It was late at night, and I heard loud noises in my kitchen. My wife was worried. She said that it was my responsibility to investigate. I sneaked in slowly, not knowing if I would find a burglar or large rat. It was neither comforting nor a good idea at 2am. I ran into the room, flickering the light and shouting “Arghhh!” The room was empty when the noise stopped. I stood in my PJs, wondering if the noise was real.
The noise reeked for a few seconds before it stopped. It seemed like it was coming from a drawer next to the kitchen counter. I had no idea what I would find, so I opened the drawer and prepared to give it a good shake. It was my daughter’s albino ferret, with a furry twitching and two pink eyes. This smile eased any fears.
Casper, the name my daughter gave her albino ferret pal, was busy living up his scientific name Mustela pusorius furo, which loosely translates to “stinky little theft”.
FACT OF THE HISTORY: Mustela furo, the scientific name of the domesticated ferret, is Mustela putorius furo. Weasels, minks and otters are all part of the same family as wolverines, wolverines, badgers, wolverines and skunks. Some Egyptian tombs show pictures of ferret-like creatures walking on leashes. Their domestication is thought to have occurred before cats and dogs. They were brought to Britain by the Romans around 2000 years ago to be used to drive away rats and to find rabbits.
Although wild cats can be found roaming streets looking for food or defending themselves against attackers, ferrets cannot survive without humans. They have been domesticated for thousands of years. They are friendly, curious and a great sables as pets. However, just as a dog, you will need to be able to commit and show patience with your ferret. You can expect your ferret to live for 7 to 8 years if they are properly cared for.
My daughter’s ferret, an albino with white fur and pink eyes, isn’t a fault. It’s just her genetic makeup. All baby ferrets (or kits) are born with white fur. As they get closer to 4 weeks old, their individual coloring will show. Albinos remain pure white while sables slowly adopt their adult colors. Albino genes are recessive so breeding a sable and an albino will not produce a ferret with darker eyes. The males called hobs will reach an average height of 17-24 inches and weigh between 3 and 5 pounds. The average height of females (called jills) is 12-16 inches. They weigh about 1 to 3 pounds.
They are extremely agile, more so than any other cat. They were used historically to follow rodents into smaller holes as well as protect grain stores. They most likely migrated to America on colonist ships and earned their keep as rat patrollers. You’ll often find them in isolated dairy barns, keeping rodents away.
FACTOID: It has been reported that electrical contractors use ferrets for pulling telephone and electric wires through ducts too small to use conventional methods.
You will have hours of fun with your ferret friend, whether sable or albino, and many years of affection and love from him.