Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ferret Doctor For A Day--Removing Martin's Stitches

Willow holds cuddlebug Martin.
Saturday, the family and I went over to my dad's house.  We brought our laundry (thanks, Dad!), and while we did laundry, David mowed and took care of Dad's yard.

When we got there, Dad had his ferrets out to play.  He has four of them, of which two he only brought home a little over a week ago.  Sage and Aspen are the two he already had, and Aster and Martin are the newbies.

In the picture to the left, Willow is holding Martin.  Martin is a sweet little guy who absolutely loves to cuddle.  I've never seen a ferret who will sit still for so long in Willow's hands!

I don't know if you can see it very well, but his right hind leg is shaved (that would be the one on the bottom to the left facing us) because he had a surgery on it to remove a little tumor recently.  

Aster in a box of packing peanuts.
That surgery is actually one of the reasons we were at my Dad's, too.  I was there to help him remove the stitches.

In the photo to the right, you can see Aster playing in a box of packing peanuts.  They are the rice kind, so if one of the ferrets decides to eat one, it won't hurt him.  Ferrets are inquisitive, playful little creatures who love to burrow, so the peanuts are great for them to dig around in.

Isn't Aster cute?  She looks just like Aspen.  The only way you can tell them apart is that Aspen has dark spots on her nose.

Kato the cat doesn't look so sure about how he feels about the addition of the new ferrets, though.  He kept moving around the house, looking like he was constantly on alert for being nipped in the derrier by a sneaky little critter.

Kato the Cat on lookout for marauding ferrets.
The brightly colored tube shaped thing on the ground is another ferret toy.  I swear that any ferret that comes to my dad's house to live is coming to ferret paradise, because he has so many different toys and fun things for them to do.  He's got that fabric tunnel, plus he has a clear plastic tunnel that you can watch the ferrets go zooming through, and he's got lots of other fun things for them to do, besides.  In the very back of this photo to the left you can see a white bin that is full of rice--something else for the ferrets to burrow and dig in.  And believe me, they do!

I think this is Aspen giving Dad kisses.  She is a very kissy little girl.
Dad is holding one of his ferrets.  I'm not sure if it is Aspen or Aster, since I can't see the nose.  But whichever one it was, she was all about giving my dad kisses on the ear!  Licked it clean.

My dad adores his ferrets.  It's funny. He even has portable cages so that he can take him with him when he goes out.  They are family to him.

Recently, his ferret Titania died.  He was so upset.  He got her cremated and added her to his shelf where he keeps the cremated remains of his other two pet ferrets, Puck and Oberon.

I understand why he likes them so much, though.  They are so fun to watch and they are amazingly intelligent and determined little creatures.  If they want into something, they will work at it and work at it and work at it until they figure out how to open whatever it is they are trying to get into! 
A very determined Sage drags his toy house around the living room.
Ferrets have funny little fetishes, too. They all seem to like springy/chewy rubbery stuff, so if an item with rubber on it is small enough that they can drag it away, it will often disappear into a ferret treasure stash.  So their nail clippers, which have rubber coated handles, have disappeared, my daughter's Barbies have disappeared, as have lots of other things.  In the picture to the left, Sage is trying to drag away a little house ferret toy that has a grippy handle.

They also have shoe fetishes.  Puck used to have a treasure trove of shoes Willow outgrew in his cage that he would pull out and re-arrange ever so often.  It was hilarious.  The other ferrets like shoes, too, but not as much as Puck did.  He would try to make off with my shoes, too, but fortunately, they were a bit too big and heavy for him.

Super Aster and Willow!
Willow used to be scared of the ferrets because they tend to nip.  It's their way of trying to engage you in play.  They aren't trying to hurt you, but they do have sharp teeth, so if you rip your hand (or foot!  they like to go after your feet) away from them, it is easy to get scratched.  But yesterday, Aster nipped her foot and she actually laughed and picked her up.  I was happy to see she had gotten used to them and wasn't scared of them anymore.

Willow gets kisses from Aspen.
Willow likes to pick up the ferrets and cuddle them.  They don't usually sit still for long.  That Aspen was willing to give her a kiss (she loves to give kisses, that Aspen) is pretty cool.

It took a while for the ferrets to settle down after we got there.  After a bit, they started wandering off to sleep and Dad decided it was a good time to try and remove Martin's stitches.  Martin had seven stitches on his leg, and while Martin is very cuddly, I didn't expect that he would be willing to sit still through getting stitches tugged on and taken out.

Me removing one of Martin's stitches.
I was right.  I tried holding Martin still while Dad snipped and tugged, but he wouldn't hold still.  So Dad didn't manage to get any out.  He tried holding them and then I tried to get them out.  I managed to snip three stitches and get them out before Martin got too wiggly and we had to put him back down for his nap.  We had to do that two more times, each time getting two stitches out, before we were able to get them all off.

I felt terrible and almost cried because with the last stitch, a teeny bit of scab got pulled off and he started bleeding.  I thought I had somehow re-opened the wound.  Dad examined it and reassured me that wasn't the case.  Whew!  I sure didn't want to hurt the little guy! 

But all in all, it was a fun time with the ferrets.

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