JUBILEE AND ROGUE Around the first part of March around my birthday I decided to act on something I had thought about for a long time. Finally getting a ferret as a pet. I'd put it off for a long time because of alot of the negative things you hear about them. So I spent a couple of weeks reading up about what people that had them thought of them. Then to actually find some of the little critters and save up enough to get them everything they needed. Around mid April I finally managed to find some. OF course my original idea of only getting one went out the window when I found out how lonely they can get without a playmate. So I told my boss I was taking off for a couple of hours and left post and headed out as quick as I could to bring home the little critters. I even got a warning ticket from the Highway Patrol enroute for going just a little too fast. I guess he thought my reason for speeding was funny since he let me off with a warning. Anyway after some mulling over I picked out a little sable with a bandit mask and a silver. I actually wanted two sables but the silver was pretty insistent. I loaded them up and mulled over their names for a day or two. The sable seemed at first to be the meaner of the two while the silver was more laided back. I named the sable Rogue for her temperment and the other Jubilee since she seemed so sweet. Ferrets being what they are once the names were decided on they did a personality switch on me and Rogue became the sweet one while Jubilee started looking at the world as her on personal fight club. Rogue would spend almost all her time playing with her toy balls and batting toys while Jubilee wanted to either play fight with me or Rogue. Which seemed to bug Rogue especially when she was busy with her toys or trying to hide them. Then I caught Rogue several times instigating the fights. I remember their first bath as well. Not experienced I thought I'd save a little time and try to give the new babies their first bath. Rogue loved it and happily was splashing the water and having a ball while all Jubilee wanted was Out and Out now. Once I finally finished giving the bath during which some how two 6 month old 1 1/2 kits managed to run this 38 year old Army SGT through the ringer and soak. I took them into the living room ot finish drying them off. Rogue soon had enough of the towel and did the ferret scoot all over the carpet to dry off. Jubilee bounced away while keeping her eye on me and walked to the dead center of the living room turned and faced me and got her thoughts on my nerve giving her a bath by making potty. Things settled down into a routine every day when I got off work with Rogue running rampant for something to steal. The bigger the better. While Jubilee was content to just fight. Rogue would settle down for a while and want to be held. Jubilee wanted nothing to do with it. I was there as a sparing partner. I tried showing more interest in her and to try and socialize her by holding and petting her. One day while holding her walking through my bedroom she managed to give me a really good bite after squirming to get down. I instinctively shook my hand to try and dislodge her and she wound up falling onto the couch. I was afraid I hurt her or scared her and reaching out to pick her up. Noticed she had her tail sticking up and was bouncing up and down with what I can only describe as a grin on her face and headed straight for my hands. Picking her up she immediately began squirming so I tried sitting her down on the bed. Right back to my hands she came. Catching on I picked her up and dropped her from a couple of inches which caused her to dance happily all over the bed and run right back to me. The Great Ferret Toss game had just been born. Which Jubilee to this day still thinks is the greatest game in the world. Anytime I am sitting on the couch now or on the edge of the bed she will worm her way under my hand and nibble my fingers until I get the idea. A short toss accross the couch cushion always results in her bouncing in her happy dance and then a run right back to me. Sometimes she gets so excited after a couple of tosses she forgets she is either on the couch or the bed and will bounce backward right off the edge With a thump and then a race back to my feet to let me know she isn't done yet. I tired seeing if Rogue would like the game as well but it definitely wasn't for her. She much preferred batting at a small ball with a bell in it I had hung happily swatting and jumping at it over and over or chasing strings. Rogues favorite toy was the battery powered rat that would turn and roll off in another direction when it hit something. At least as big and heavy as Rogue she nevertheless never got tired of Chasing it madly through the house catching her prey and scampering off awkwardly with it to her hiding holes. Several times she got severely upset when the rat had the nerve to actually escape her treasure trove which resulted in another chase and taking it to a different one of her stashes of inconcievable wealth. Up until a month ago every evening after work was laugh after laugh for several hours. Then one afternoon after letting them out neither one responded when I tried to contact them. After a short search I found Jubilee sound asleep but Rogue who usually would be curled up with her. After a search that got more and more frantic I found an access panel in my spare bedroom closet partially pulled away from the wall. After another search I realized that the only place they could be was in this access panel. An outdoor search until well after sunlight was fruitless so I returned to the house sitting down and slowly letting it sink in I had lost both my little girls. Then Jubilee scampered out from the spare room and up to me. In relief after all the hours of searching I picked her up and gave her a big hug before putting her in her cage Then I placed water and some of their favorite food and snacks near the open panel checking several times a day as well as around the house and the neighborhood. Rogue never returned home. After several weeks