I always knew I wanted to have a pet ferret. When I was young my dad would take the green photo album off the shelf, sit on the couch and tell me stories about the two ferrets he had before he got married—Farrah and Fallon.
The tales he told about the furry creatures intrigued me—he said they were playful creatures with slinky bodies and little pink noses. His ferrets, he said, loved to steal his socks and liked to be held at night. They were nothing like anything I had seen before. For years I asked my parents for a ferret and my persistence finally paid off during my freshman year of high school—that’s when I got Foxxy.
It’s funny—for something I loved so much I don’t quite remember how we decided she was the one.
I remember her being very tiny, in fact so tiny that she could fit easily in my hand. She didn’t know what to think of us at first and seemed a little uneasy about her new home, but it didn’t take her long to get comfortable.We decided to let Foxxy run freely around the house instead of keeping her in a cage. We had a cage, of course, but she was never in it. She loved to curl up and go to sleep in my bed, and waited for me to come home from school to hold her. My family would argue about who would get to hold her in the evenings because she would sleep for hours on end.
Foxxy was there for some of the best moments of my life—when I got the lead in the high school musical, when I was accepted into West Virginia University and when I graduated high school. She was also there for me during bad breakups, when I was involved in a head-on collision and when I had bad days at work. After a rough day at Dollar Tree I would go in my room, see a lump under my blanket and the stress would vanish.
Foxxy lived for a long time—I was lucky. Ferrets usually live anywhere from five to seven years and I was able to spend seven and a half years with her before she died in her sleep. I am so thankful she went peacefully. I had so many great memories with her, and I cherish every single one of them. (The year 2012-13 was a bad year for pets in the Moran household—in addition to Foxxy’s death, we had to put our cat and dog to sleep.)
In the months following Foxxy’s death I found myself going to Petco to visit the ferrets occasionally. Petco received a group of baby ferrets in July, and I instantly fell in love with a tiny ferret with little white feet.
(I will never forget standing there and watching the baby ferrets when an older gentleman and his granddaughter came up to the cage. She pressed her face up to the glass and asked him what they were. He replied, “Those are ferrets. Get away from the cage—they’ll chew your arm off.” I couldn’t help but to look at the tiny animals and laugh.)
A couple of weeks later I went out to eat with my family for my birthday. After our meal my mom suggested we visit Petco to see the baby ferrets—just to look at them.
Well, somehow we came home with two tiny, wide-eyed ferrets that day.
As my parents and brothers assembled their cage I played with them in the bathroom. They eventually got tired, curled up on the floor with me and went to sleep— words can’t express how happy I was at that moment.
We named the one I fell in love with weeks earlier, the one with the white feet, Socks, and the exceptionally small ferret, the one with the light brown outline on her nose, Summer.
In August we adopted the third and final member of our ferret party, a white, fluffy ferret with light brown markings. My mom fell in love with him at the pet store when she went to pick up ferret food. She found out his previous owners took him back to the pet store —for whatever reason they didn’t want him anymore. We immediately fell in love with him and brought him home, and Sampson became a member of the family.
And that’s the story on how I became a crazy ferret lady.
I never thought I would ever love a ferret as much as I loved Foxxy, but the love I have for these three is unbelievable. As any pet owner could tell you, every animal has a different personality—Socks is a momma’s boy, Summer is a sweetheart and Sampson is just plain ornery. They currently live with my parents in Morgantown, and I go home as often as I can to visit them.If you were thinking about getting a ferret as a pet, if you have time to spend with them, I would highly recommend it. In my opinion they are the perfect pet—loving, playful and cuddly.