I have been on hiatus for a little while, but I hope everyone’s holidays went well!
We’ve been busy with all the family Christmas stuff, as I’m sure everyone else was too. More so than that, I often have to walk around for days or weeks before I come up with things I feel are worth writing about.
This year, I think our family had the best Christmas we have in a while, all around. I didn’t feel desperately broke, to the point of a nervous breakdown, as I have in past years. The kids got a great gift, a Nintendo Switch, which brings me back to my younger days when our parents got us our Nintendo 64 and we spent the entire day taking turns playing Super Mario 64. I think that system marks the distinct moment in time when I went from being excellent at video games (Super Mario Bros 1, 2, 3, and World, Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong Country) to kind of mediocre. Something about being able to move in all directions and risk missing some key aspect of the game actually stresses me out. It’s like real life, because it puts me into a state of constant indecision. Don’t get me wrong, I still love video games and I still beat Mario 64 a couple of times, but even now the only game I can play and still beat the pants off my kids, is a Super Nintendo game.
We also welcomed two new members to our family. After our cat passed away, it felt like there was something missing for a while. We had a couple months that just sucked all around. Trevor and I got to talking about how he used to own a ferret, and it has been on my bucket list for pretty much my entire life. I had only met three other people in my life who owned one, but I was not really able to interact with them or hold them.
One night when we were off, we took the kids on a trip to Petland. I’ve been going there for probably 15 years, back to when it was called the Henley Pet Centre. Never in that time have I really asked to hold any of their animals, but this time we headed straight for the ferrets. The kids were holding birds, in their glory, and I was double-fisting ferrets and literally in my glory. We left the store and were on a high for a few days after the visit, and literally it was like the light came back into Trevor’s eyes whenever we talked about it. We decided to get our ducks in a row and see if we could make this a reality.
Over the next couple of months, I spent a lot of time researching cages, information about ferret behaviour and pretty much fell into an obsession where I was on a mission to make sure we did this right. I finally found the cage I wanted, but then we could not find any company that would ship it to Canada. One day I stumbled upon, of all places, Pet Valu, who were willing to special order the cage immediately and have it shipped directly to the store, which saved us shipping costs and duty. We picked it up and took it home and spent about two and a half hours putting the damn thing together, and we didn’t argue once. It was like when we went camping in Sauble Beach and had to put our tent up–we make a dynamite team. Afterwards, we both sat on the couch and stared at it for a good 45 minutes with a sense of excitement and pride in our work.
After that, we picked up a triangular litter pan (because ferrets love to shit in corners), food, litter, water bottles, food dishes, toys etc. and made sure everything was in place for them when they finally came home. We wanted to go with the ferrets which are sold at Petland, because they come from Marshall’s which is one of the biggest breeders in North America. Also, if we continue to feed them Marshall’s food for the first year of their life, their health is guaranteed–so if anything happens to them, we would be covered. We went into the store and there was only one ferret there! I wanted to take him home, but Trevor thought it would be best if we waited until they got new kits in so we could choose from a few of them, so we put our names on a waitlist. For ferrets. Yes, we did that.
The new shipment came in but the kits were quarantined for the first week to make sure they were all healthy and adjusting properly. I went in and laid my eyes on a sable-coloured guy who woke up and just stared at me, all chilled out, and it was love at first sight. I knew he was the ferret for me.
The call came in while I was at my sister’s place, which is about a 40 minute drive when all is said and done. I flew to the pet store as fast as was reasonably possible. I was so excited that I was sweating profusely. It was a disgusting sight to behold. BUT we were the first ones to arrive, so we got the first pick, and my little guy was still there. We knew we wanted two, and there was another ferret that had a white head and neck, with kind of a dark saddle around his back and shoulders. His eyes were red but not completely like an albino’s would be. He was unique and handsome, so he came home with us too.
The last few weeks have been full of adjusting–on their part as well as ours. We spend way more time on the floor playing with them, or crawling behind furniture to clean up all the “accidents” they leave for us in the corners. We are constantly working together to come up with new ways to litter train them, discussing placement of all the litter pans as well as the location and setup of everything in the cage. I had never played with a ferret before, so I had to learn how. They have unique and inquisitive personalities, and they are little bastards. They steal all of their toys as well as the dog’s toys and hide them under the couch. I have literally given up the socks on my feet because they would get a grip on them and refuse to let go. The dog is bewildered–he will lay beside the couch, staring underneath it wistfully, and cry until one of us rescues his duckie.
It’s a lot of work and a lot of pee and poop. I am kind of a freak when it comes to cleaning (most of the time, when I have the energy) so their bedding gets cleaned a couple of times a week because I’m so paranoid that my house will smell like a barn. But I have to say, we have gotten more than our money’s worth and then some. They add an entirely different element to our lives–and a whole lot of joy. Instead of coming home and laying on the couch and putting on Netflix, I sit on the living room or the kitchen floor and play with them and laugh my ass off while they bounce around and kick the shit out of each other. Murphy is learning how to play with them too, and I think aside from the fact that he is down a couple of toys, he seems to be enjoying having new friends.
Because Trev and I both have kids who are older, we made the decision long ago not to have any more children. But weirdly enough, this new adventure almost feels to me like… this is what it would be like if we did have kids together. It’s crazy to think about how different my life would be if we had met before having children, and while I will never know exactly, it’s almost like these are our babies together. We support each other, we share the work, and it’s really bringing us even closer together. Not to mention, our own kids are having a blast with the little guys, and it’s a distinct contrast from the Nintendo Switch, which has them sitting down and staring at a screen. Instead, the ferrets are an interactive experience which we can all laugh at and enjoy together, and overall I think we made a great decision.
For anyone who is interested in smiling from ear to ear, here is the link to my YouTube channel, where I have been uploading various videos over the past month:
Feel free to subscribe, comment, share, and enjoy.
Until next time!
This is Tweek and Rocket at the pet store, I think it’s so cool that we saw them there and now we have them both at home with us!