. I'll try my best to keep up with your blogs but no promises, real life first, online life second. Now wish me luck and join me in my daily ritual of praying to the caffeine gods.

Canadians unite!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ferret Memories: Preamble 2 and Little Hazel

Before I start into the story about my ferrets I'll just answer a few questions in the comments from the last pot.

Remember when I said it's better to get ferrets neutered? There are a few reasons why. For all ferrets, they become a lot less aggressive and a lot less stinky, especially the males during mating season. Also, the longer you take to neuter them, the bigger they grow. I saw a ferret that was neutered a few weeks later than usual and he was literally about double the size of my ferrets.

Also, the unspayed female ferrets get very sick/die if they don't find a mate when they go into heat.


I'm serious, that's why it's so vital that you get ferrets neutered, especially the females. It just makes everyone's life easier. Less smells, less biting, no dying (if you're female), etc..

And yes, you could probably train a ferret to hunt rodents but they're not likely to do well. They've lost a lot of their instincts just like most house pets. Most ferrets would probably see a rodent as a toy, play with it and kill it by accident. Maybe they'll hide the body behind your sofa, who knows. They probably won't eat it, not while you, the owner, is providing much better tasting food.

Speaking of food, ferrets have their own ferret food that you can buy at pet stores. Ironically, it's recommended though that you mix in some cat food because some ferret food doesn't have all the nutrients that a ferret needs. Maybe it's just my ferrets but they liked the cat food better too.

That being said, some ferrets will eat everything. Things like fruit can be used as treats (they're omnivores) but then you have my ferret who ate Fruit Loops, chocolate, tofu, celery, raw shrimp. . .


Don't worry, chocolate isn't poisonous to ferrets. It just makes them sick if they eat too much (like humans) and fat (like humans).

Feel free to ask any questions, I'll answer them at the beginning of each new post if I haven't already.


My sister was just entering Junior High when she suddenly developed an interest in ferrets. I'm not sure why, all the stories we had read about ferrets were from Redwall and similar stories and they were not nice descriptions.

But she persisted, did the research and eventually she convinced my parents to go buy one. We found Hazel at a petstore in a cage with several of his siblings. He was different, really calm, gentle and unlike the common sable ferret, he was champagne colored. Most importantly (to my Mother) he was litter trained as demonstrated by him relieving himself in a litter box in the cage.

I need to upload more pictures of my ferrets....

Hazel was what I would call the perfect ferret. The kind of ferret you would want to show to other people to convince them that ferrets were awesome pets. Hazel didn't smell bad like a ferret (he had his own smell but it was very faint, not like an animal), he never bit anyone, ever even when he was irritated or playing, and he didn't shed.

He was so well litter trained that I recall times that he would be playing the basement, stop, run up the stairs, into the room we gave the ferrets and into the litter box to poop before running out to continue playing. He was also a really deep sleeper. We would always pick him up and put him in our laps and he'd continue sleeping as if nothing happened. Hell, we even balanced him on my Brother's head and he kept sleeping until my Brother moved.

His favorite toys were these cloth balls with bells in them. You threw one, it dingled and he'd trot over, grab it in his mouth and run behind the sofa to hide it. His all time favorite toy was a dingly frog with little cloth legs. He loved it so much that the legs were eventually ripped off.

Not my ferrets but I had to use this a least once.

And then, we got my ferret a month later. Shade could be described as.... the exact opposite of Hazel.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ferret Memories: Preamble

As some of you know, my sister's ferret, Hazel, passed on last week. In his memory I'll be doing a series of blog posts about his time with us. But first, a quick run-down about ferrets.

First, ferrets are NOT rodents. Ferrets are actually part of the mustelid family, meaning, they have glands on their butts that stink. Thus related to ferrets are skunks, otters, badgers, etc.. Most ferrets are "descented" however, meaning these glands are removed so they smell less bad. Neutering the ferret also helps to reduce this smell and is also important for additional reasons.

Above, cousin of ferrets.

Secondly, ferrets are domesticated animals. The Egyptians actually kept them to HUNT rodents until they got cats. People have had them as pets for decades and if you dumped one in the wild it would probably last about as long as any other house pet. California still doesn't recognize this for some reason.

Oh, and ferrets live on average to seven years. This is mostly due to their tenancies to fall ill. Cancer, adrenal gland problems, strokes, pretty much every disease you can imagine a ferret can and probably will catch by the time they're considered old. So, about 4 years old.

To be fair, 1 human year is equal to ~12 ferret ones.

Ferrets have vastly differing personalities (Hazel and Shade (my ferret) were opposites) which I'll describe in future posts. Yes, they can be litter trained but again, Hazel and Shade will be there to show you that the situation isn't completely black and white.

