Lessons by Pets

Brighid is not a happy cat right now.  But Kaliyah is a satisfied ferret.  One of Brighid’s favorite toys is now in Ferret Stah Number Three.  It still had food in it!  She is now making her displeasure known with rather loud meowing.  Fairly soon I will have to rescue her toy.

1. Lesson one- never underestimate a ferret.  Trouble can come from small things.

Kaliyah loves her dig pit.  She buries herself hunting for her hidden toys.  She leaps out of the box and does the Weasel War Dance then runs up into the play tubes.  She enjoys it more when her human plays “bury ferret.”  Pounce on the hand.  Pounce at the human.  Jump out the pit and jump at the human.  Scratch.  Because a ferret always needs a good scratch.  Hide under the bookcase then charge out and climb in the box again.  Each exit scatters the startch peanuts.  (The dissolvable kind).  She just plays openly an happily; totally in the moment.  She has ferret business such as stealing cat toys and exploring the house.  She needs to know her territory hasn’t changed.  Or maybe there’s something new to explore.

2. Lesson Two- play with abandon.  Don’t let fear of judgement hold you back.  Enjoy simple things.

Brighid hunts her toys and loves to chase and leap.  This is often followed by a meal,  if it’s feeding time, or a nap.  Or both.  There is nothing like a good nap in the sunshine.

3. Lesson three- play, eat, and sleep

There is nothing like jumping up on the human, shoving her wet nose in the human’s face, and purring like crazy.  The best is managing to leave fur on the human’s face. Bonus points if it goes into her eyes or face.  Then, settle in for a good cuddle and pet before sleep.

4. Lesson four- if you love someone, tell them.  

A ferret in a hammock is adorable.  She sleeps deeply, snoring softly. Then jumping down and scratch vigorisly, eat, drink, poop, and go back to sleep.

5. Lesson five- there is nothing more refreshing than a good nap and scratch. And stay hydrated.

A ferret and cat play together and occasionally nap together.

6. Lesson six- everyone needs “odd” friends.

The most important lesson they teach me is to laugh at simple things.  There is peace in just being.  Just be.  That’s what matters. 

Odd Friends

Odd friends together

Meals shared from same bowl eating 

Cat and ferret sleep

Brigid and Kaliyah have an interesting relationship. They ignore each other at times like they have no interest in interacting. Other times, they eat from the same bowl peacefully.  Or Kaliyah jumps on Brigid’s back, starting a game of chase where they take turns being “it.”  Kaliyah knows that Brigid can’t fit under the couch or behind the refrigerator and/ or shelving.  She heads to those areas.  I swear that I hear her Dooking in laughter when Brigid runs into something.  

In the picture, the two just woke up from a nap.  Their rude human came in.  They know when a camera is involved.

Watching them together is a lesson in accepting others who are different.  While they pretend not to like each other,their actions together speaks to a friendship.  People can find friends in places and in others that they would never expect.  Accept what you share and also your differences.

Sometimes, you have to work effectively with people who are different from you and you don’t like personally.  It’s a matter of respect in order to be effective.  At the nest, you learn from each other and use the differences to succeed.

I don’t write a out politics in my blog.  But I have been so upset about the current Presidential race. Seeing all the open hatred and fear in this country is frightening.  People try to force their religions’ morality on others through laws.  The recent laws passed for “religious freedom” that target the freedoms and welfare of LGBT people are an example.  Two recent laws illustrate this: one allows businesses to refuse services if it “violates their reliligous beliefs.”  This is a thinly disguised law allowing bigotry.  This law also includes mental health professionals.  There are constant attacks on marriage equality.  A dangerous law requires transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate.  Just based out of fear and ignorance.  

People support Trump who openly encourages fear and hatred of “different.”  His speeches have insulted disabled, women, minorities, Muslims.  And yet people support him because he “tells it like it is.”  He can make America great hate again.

If only people were more like Brigid and Kaliyah.  He world would be a different place.

Elderly Pets

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) 
Lydia Hales

Jester in her fish