It’s a sign of being a ferret owner that upon getting a diagnosis of adrenal cancer, your main reaction is relief. Ah, a treatable, well-known ferret illness that can be lived with for years while the ferret is mostly unaware of it, or at least unaware enough to spend all day chasing his brothers around the dining room in smaller and smaller concentric circles until one of them gives up and tackles him.
Trouble is, those years go by too fast.
Tonight Puck, who’s been going steadily downhill in the past month as the treatments he’s been on began failing him, had a very bad seizure in the kitchen while I was attempting to convince him to drink from his water dish. An emergency consultation with the Best Vet Ever confirmed what we’d suspected for a couple of days, that he was going nowhere good. He went to sleep just after midnight, peacefully, in Mr. A’s arms, while we petted him and told him that where he was going, there were about a billion other ferrets to chase. He was six years old and had been kicking cancer’s ass for two years, but it finally got him.
When we got Puck we’d had old, sick ferrets for a while, first Joey and then Fox and then Stripe. Having a relatively young, energetic critter in the house was something else. I posted this up during my guest stint at Tbogg this past week, because the commenters over there were asking what it was like actually living with these animals and telling them they could replicate the experience by shooting up either their puppy or their toddler with heroin and Ritalin didn’t seem to be effective in explaining things:
He loved to chase, and he loved to run around outside on his leash, and in fact just last week I took him out to the grassy spot in the courtyard of our building. He’d been kind of down for a couple of days and I thought maybe this would perk him up, some fresh air and new smells. He explored every inch of the grass, batted at the flowers, and finally just lolled on the lawn, his ears perking up every time a car or person went by, as if to say, “What’s this, that has entered my kingdom?”
I hope he was happy. I know we were, when he was around.