This is a ferret. His name was Woozle. On the off chance you haven’t seen one up close before, it’s not a meerkat or an otter or a lemur or a weasel (though all but the weasel would probably be pretty nifty, if demanding, pets). He was a ferret. (He did not get to keep the purloined clove cigarette, so settle down.)
I still have one around (his name is Murphy), but Woozle met his great reward (a bottomless food bowl full of treats?) in 2008.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages to having a “child” with fur as opposed to the normal type of kid, with (mostly) furless skin, two legs, the (eventual) ability to speak and a frequently runny nose.
* Ferrets do not require orthodontia
* Ferrets do not like Barney. They might like to try to eat Barney, however.
* Having a ferret does not oblige you to endure meals at Chuck E Cheese or McDonald’s
* When you go to Toys R Us, you can buy toys for yourself
* Whereas you can clothe a ferret, if you’re so inclined (please don’t be THAT kind of pet parent), they do not outgrow $100 sneakers every three months.
* To my knowledge, no ferret has ever lost a retainer in the 60-gallon cafeteria garbage pails.
* Ferrets do not enjoy conversations that require you to answer “Why?” 400 times an hour.
* Ferrets are easily entertained by plastic grocery sacks. Human children tend to be dumb enough to attempt suffocation with them.
* Ferrets will not sneak out of the house and get pregnant, pierce themselves, tattoo their butts or knock over liquor stores
* No ferrets involved in Columbine shooting
* No ferrets involved in WTC bombings. Ferrets are, actually, notoriously unimpressed with promises of multiple virgins waiting for them in Heaven.
* Ferrets do not listen to the Insane Clown Posse.
* Ferrets do not shave their heads and become sullen and uncommunicative.
* No ferret has been caught getting schockered on unattended bottles of Manichevitz.
* Ferrets do not make you read the same book 6,000 times to them out loud.
* Ferrets do not argue about bedtime.
* Ferrets bathe themselves.
* Ferrets do not inherit genetic misfortune from you or your mate: all ferrets are cute, no ferrets go through “an awkward stage”.
* Ferrets and children tend to poop a lot, sometimes in unacceptable places.
* Occasionally ferrets and children will bite
* Ferrets and children can make horrific messes during the twenty seconds your back is turned
* Ferrets and children are irresponsible
* People enjoy looking at pictures of ferrets and children being cute
* People get bored after looking at more than a handful of photos of ferrets and children being cute
* Ferrets and children can only be trained to an extent
* Ferrets and children have short attention spans
* Ferrets and children get bored quickly.
* Ferrets and children can both vanish the minute your back is turned.
* Ferrets and children both attempt to eat nasty things, like dead bugs
* Ferrets and children attempt to eat unhealthy things, like cold French fries you threw into the garbage
* Ferrets and children both steal anything that isn’t nailed down
* Ferrets and children can get out of trouble by merely looking innocent and cute
* Ferrets do not smear poo or mashed potatoes on walls
* Ferrets do not stick beans up their noses or in their ears
* Ferrets can be walked on a leash without getting you hauled in for abuse
* Ferrets can hide under the refrigerator.
* Ferrets can also hide under the reclining chair and risk amputated limbs.
* Ferrets are generally quiet, unless they have stuck their paw in the dishwasher door you were closing
* Ferrets do not make macaroni glue art
* Ferrets do not make Mother’s Day cards
* Ferrets can get fleas
* You can’t ship a ferret off to summer camp
* Ferrets lack the ability to lie to you
* Ferrets do not grow up to be doctors, lawyers, artists, writers
* Ferrets can’t give you grandchildren one day
* Ferrets only live for about a decade or so
* Ferrets eat your inner soles out of your favourite shoes
It’s up to you to weigh the benefits and disadvantages and make an informed choice. 😉