Shade is also the opposite color of Hazel.

Generally speaking almost all ferrets are sociable, curious and do really smart/stupid things. You know what I mean, they're like little kids sometimes, you'll be amazed and horrified and what they're capable of. They're thieves at heart and almost all have their own little item quirk. That is to say, thing that they love to steal and hide. They are capable of learning tricks and their own name but they have very short attention spans. Again, just like a little kid.

Caring for a ferret isn't as bad as it seems especially if they have a bunkmate. Still, it's recommended that you spend an hour or two a day with them, just like any other pet I'm guessing. They sleep a lot but when they play they go all out. Jumping everywhere, pouncing on everything, and something unique to ferrets, they make a sound called "dooking" when they play. I guess it's their version of laughter? Again, each ferret has his own unique dook.

I think that covers the basics and any questions that people asked in the comments. Feel free to ask any additional questions, if needed, I'll make a second post dedicated to them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sorry for lack of posts.

Derp. Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I've been feeling kind of ill and I'm still adapting to the sudden change in weather. You'd think I'd learn not to run for the bus after having a shower but I still haven't.

Oops.

Add to the craploads of work my professors are trying to cram in before the term ends isn't helping either. I'll make sure to get in a proper post in the weekend so please bear with me for now. Only 3 more weeks left in this term and I'm free.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Well, This is Depressing...

My sister's pet ferret, Hazel, passed away over the weekend. We're still kind of in shock to be honest, he was very healthy and energetic literally up the day he passed away. The only time he ever looked extremely ill was the day before he passed on and we just thought he was tired or going through a lethargic phase (like the ones my ferret sometimes had) and would be better the next day.

Mom's pretty upset too but they're both ok now. We'll probably get him cremated but in the meantime he's been wrapped up in his favorite blanket in a shoebox in the freezing garage.

In memory of Hazel, I'll be dedicated the next few posts to his life and ferrets in general. So if you don't like ferrets avoid this blog for the next few weeks.

This is an older photo from a few years back when we built them a snowfort.

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Think my Ass is Frozen.

Welp, we could only have delayed it for so long but in just two days my area has received a ton of snow and it is freezing over here. Seriously, last week people we jogging around campus in shorts and now I'm huddling in the corner with my parka.

Without that parka, this is me.

Not that I mind Canadian winters. I certainly prefer it to summer because I can always put on another layer to warm up but how many layers can I remove to cool down? Also, snow has never caused me to nearly collapse. I can't say the same about heat waves.

Though it makes running to classes a pain. Icy sidewalks, snow and wind in my face, as I run from one end of the University to the other. Traffic is also a pain because everyone is now driving like seniors because the road is also icy. Failure to drive like a senior just means you won't live long enough to become one. Do you take public transit? Well, I hope you enjoy waiting 2 hours for a bus to slowly crawl up to the stop.

Too late. We all froze to death.

Winter also makes me miss being a kid. I mean, how many of you are excited for Christmas with presents and what not? I'm too busy panicking for finals and essays and labs to even pay attention to the decorations and songs that are everywhere. And by the time I'm finally done, it's kind of all over. Whoo.

Some of my followers don't have snow or cold or consider 5 degrees Celsius to be cold. I'm going to ask you to shut up because you don't know what cold is, until you've experienced a winter in Canada. Because it's not only cold, but it's also long and unpredictable.

You'd think the winters would scare off the homeless but no. Guess they really like it here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't be Stupid Like me, get More Sleep.

It never fails. The instant I get my sleep schedule to return to some sense of normality something comes around to destroy it. Actually, there has only been one situation that has ever required me to pull an all-nighter in University, and that's due to an essay. Guess what I have due on Thursday.

No sleep for me tonight...

And then the following day you're completely useless. Good luck trying to stay awake in any of your classes let alone pay attention and take notes. You'll walk in fully conscious, your prof. will start talking and suddenly you'll wake up and class will be over. This has happened to me a lot more than I would have liked.

Or you wake up in the middle of an Econ 101 class. Also fun.

If you're busy like me, 10 hours a night simply is not feasible. As my friend Shawn once said, "There are three things you can have in University; Good grades, a social life, and sleep. Now pick 2". If I want even 7 hours I have to be in bed before midnight which is also kind of crazy. The last time I can remember sleeping before midnight was when I was in the hospital.

There are alternative methods of feeling like you've sleep more in a less amount of time. In fact, it is possible to feel like you've gotten 12 hours of sleep but only actually sleeping for 2 hours. I'll go over these methods in my next blog posts and my experiences with them. I don't recommend them though and you'll soon see why.

Now if you'll excuse me, that essay beckons.