Tag Archives: ferret

Get That Bug Out of Your Mouth! You Don’t Know Where That Bug’s Been

I’m near the middle of the novel I am presently working on. One of the participants is a small dome shaped creature with multiple legs. black widow spiderIt sounds similar to a spider even though I don’t use that term in the book.

It got me thinking…and we all know how dangerous that can be. I’ve written several blogs concerning pets that I’ve owned in my younger days that leaned more toward the exotic–an alligator, a boa constrictor, a ferret and an American chameleon (which was nothing more than a small green lizard) to name a few.

Now, I want to preface this next paragraph by saying that I’ve always been a little kooky but never into dark or dangerous activities. I feel I have to do this because of the next pet I’ll be describing…pet is probably an inaccurate word…let’s go with acquisition.

Just as today, there were two types of pets and/or acquisitions in those days–the kind you bought and the kind you caught. The acquisition in question was the latter, better known as the “latrodectus” or black widow spider.

What possessed me to cut a hole in a metal jar top, cover it with cloth, throw a little gravel in the bottom, place one upright stick into the jar and then capture a black widow is still a mystery to me.

Side note: ever notice when a kid catches something he’s going to stuff into a jar, that something always gets a rock and a stick. I guess it’s the first rule of animal ownership.

Anyway, that’s what I did. She immediately began to weave a web that utilized the complete interior of a twelve ounce mayonnaise jar.

Now if you just plop something (a spider) into a strange environment, (a jar complete with a rock and stick) cut off from the basics to sustain life, you must supply those basic items (plump juicy insets which might have otherwise enjoyed the new habitat had they not been on the menu.)

This was a big fat healthy spider so I decided to test her prowess of gathering food. I managed to capture a paper wasp. I tossed it into the jar expecting at least somewhat of a battle. The wasp jiggled around in the web until the spider nonchalantly sauntered over and bit the very tip of the wasp’s rear leg and backed off, waiting for its venom to take effect.

Some battle. Wasp hits web, spider bites wasp, spider wraps wasp in burial shroud and sucks meal at its leisure. Did I mention the obesity factor when I first acquired the arachnid? Well, it got fatter. One morning I awoke to a skinny spider and a huge egg case.

Cool, I thought, the circle of life taking place right before my very eyes. Elated, I rubbed my hands together. Now let’s see what you’ve really got.

Searching through a stack of bricks, I procured another black widow. Admittedly, she didn’t appear as healthy as my combatant, but what the hay.

I dropped the second spider into the web of death.

Expecting somewhat of a battle this time, the newcomer immediately adopted a subservient posture at the bottom of the jar. My champion yawned, bit the newcomer and voile’ another meal down the gullet.

After meal number three (a honey bee) she was once again fat and sleek, a champion in the spider world if there ever was one. I woke up the next morning to yet another neatly woven egg case.

I don’t know what I was thinking (obviously I wasn’t) allowing a jar full of death to set on my dresser, giving it no more thought than a picture set in a frame. Then one fateful morning I awoke to thousands of juvenile black widows pouring out of the egg case and spreading throughout the jar. Hmm, I thought to myself, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.

A few short squirts of insect spray and I learned two very important lessons:

1.) I was very good at raising poisonous spiders.

2.) I was very, very good at arachnid genocide.

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Like a Turd in a Punch Bowl, It Just Doesn’t Figure

I have cleared my desk. Pens and pencils pierce the sheet rock walls. What remains of my Hemmingway 2000 typewriter, circa 1948 rests in pieces on the floor. Ferret (1)Mangled chunks of keyboard, motherboard and any other board which resided in my desktop are strewn around the room.

Having done this for one and one reason only, I had hoped we could bypass the waves of technology and simply talk.….You know, I say something, then you say something…… And before you know it, a conversation breaks out.

Okay I’ll start.

I had a hankering (hankering is southern US slang for wanting to do particular thing) to tell you about Floyd. I became good friends with Floyd somewhere around my 20th year when he came to live with us.

Having limited space we were forced to bunk together. This would not have been such a bad arrangement, had Floyd paid closer attention to his hygiene. In fact he just plain stunk. The smell was tolerable during the day. We would frolic through the fields, play hide and seek and just about everything else best buddies would do together.

Then came the night and It was Katie bar the door.

It got to where I could stand it no longer. I demanded that he bathe every day. This stench had to stop. At first he tried to stonewall me, but he knew down deep that I was right and bathe as he might, the stench was there to stay.

Did I mention that Floyd was a ferret…… I didn’t?…… I just assumed with thc picture and all…… Oh well.

Now if you’re considering ferret ownership and choose to purchase a male, make sure it has been castrated and the anal glands removed.

If purchasing a female and all you need worry with are the anal glands.

If you’re wondering why removing the anal glands is necessary, it helps the animal smell better.

But do you know what?…….It doesn’t work!

These creatures are curious, delightful, friendly and make wonderful pets, but the fact remains, that with or without their naughty bits, they still smell like a rectum.

Other animals have anal glands that are closely related to the ferret. Skunks, minks, otters to name a few. Thank goodness that ferrets are not able to express theirs like a skunk.

Even man’s best friend is equipped with a pair. So if you see your dog scooting its butt across the carpet, its anal glands are impacted and time for a trip to the veterinarian. If Rover ever starts leaking that juice you’ll rename your ferret rosebud.

I had Floyd for several years until he escaped and ran into a dog, who evidently wasn’t put off by his smell.

I still think back fondly, of a stinky little fuzz ball who would pull entire plates of food under the couch

Okay, now it’s your turn. So speak up, don’t be shy.

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