I had no choice but to seal the panel back up where I would not have to worry about Jubilee being lost the same way. Blocking the spare room off for those 3 or 4 weeks where I could still get in and check as well as see in without Jubilee being able to get in. Jubilee from the next day and over the first week or two after Rogue dissappeared would frantically race from one end of the house to the other checking each favorite hidding spots before climbing up in my lap between searches. Jubilee also began hunting me out and wanting me to hold her as if wanting to be consoled as well as becoming more interested in playing games with me. She was still despondent and would sometimes in the middle of playing suddenly stop and begin one of her searches through the house. Often after such a search she would return to her hammock and lay wide awake. A couple of weeks ago I found another baby ferret even smaller than Jubilee and Rogue when I got them. I was a little leary of them being together But after watching them play for a couple of minutes and reaching to take the baby and put her up Jubilee nipped at my hands and scampered catlike around and around my feet until she made sure the baby was safe. I named the new baby sable Ele short for elektra because of a white blaze on the top of her head that looks like a lightning bolt. The two now get along pretty well although Ele is quite the rambunctious one and gets Jubilee frustrated occasionally. Just last night Jubilee was wanting to sleep and unable to find a place without Ele scampering up to start playing. Finally she retreated to the walk in closet where her cage is and behind a large suitcase only to be once more attacked. Sitting at my computer and hearing Ele let out her "I give Whimper" I turned to see Jubilee slowly dragging Ele out of the closet.Once she reached the door she let Ele loose and turned back to go to sleep. Ele wasn't having that and immediately pounced. Jubilee finally decided my lap was the safest place. They get along just about like any older and younger girls would I guess. Jubilee even occassionally will let herself be "suprised" when Ele jumps out at her. Ele being so young usually miscalculates her jump and misses. Jubilee always will roll over and carry on like she has been throughly clobbered. At any rate the time since I got Rogue and Jubilee has been nothing but laughs until I lost Rogue. Everyone of my girls has been the best of pets I could ever wish for. They've pretty much proven all the negative comments I heard prior to getting them wrong. As far as Ferret's stinking Not really as long as you do your job and clean their litter box and bath them. Most people can smell them but as long as they are taken care of it isn't a really unpleasant odor. Other people saying they are not friendly animals should watch mine whenever someone new shows up. They come flying from whever they are to find out if the new human in the house is any good at playing. Most people either love them or hate them. I do think it somewhat sad to see a fully grown adult shrink from my girls as if they are some fearsome maneater. Most people seem to really like being able to hold and pet them. Most of the soldiers in my unit are constantly asking when I am going to bring in my "Flat Rats" in. Oh and another thing. Ferret's love Army Battle dress uniform cargo pockets. Thanks. Ajax's Tale Or The Angry Ferret Back in August 2003, I decided to add just one more ferret to my current household. I already had Zeus and Pandora, but thought, "What's the harm in one more?" Fuzzy math, I know. Anyway, I stopped in to my local pet store one afternoon just "window shopping" and saw 6 fairly large ferrets on sale. Turns out they were older and that was the reason for the good deal since most people want cute little kits and not almost full-grown ferrets. I picked out the biggest one;-over three pounds and asked to hold him. The little, or should I say, big guy, climbed right up on to my shoulder where he proceeded to claw and nip at me. Nonetheless, I thought there was something very unique about him and asked the pet store to hold him for a few days until I got paid. They agreed, and five days later I went back to pick up my new fuzzy. After bringing him home, "Atlas" was pretty much okay with the other two and myself for the first few days; kind of shy but he was in a new place. Unfortunately, after the newness of his situation wore off, Ajax (that name seemed to suit him better) began attacking not only the other ferrets, one of which is 1/3 his size, but me as well. He bit, not nipped, but bit me nearly every day hard enough to leave large bruises and welts. He had to be separated from the other two and put in his own cage. Though he was shown nothing but love and kindness for over six months, Ajax's temperament did not improve; if anything it became progressively worse. After taking the abuse from the little monster and watching my other two ferrets flee in fear from this schoolyard bully, I had all but made my mind up to find him another home or take his mean, fuzzy butt back to the pet store, but then, one night while I was sitting on the floor trying to referee the nightly fights, a random thought occurred to me: possibly Ajax is deaf. After doing a couple of tests with jingly toys and snapping my fingers, I determined over the course of a week or so that this bully was in fact deaf as a post. I began to use hand signals and treats to get his attention. It only took Ajax about a month to learn five commands; Attention, Come, Stand Up, NO, and Good Boy. I am pleased to say that six months after diagnosing his "condition" and one year after bringing him home, Ajax is the sweetest thing. He's very bright and now plays well with both the other ferrets and me. So, if anyone is out there reading this story and has a problem ferret, please remember that ferrets are basically good and sweet-tempered creatures (unless they have been mistreated or abused, of course) and if yours is lashing out, it may be as simple a matter as learning how to speak the same language.