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To Ferret Out. Ferreting Out. How To Get The Ferret Out.

April 15, 2008

The other night we had a house guest: a very polite, quiet, and handsome young man. I say he is a quiet person because in the past we’ve found him to be that way, so it was a bit of a surprise when we thought he’d retired for the night and I was lying in bed reading – N was half asleep – that I heard strange noises: it sounded like someone playing pool in the basement; the sound of a cue striking balls that then skittered across the table smacking into the bumpers.

One gets used to noises in one’s home: the furnace turning on and off, pipes creaking, wind rattling the windows, but when a guest spends the night, the sounds differ and/or increase. So as I lay in bed I thought that our nice invitee will soon tire of playing pool alone and wend his way back upstairs. Funny I never heard him come downstairs in the first place.

The sounds persisted, but it seemed I was the only one hearing them as N was almost unconscious and Gracie (our greyhound), lying next to my side of the bed, was oblivious. I realized I’d forgotten to brush my teeth, so clambered out of bed, careful not to step on the dog, and tiptoed into the bathroom. While standing dreamily at the sink, out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. A not exactly teeny something either. I blinked to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, not that I’m prone to that, but late at night one never knows. There in the sunken bath tub was a very young black and greyish-white ferret, jumping up and down trying to get out of the tub, but sliding on the slippery sides and thumping back down again.

It didn’t quite look like this.

A domestic ferret

I yelled for N who shot out of bed and into the bathroom before I could say “you’ll never believe……..” Without saying a word (he was in “defending the home front mode”) he whipped open the closet door, grabbed the first large towel he could lay his hands on and striding toward the tub leaned over to grab the little fella. “Please just catch him and take him outside. Don’t harm him,” I pleaded. N lunged several times at the darting creature, who was now peeing all over the tub and every part of the towel it made contact with, but it was like trying to catch a buttered, motorized hairy banana that was doing back flips off the tub’s sides.

And somehow this isn’t exactly the spitting image either.

(Although the jumping action came pretty close.)

A ferret in a War Dance jump.

Finally after a dozen attempts N caught the frightened creature, wrapped him in the towel, opened the back door and set him free in the yard. The ferret darted away as fast as his short little legs could carry him. N returned with the pungent towel which went straight into the washing machine while I tried in vain to get rid of the awful pee odor that now filled the bathroom. It was midnight and swabbing the decks wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

“Ours” didn’t look this malevolent.


We fell back into bed laughing our heads off trying to fathom how on earth a young ferret, or any creature that size, could have snuck into the house in the first place. And not only that but how Gracie, known for being an incredible sight hound (maybe not one with great hearing or sense of smell though), was oblivious to the whole event. Let sleeping dogs lie has become her motto.

It was a tad more like this one, especially the wrapped in a towel part.

Ferret after a shower

The next morning our sleepy-eyed house guest came downstairs sorry to have missed out on all the fun, but really grateful he hadn’t had to deal with the situation. He’d been playing pool in his dreams.

Copyright © 2008

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