Bolton Ferret Welfare

Diary of a Highland Lady - October/November 2003

Ivy on her tartan - 4Kb View from the ferret pens - 5Kb

It was one of those hot afternoons - the sort where you lie in your hammock and think idle thoughts like: 'Why are there so many shoes on the sides of motorways?' And: 'How many sofas do advertisers think you can fit into a house?' Silly, pointless, thoughts, really. You don't expect anything to happen on afternoons like that - and it didn't. Well, not to ME!

Some people arrived at the croft and I heard them talking about a fashion shoot and using animals. Well, my ears pricked up at that, I can tell you! An international fashion shoot wanting to use our little place and some of the animals?! Of course, that would mean me! Ivy in the glossies! I couldn't tidy my whiskers quickly enough.

I draped myself in my most appealing repose in my hammock and waited for their delighted cries of: 'Oh, how gorgeous, we MUST have her!' Sure enough, those words were uttered - but would you believe they were talking about my arch-rival Dolcie, the Lamb from Hell? I was spitting feathers. They never even LOOKED at me. Instead they wanted some tatty little lamb and her two tatty-lamb sidekicks. OK, so the team were shooting for a range of woollen and tweed clothes but a ferret would have added a touch of glamour. It took me a week to come out of my sulks. I suppose it could be worse, they might have wanted Davy Crocket hats and hired the Royal Scots Raccoon Guards to sit on their heads. That really would have been the last straw. I would never have heard the last of it from them.

An important thing that HAS happened to me since I last did my Diary is that I now have a Ladies' Companion. I have to say this was not my idea. I have always been very happy as an only ferret but a sad sequence of events led me to permit another ferret into my home. Sadly, when my dear old friend, Stonebridge, died recently his cagemate was completely bereft. What could I do? Poor Robyn had lived all her life with gentle old Stonebridge. I had to try to offer her some consolation. After all, she is a cut above the average ferret and has worked in the media (although nowhere near my status) and had quite an eventful life. She's been a working ferret, a very successful show ferret and, with Stonebridge, a 'Ferapy Ferret', working with disabled children. If anyone was worthy of my company, I'd say it was Robyn.

Actually, she's been pretty hard work. She's been so distraught I have only to speak to her and she goes off in floods of tears and wailing. A bit of an Ophelia, I'm afraid. I'm being patient and things are improving a bit. She's a small albino jill and still very elegant for a seven year old. I have to say that she is neat and tidy in her ways, no bad table manners or missing the litter corner. I think she'll do very nicely. In fact, she has been quite useful already because when she isn't weeping and wailing, she can be quite amusing. She's also a real nosey parker and watches everything that goes on, which keeps me informed. Mind you, she's not always totally reliable. Being an albino her sight isn't that good, although you'd have thought common sense would have told her it wasn't the Queen changing a wheel on a battered old VW camper van on the lochside.

She also gets some words wrong. When I asked why she was giggling she said she was watching Dr Jeff leaping around the yard slapping midgets. Well, I didn't think that was funny at all. It's not their fault if they are vertically challenged. Then I realised she meant midges. Summer brings loads of midges up here. Nasty little biting things they are. Dr Jeff seems to be a favourite target and he's perfected a rather intricate dance by all accounts. From Robyn's description, he would not look amiss in one of those back and leg slapping lederhosen-clad Austrian dance teams. Maybe we've discovered the origin of the Highland Fling.

(From Ferrets First Issue no. 14 October/November 2003)

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