Friday, September 05, 2008

just like the partridge family

last night the kids & i went on a field trip for a playdate with E's ferrets. first off, i have SO much more respect now for everyone i know that has kids. i am cognisant of the fact that my ferrets, while they are my kids, are not actual babies (i haven't gone THAT far around the bend). however, it took a lot of work to get them out of the house. while i was packing their stuff i woke them up, but left them in their cage, hoping they'd use the bathroom before we got going....just like my mom! she STILL asks me if i've gone to the bathroom before we leave for shopping. old habits, right? i had to get their travel cage ready. instead of a cat carrier or medium dog carrier i actually have a CAGE cage for the five to travel in. it's the starter ferret cage that i got with cass & sun. i have two hammocks hanging in it for them, there's room for one of their small litter pans, & of course there's a food dish. i do need to get a small water bottle for the cage too. in addition to trying to get five ferrets to use the litter pan i also had to pack a bag with some of their toys & their treats.

i put the kids into the travel cage one at a time...they were not at all happy. it was our first field trip. for cass & sun they'd been in the small carrier to come home & then go to the vet. same with nyddah. podo & doodle had just been in a carrier to come to my place. so they haven't had a lot of fun times when being put in a small space & then into a car. after all that it was then time to get me, my purse, my laptop backpack, the kids' "diaper bag", & the kids into the car.
yes, it took two trips from the house to the car. luckily for me when i got to E's house he carried in the cage for me so i just had all the other stuff & our dinner to contend with.

for anyone contemplating getting ferrets i want to say, the more you get in one room the craftier they get. i swear nyddah & podo both became much more naughty & mischievous when i got them out of the cage & playing with E's four ferrets. but, the fun part is all their individual personalities start to show too. yesterday podo showed us that she is actually part monkey & that she'd a damn stubborn little fert. she managed to climb E's "ferret proof" gate & get out of the play area twice successfully. & then for a while i just stood next to the gate while she climbed up to the top, i picked her up, put her back, & we'd repeat the whole process again. i'm proud of myself that my will was stronger than the ferret's. nyddah is just crazy smart, a little bit more of a monkey than i knew, & i think part sugar glider because she was jumping from furniture to furniture.

the line up last night was: nyddah, podo, cassidy, sundance, doodle, sue, moxie, jack, & lily. E's little girls sue & lily look a bit similar to my girls. sue is darker all over so there's no real way she could be confused with my girls. lily is a bit lighter like mine, but on her front paws the tips of her toes are very light, almost like she has a little fuzzy french manicure. i knew cass was a big boy, but seeing him next to E's ferrets was really eye opening. E's roomie di said he was the biggest ferret she had ever seen in her life. & then there's always the photographic proof: that is E's "big boy" jack on top of cassidy. they were wrestling & jack climbed on top of cass to try to get the upper hand. cass is a whole head longer than jack & weighs quite a bit more than him. although, even doodle & sun are bigger than jack....i guess i just have big ferrets. although, sun & doodle are pretty well proportioned. poor cassidy. he had a blast running & playing & wrestling with the other ferrets, but he wasn't able to play in all the same places they were. he's just my chunky monkey & can't wriggle into all the small places the other kids can.

i've only been able to get a few "family" pictures of all five of my ferrets. one was when they were playing in the shower & the rest were when they were in their cage. i tried really hard to get a picture of all nine, but the best i could do was five. but, it does show the size difference between my guys & E's. cass is at the top horizontally, the really big guy, & sun is across the bottom horizontally. then from left to right it's jack, moxie, & either podo or nyddah (i honestly can't tell). lily & sue are the real tiny babies of the gang, but they're not in the pic. they are a smidgeon smaller than my girls. doodle is also conspicuously missing, but he's bigger than sun & smaller than cass.

all in all everyone had a good time. it was chaos, but slightly controlled chaos. E & i also came to the conclusion that no matter what a group of ferrets is technically called, it's really a riot. everywhere we looked there was a ferret climbing, chasing, or getting into something. but the kids had a good time. when it was time to put them back in their cages the only one that really fought it was doodle (i swear, that ferret has more energy than any two of the other ones.... he's like a ferret on speed). but even he settled down once he was back in the cage.

right away. when i was putting my kids away i saw we did have a few panic moments because we wrangled up jack, lily, moxie, doodle, & podonyddah was curled up in the cage in the hammock. that left cass, sun, & sue on the run. we found sun curled up in the bottom of the living room chair. i finally rechecked my cage & cass had crawled into the cage & had gone to sleep in the bottom corner in the crinkle tube which is why i didn't see him at first. so just sue was on the lamb. E, di, myself, & another roomie of their lp all looked. we looked under furniture, in cabinets, in bags, window sills....everywhere she could possibly be. E was getting pretty upset & she just was no where to be found. finally di asked if we were really sure she wasn't in the cage. i had put lily, jack, & moxie in the cage, but that didn't mean she wasn't there. i had originally missed cass & he's twice her size. E checked & she was curled up in the bottom pocket of a hammock totally hidden from view.

all in all it was a very successful outing. no one got lost, everyone had a great time, & it was an adventure for all parties involved. it did actually make me think of the partridge family & the lyrics to their theme song "we had a dream we'd go trav'lin' together we'd spread a little lovin' then we'd keep movin' on somethin' always happens whenever we're together." the whole trip was kind of an adventure. i was just missing the obnoxious music & the bus that looks like it was painted during a bad lsd trip. i also want to know, do five ferrets & a human count as a carpool? cause i really wanted to justify using the carpool lane last night. it's me & my kids. the highway patrol would have to agree if i was stopped, right? but, i think E & i will get the kids together again sometime. maybe next time he'll bring his four to my place. we'll see what happens. & hopefully i'll be able to be quicker on the draw with the camera.

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