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The Greater Chicago Ferret Association in Lyons, IL (USA), received a call from a Mom claiming her daughter needed to find a new home for her ferrets. They were 75+ miles from the shelter, but I agreed to meet them and they relinquished the ferrets to me. I was told the ferrets didn’t get along and would be coming in separate cages, which I found odd; ferrets, especially younger ones are very social creatures. You could tell the daughter was crushed and would miss them terribly. My gut told me to test this “dislike” with supervised playtimes. It didn’t take long to figure out, Zero was 100% deaf. He was the aggressor in play, but when Stuart (who was ironically blind in one eye) would turn the tables, Zero would shriek at Stuart and run away. Ferrets are verbally quiet creatures that “dook” in play or frustration. Deaf ferrets can be more vocal because they can’t hear themselves! I decided to give caging them together a chance. Stuart slept in the hammy at the top of the cage and Zero slept in the bottom in the cubby hole. I caught Stuart sneaking into Zero’s space and Zero would shriek scaring Stuart back to his own hammy. This was not the behavior of ferrets that didn’t like each other, they just didn’t know how to be ferrets! I cautiously took them in the same carrier to the shelter and once there, they cuddled up in a hammy. Their story still brings tears to my eyes. It was very sad that an owner who loved her ferrets had to give them up, but through her unselfishness, these two ferrets, Stuart and Zero were given the opportunity of ferrety companionship and were successfully adopted out to live happily ever after TOGETHER.

Valerie Michalski
Pingree Grove, IL

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