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Holiday Memories with Ferrets

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Holiday Memories with Ferrets

© Erika Matulich, Ph.D.

It was holiday time in a new house with my new husband. We carefully decorated the 14-foot tree with hundreds of chili-pepper lights, candy canes, and colored balls in a Southwestern theme as our dozen ferrets looked on innocently. The tree was a bit odd looking because nothing was hung from the lowest branches except a few ferret-safe plastic ornaments. When we were through, the ferrets stopped supervising (and plotting!) and went to work. Over the next few days, my ferret Sasha removed most of the red plastic pepper light covers (not a single green one) and hid them all over the house. We still can’t find them all!

Then the candy canes started disappearing, but from the upper branches only, so I blamed my husband for eating them (and he thought it was me!). However, we spied on the tree from behind a door and caught a ferret culprit instead. Gizmo shinnied up the tree trunk, skimmed down the top of a branch, and took the candy cane with her as she slid off the end and wooshed to the floor as if she had been born a flying squirrel. We then trailed Gizmo to her stash of dozens of sticky candy canes glued to the carpet under the couch!

As the crowning finalé, our newest ferret Stevie waited until Christmas Eve to unwrap every present under the tree so we humans would not have to work so hard on Christmas morning. We awoke to the ferret bouncing proudly among the crumpled paper and shredded ribbons. Unfortunately, all the recipient tags were removed as well, so we spent the morning in a guessing-game trying to open the correct boxes! Our non-stop laughter brought every ferret running to join the fun and made for a most memorable first family holiday.