I have been playing with Power Point lately. It’s part of my rehabilitation. I forgot some of my computer skills after the accident. Power Point is also a visual program, helping me with depth perception and visual skills. I enjoy learning new things on the program. At work, I’m creating a memorial show of women service members who died in service. It will be used at the Women Veterans’ Forum next month. I’ll also post it here and on You Tube.
My latest creation explores common misinformation about ferrets.
The first picture illustrates the common question, “Don’t they stink?” Ferrets have a musky scent. The smell can be greatly reduced by providing a clean litter box, feeding a good diet, having them spayed/neutered, and keeping their bedding clean. If ferrets are bathed too frequently, they produce more oils, increasing the smell. Ferrets should not be bathed more than once a month. They will groom themselves clean like cats. I actually enjoy the scent of ferret. I find it relaxing. The second picture shows a common mistake. Ferrets are not rodents. They belong to the family Mulstidae. They are related to weasels and polecats. However, they have been domesticated for over 2000 years. Ferrets can not survive in the wild. Ferrets are obligate carnivores. They require a diet high in protein and almost no carbohydrates. If possible, it is best to provide a balance natural “raw” diet. If that is not possible, then a high quality kibble is needed. The third picture is actually true. Brigid does view Kaliyah and Tosca as playmates. It is entertaining to watch.
Last night, I gave Kaliyah a treat. She rapidly headed toward the couch, to hide underneath to eat her treat in peace. unfortunately, she did not notice the brave huntress. Brigid was hunkered down next to the counter. As Kaliyah ran past, Brigid leaped high in the air. Pounce! She lands squarely on top of a mystified Kaliyah. The ferret hissed, then engaged in her ninja like ability to squirm. She broke free and dove under the couch. Brigid was excited by the chase. She does not fit under a couch, however. She ran into it head first. Brigid and the ferrets enjoy playing tag. They take turns chasing and being chased. Kaliyah also ambushes Brigid. Having my furchildren in my life reduces my stress. It seems no matter how hard life gets, the ferrets and cat always bring a smile or laugh.
The fourth picture illustrates an injustice. Ferrets are illegal in California. A movement to legalize ferrets has been going on for years with no luck. The Fish and Game department in California classified ferrets as wild animals. There is also concern about “feral ferrets” damaging the ecology. There are no feral ferrets anywhere in the United States. Ferrets have been domesticated for over 2000 years. They can not survive without human care. The majority of pet ferrets in the United States come from ferret farms. They are already spayed/neutered before shipping to pet stores. A feral ferret “pack” would not survive long as the ferrets could not reproduce. It is sad. There are many ferret owners in California, living in fear and hiding their beloved ferrets. For more information about ferret legalization in California, click here: http://www.ferretsanon.com/
The next picture shows another common misperception: ferrets as mean animals that bite and harm humans. A properly cared for and trained ferret does not bite without reason. Ferrets may bite if frightened, sick, or in pain. Like a puppy or kitten, a young ferret needs to learn proper social skills towards humans. Ferrets have thick fur and skin. When playing with each other, they bite and wrestle. A baby ferret (kit) will naturally play in the same way with their ferrant. Nip training a baby ferret teaches him the way to properly interact. Using toys to wrestle also helps.
The final picture shows the truth about ferrets.
Ferrets are affectionate, loving companions. They are filled with joy, curiosity and energy. Ferrets have greatly enriched my life. Watching them play or explore their territory reminds me of the simple truths of life. Curiosity is vital. Never give up, the next time you try you may succeed. Live in the moment. Worry about the past or future is pointless. Have fun. Play, eat, and sleep. Hiss when you’re angry. Keep clean. Drink plenty of water. There are lessons in the lives of ferrets.