Ferrets' blog

A blog with news about my ferrets: Tata, Izzie and Liira. There will also be reminiscense about Tenchi, Adric, Ker Avon, Ryo-Ohki, Nyssa, Lady Ayeka, Romana, Pertwee, Podo, Kodo, Ella, Zephyr and Chin Soon, all of whom are gone now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Polar Fleece Wars

The last few nights Zephyr has been digging out Chin Soon's precious polar fleece toys from the hiding place under the curio cabinet near the window in the living room. OK, the toys belong to all the ferrets but Chin Soon is convinced they are hers and hers alone and hoards them jealously. I sometimes make it worse by throwing them across the room, sending Chin Soon on a mad dash to collect the errant toy before Zephyr or Nyssa does. Chin Soon ended up relocating them from under one curio cabinet to the other to try and keep them from Zephy. She's really funny.

I think Nyssa is still alpha and still rules the roost despite everything. When someone tries to wrestle with Nyssa and she's not up for it she lets out a loud squeak to express her displeasure. Well... Chin Soon and Ella have started imitating Nyssa's squeak when wrestling. I've gone running only to see Nyssa sleeping comfortably and two other ferrets having a good time wrestling.

Nyssa started taking solid treats and kibble again :) She still mostly lives on gravy and I do think that's best for her. She's up to about 10 oz. a day and this evening I'll have to start mixing in the new batch. Nyssa now wolfs down the gravy so fast she makes Pertwee-like snuffling noises. She also gets very excited when she knows it's gravy time. It's good to see Nyssa enthusiastic and energetic about something again.

Technorati Tags:

Friday, February 24, 2006

Strange Hobby

A while back a friend of mine in the ferret community posted about keeping old ferrets with late stage cardiomyopathy alive and happy a kind of "strange hobby". She had one who was about 10 or 11 years old at the time. I think this applies to any person caring for any ferret that's approaching the end of their life and fighting a terminal illness.

I post more about Nyssa on this blog not because I love her more than any of my other ferrets but rather because her needs are special and she takes so much more care than the others. Yes, she's also special to me because she's been with me so long (over 7½ years) and because this is the third time I've nursed her through a health crisis. The first was a blockage when she was just four months old. The second was her recovery from adrenal surgery over four years ago. Nyssa's battle with lymphoma is, sadly, her final health crisis. She can't recover from this one.

Nyssa continues to amaze me the way she tenaciously fights when I think other ferrets would have given up. She's just skin and bones and that reminds me of Ryo-Ohki at the end of her life, yet unlike Ryo she still has an amazing appetite and does all she can to keep going by eating and drinking with great enthusiasm. I don't spoon feed her gravy like I did at first because she'll gladly dive into a bowl of the stuff and lick it clean. Here is a brand new picture of Nyssa having her lunch:

Last night she only ran around for 15 minutes or so but she split the time between exploring and literally running and playing with Chin Soon. That was really good to see. So long as I can keep Nyssa happy and her quality of life good I feel that all my efforts are really being rewarded.

Sure Ella, Zephyr, and Chin Soon are playful and are more fun to have around. Nyssa will follow me, is affectionate, wants to be held, and generally shows she knows who cares for her and how much she appreciates what I do for her. The time, effort, and money I spend on Nyssa are all very much worthwhile and I'll do all I can to keep her happy for as long as possible.

Technorati Tags:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ice Dancing and Weasel War Dancing

Last night's main event in NBC's Winter Olympics coverage was ice dancing, which is absolutely beautiful to watch. The ferrets did some dancing of their own, which is fun to watch. Ferret playtime was limited to about four hours because Summer was absolutely exhausted. Zephyr still had energy at that point. I think all the ferrets were glad to have Summer around again this weekend. Two people to play with and shower them with attention are probably better than one in any case.

Nyssa had a rough night last night and Summer saw her at pretty much her absolute worst. She still had a voracious appetite for four feedings of gravy plus a couple of Ferretvite treats but she was shivering and looked pretty miserable a lot of the time. She certainly didn't run around much and Summer and I did discuss the end for her. Today, though, Nyssa is feeling much, much better and my little intrepid explorer was back, looking bright eyed and chipper. If Nyssa hangs in there for exactly 10 more weeks she'll be eight years old. Today also marks 15 months since she was diagnosed with lymphoma. As I've written before Nyssa is one stubborn little weasel who never gives up. So long as she's eating well on her own, playing, exploring, and generally not showing signs of pain I plan on doing all I can for her and continuing to spoil her.

Chin Soon, as usual, is my frenetic ferret with the craziest war dance. Ella is just plan adorable, whether she's being bouncy and playful or cuddly and sweet. She also did her imitation of the Podo and Kodo bounce last night.

All in all I think the combination of ice dancing and weasel war dancing is a lot of fun for all involved. I'll try to get some new pictures this evening.

Technorati Tags:

Friday, February 17, 2006

Olympic Ferret Playtime

Chin Soon Takes The Gold

Nyssa started out looking pretty good on Tuesday evening. Chin Soon even got to play with her a little, a small game of chase. Nyssa ran for no more than 15 minutes and spent the rest of the night curled up in the blue soft tube. She seemed fine all things considered.

I had Energizer weasels Wednesday night. At the end of the Olympic coverage (12:30 AM) I had to put the two that were still running, Ella and Chin Soon, to bed anyway because I was beyond wiped out. Ella did take one nap. Chin Soon was literally non-stop, though she was pretty mellow at the end as even she has limits. Still, for energy and endurance Chin Soon takes the gold medal.

