I enjoy having elderly ferrets around. It is a bittersweet time. They still play, although not as long. There are still adventures to be had: games to play with their ferrant and ferret buddies. Tunnels to explore. They get tired faster and don’t play as hard. My ferrets have all become more affectionate and enjoy cuddling as they aged.
They become more dependent on their ferrants. Sometimes we have to hand feed “soupie.” Often, that means getting up in the middle of the night. They might need medication. We bond closer. But, the passing of the ferret to the Rainbow Bridge is coming. Soon, we have to help them by releasing them from pain.
Too many people walk away from their animal comapanions when they need their “owners” the most. The animals don’t understand why their “family” is leaving them behind. Years of love and companionship left behind.
I wrote this poem many years ago following an online discussion about elderly pets being dumped. At the time Jester was old and had health issues. I got up several times a night to feed her and give medications. She still had a good quality of life. I could not imagine just walking away. We loved each other.
The Old Ferret
Will you still love me when I’m old?
When my mask is grey?
When end my adventures bold?
I’m slower now and I sleep
more than in my younger days.
I can’t run as much nor can I leap.
I don’t feel so well and it’s hard for me to eat.
The kibble is too hard. And I miss my litterbox.
Will you feed me ducksoup and keep me clean and neat?
Too many humans leave their old friends
to die in a strangers care.
Will you stay with me until the end?
I look into your eyes and in your loving gaze
I see my answer and know
You will love and stay with me all my remaining days.
(In memory of Jester and for all elderly pets now)