Happy National Ferret Day!
In my life, I have owned a virtual menagerie of pets—dogs, cats, parakeets, frogs, turtles, newts, hamsters, snakes, lizards, and saltwater and freshwater fish, to name a few—and I loved them all. But there will always be a special place in my heart for ferrets.
Amy the ferret was my first pet after leaving my parents home to strike off on my own as a young twenty-something. Admittedly, she started off as a consolation prize—I really wanted a dog, but neither my 600-square-foot studio apartment nor my stubborn landlord were accommodating on that front. However, I quickly saw the error in my perspective.
I could not have chosen a better pet, particularly as a young apartment dweller with a full-time job and active social life. Amy fit my lifestyle perfectly. She slept about 20 hours a day, didn’t need to be taken out for regular walks, and was free-fed, so I never had to feel guilty about my busy schedule. What’s more, she was always ready to play when I let her out of her cage. In fact, I have never owned a pet— including dogs and cats—that could hold a candle to Amy when it came to playfulness.
On this National Ferret Day, I find myself not only thinking about Amy—and her partner in crime Buster, who I adopted soon after—but also wondering why ferrets aren’t more popular as pets in this country. As I mentioned, there are numerous advantages to owning these slinky little rascals, and not many drawbacks. Coaxing them out of the inside of my couch or from under my refrigerator wasn’t really all that difficult, after all. I suspect that many young people who are just striking off on their own for the first time, like I did so many years ago, would find owning a ferret to be the perfect alternative to rushing into dog or cat ownership.