Last night I wasn't feeling well and the ferrets got out later than normal. We watched figure skating again but playtime really wasn't of Olympic proportions. The ferrets are used to a certain schedule and when they don't get it they don't run for as long. Chin Soon and Zephyr was there highest energy weasels. Nyssa, as usual, played the least. Nyssa could easily win a gold medal if eating gravy was an Olympic sport.

Summer flies in this evening and I am hoping her return into Nyssa's life stimulates my oldest ferret. I'm sure the others will be thrilled to see her as well.

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ferrets and Figure Skating

As I mentioned in my Entropy (personal) blog, for two weeks every four years I turn into a couch potato who spends her time watching sports. I love the Winter Olympics. The ferrets love the Winter Olympics too. Yes, I'm serious. I know this to be an absolutely indisputable fact.

Why do the ferrets love the Olympics? If I'm home with the TV on there really is no reason the ferrets have to be caged, is there? They get to run around and play as much as they want. If I'm home and in the same room as the ferrets I'm not going to ignore them, am I? Also, what better way to spend those long commercial breaks than playing with the ferrets? They have lots of freedom and attention and yes, they love that. Chin Soon and Zephyr have boundless energy and really take advantage of the extra playtime. Ella does too but she needs more naps.

Nyssa has looked good the last week and hasn't needed her pain meds again but she's, sadly, been low energy. Summer is coming for a visit next weekend and Nyssa adores Summer so I'm hoping that stimulates her. In the meanwhile she keeps slurping lots and lots of her gravy and being affectionate so I can't complain too much. I'm just glad she's still here. I'm now counting down the weeks to her eighth birthday, something I didn't dream I'd get to celebrate. Now I think I just might. One problem: how do I do something special for a ferret who is already spoiled rotten and gets most everything she wants?

Anyway, last night's pairs figure skating short program competition was absolutely gorgeous. Ferrets and figure skating: it doesn't get any better.

Technorati Tags:

Monday, February 06, 2006

Nyssa Update

Nyssa had been feeling really puny the last few days and I really thought I'd be calling Dr. Wolfe (her vet) this morning for a final appointment. Not so. Nyssa looked better last night and much, much better this morning. She was alert, bright eyed, and HUNGRY. She slurped up all the chicken gravy I warmed up for her this morning eagerly. This, of course, was a major disappointment to Ella who also loves gravy and wants her chance at leftovers and would happily lick the bowl clean.

There have been a few times that Nyssa has made me think she was at the end of her long battle with lymphoma. I know that time really is coming soon but I'm glad she bounced back at least a little again. The other ferrets, including Zephyr, have been checking up on her a lot lately so I know they were concerned too.

Technorati Tags:

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ferret Report on Groundhog Day

Chin Soon Is Too Smart For Her Own Good

As I've written before, little Miss Chin Soon, my smallest ferret, clearly studied escapology and getting through unlikely tight places from Romana while the two were together. I've had to reconfigure the barrier to my kitchen and all it's hazards several times now. It never takes long for Chin Soon to figure out another way to defeat it. I'm back to the Cincinnati obstacle course style of barrier: Plexiglas with something too big and heavy for Chin Soon to move behind it.
When Chin Soon gets where she's not supposed to be it's time to play two of her favorite games: chase and hide and seek. If I don't chase her she'll come out and look up at me like I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. If she goes into some tight place she'll poke her head out if I don't seek and try to grab her quickly enough. Tenchi used to do just the same. I really think Chin Soon wants into the forbidden zones just to play these games. The fact that she's tiny and very fast doesn't make catching her all that easy.

Nyssa Is Channeling Pertwee

Pertwee, my all time most medically challenged weasel, had chronic pancreatitis the last couple of years of his life. We had to give him pancreatic enzyme (Viokase-V, very expensive) in powdered form mixed into food so that he could digest what he ate. Pertwee loved Bob Church's Chicken Gravy and he pratically lived on the stuff later in life. He had a funny habit, though. The spoiled weasel would ignore a bowl of gravy if you set it in front of him. Spoon feed him and he'd go nuts, lick the spoon clean at breakneck speed, and then dive into the bowl and not stop until it was licked clean too. Guess what Nyssa is now doing?

Yep, Nyssa has decided that the gravy is the greatest treat in the world. Even though she hates her medicine she'll wake up and will stand up at the side of the cage waiting for medicine time at the appointed hour. Medicine, you see, is always followed by yummy gravy and lots of it. Like Pertwee, though, you have to start spoon feeding her. Like I've said before she's spoiled rotten.
Much as was the case with Pertwee I am convinced the gravy is a big part of what keeps Nyssa going and alive at this point in her life. She's so terribly skinny it's pathetic but this high protein, high calorie food gets lots of nutrition into her.

Mama Ella

Whenever a ferret was under the weather little Romana would check on them. Sometimes she'd curl up with them, wide awake but keeping the sleeping sick one company. She did that with Podo and Ayeka and before Romana died she did that with Nyssa as well. Ella, who is now very closely bonded to Nyssa, has taken over that role. If Nyssa is curled up in a blanket sleeping during playtime Ella will periodically check on her and sometimes snuggle up with her. Ella and Nyssa are often snuggled together in the cage as well. Poor Zephyr, who still doesn't care for Nyssa much, is sometimes odd ferret out when the other three sleep together. At that point she'll often decide to tolerate Nyssa after all.
Anyway, it's very cute to see how social domestic ferrets can be and how they care for one another.

Technorati Tags: