Our Animal Friends
So I’m going to tell you a story about my ferret friend Pinky, and it’s a true story.
One night in the heat of August 2012, my sister, our friend Ely and I came home to a spectacular little creature. I have a basement apartment with those high basement windows, and there peeking through one of them was a ferret.
We were all surprised. Ferrets are not wild here in Colorado! It wasn’t supposed to be out there, and yet there he was! My sister, who is very good with animals, convinced me to bring him in. We didn’t want him wondering around lost on his own, especially when his family was probably missing him.
As if I needed more convincing it was meant to be, before we even emerged from the back door, Pinky had crawled under the fence and was waiting for us in the side yard. It was like he knew where we were going… So my sister took one step towards the ferret, and he waddled right up to her so she could pick him up. It was then that he wiggled into our hearts forever.
Honestly, I wasn’t allowed to have pets at that time, so it was only meant to be temporary until his owner picked him up. But no one ever came – I posted about my little lost ferret with no response. It seemed fate he was here in my life.
And that was a little sad too because it was obvious he used to have an owner. Pinky seemed so well-behaved (for a ferret) and had no trouble using the litter boxes (mostly). But it was obvious he had been missing for a long time since his nails were super long, and his coat was rough and itchy. He devoured the kitten food we bought him, and to this day, kitten food is his favorite treat. I also bought him omega-3 oils (for ferrets), which helped soften his coat and remove the itching.
It really was an interesting time for him to show up. I was having major health issues in 2012 and was really at my rope’s end. But here was this little monster who forced me to smile at his antics every morning. If only for a few minutes, he forced me to feel joy before I went to work every day.
Pinky is good for me, as I think a lot of pets are for their owners in all different ways. For me, someone who always feels the need to be productive, Pinky reminds me that it’s okay to have fun just for the sake of having fun! Really, it is!
It’s amazing how much impact a little creature can have on your life. Now I can’t imagine what it was like walking through my home when I didn’t have to worry about stepping on him, or racing up the stairs without trying to beat him to the top. He even curls up next to me while I write.
And when our little friends become ill, it is torture. Recently, I learned my ‘little man’ had an infection. Before I knew what was wrong with him, the anxiety was so bad it gave me stomach aches and I couldn’t eat properly. I know ferrets have short lifespans and tend to get illnesses, but I’ve only been with him a year and a half – he couldn’t be terminally sick yet. Too soon!
Luckily, after only 18 hours of medication, Pinky regained slight alertness and curiosity. His namesake pinkness returned to his nose. Now, after a full week of antibiotics, he is his normal hyper-self. Every ferret owner knows the joy that watching a ferret’s signature ‘war dance’ can bring.
I love Sir Pinkerton, “Pinky.” He is my friend, my little buddy.
It’s funny how when I tell people the story of Pinky finding me, how often I hear of other animals literally finding their human companions. For example, another ferret found a friend in a hospital parking lot while a family member lay dying inside. And the lady at the veterinarian’s office said her ferret found her as well! And a dog jumped into my colleague’s raft to be with her.
I could keep going, but what about you? Did you have an animal friend show up in your life in a unique way? Did your animal friend have a bigger impact on your life than you expected? I’d especially love to hear from anyone I know who’s loved a ferret before!