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Things Go Better With .. Ferrets (or Coke?)!

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© Erika Matulich, Ph.D.

I adopted Socks from a local ferret shelter, so who knows what kinds of wonderful junk food he got fed before I took him home and put him on my own strictly controlled diet! It became clear that Socks, in his youth, had fallen prey to effective marketing, and through his head rang the constant, mesmerizing advertising messages: Coke is it; Things go better with Coke, Always Coca-Cola.

Socks quickly gained the reputation of a Coca-Cola craving critter! He would awake from the deepest slumber at the sound of a can being opened, so we tried to switch to plastic bottles. But I swear, Socks could hear the bubbles fizzing in a cup a mile away! If someone had Coke in a glass, he would shimmy up their legs and body in a flash, and race down their outstretched arm to dive into the glass for his drink!

I guess Socks watched too much television one weekend, because at 1:30 in the morning, the unrelenting COKE messages overcame Socks, and he conned Bear into opening the pantry cabinet. (Bear had been previously unable to do this, but given his newfound winter weight gain, was able to exert extra leverage against the cabinet door).

Socks then proceeded to enter the cabinet and rip open a cardboard case of Coca-Cola Classics (in the favorite ferret form: the can). He shoved the cans out of the cabinet (whack, thump, thump, roll), wrestled with them in a heroic effort to get to the contents inside, and then managed to open the cans! (But just a little bit!)

I awoke to this ridiculous clatter, and stumbled into the kitchen to turn on the light. I blinked in disbelief at what I saw: several cans of Coke spinning around and around, throwing streams of brown liquid around the kitchen like a sprinkler head as Socks opened yet another can (after bonking it around to get it all fizzed up first). Bear just sat in the cabinet, attempting to keep an innocent "Who me?" expression on his face.

I snatched the twirling, fizzing cans off the floor and immediately got attacked by Socks, who knew those hard-earned cans were HIS and his alone! He was so desperate, he hung by his teeth from the can tabs in an effort to retain his precious Cokes. (You think he could just lick up the stuff that was all over the kitchen floor and cabinets, but no such luck).

After a valiant battle, I cleared everything up, left the cabinet door open (because Bear had gone to sleep in the empty Coke box), and went back to bed, with Socks attacking my ankles in Coke withdrawal frustration the entire way across the house.

Hubby John managed to snore through the entire episode, and only noticed something was amiss when he got up in the morning and his feet stuck to the kitchen floor.

Day or night -- it's always exciting with ferrets!

Socks (photo by John Porter)