Pet of the Day

June 22, 1998

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Bitsy, Belle, the Pets of the Day
Name: Bitsy, Belle
Age: Three years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Ferrets
Home: Mars, Pennsylvania, USA
   These are two of my little girl ferrets, Belle and Bitsy. Belle is the sable ferret who is doing the kissing, and Bitsy is the butterscotch who is being kissed! Both girls are around three years old and they love each other dearly. Bitsy was my first ferret, and when it seemed time to find her a companion, we went to several pet stores and Bitsy chose Belle. I want to make that really clear... Belle and I took a little longer to be comfortable with each other, but Bitsy and Belle adored each other immediately. They are still just that close.

    I am a little prejudiced, but I think Bitsy and Belle are among the most wonderful six ferrets in the entire world! Twinkle, Twilight, Opus and Oreo are tied with them for first place! Bitsy and Belle are the unofficial spokesferrets for McKenzie Childs china and can be seen in a picture posed in a lovely compote at the Glassworks in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately this is an unpaid position so they are not able to support me in the style to which I have become accustomed!!!

    Bitsy and Belle play together for the most part... Belle is a very quiet ferret, but she always enjoys spending time with Bitsy. Bitsy, although she thinks she is Queen of the House, sometimes loosens up enough to wrestle with Opus, or to bounce around with Twink and Twi. Belle doesn't mingle much with people she doesn't know, because she is afraid of noises and sounds that aren't familiar to her. Bitsy is much more social and enjoys meeting new friends. Bitsy has a very strong bond with me as she was my first ferret, and we were alone together for many months before she picked Belle. When nobody else is looking she likes me to cuddle her and treat her like a baby. This is going to sound crazy, but she likes it very much when I sing songs to her, especially if I make up lyrics that include her name often!

    I think it should be up to the individual and their life style about having more than one ferret. Keeping in mind that ferrets are very social, if you work a lot or are out of the house a lot I think it is important for your ferret to have a ferret companion. They sleep and play intermittently, so it is nice for them to have someone who keeps the same hours as they do! It was hard for me at first when Bitsy and Belle started bonding. I was a little jealous because I was no longer the most important one in their lives (well, I was, since I was the one who could reach the food, etc., but you know what I mean). Instead of automatically running to me when I opened the door of the cage, they would run off together and it took me a little while to adjust to that! It didn't help that Belle took every opportunity to nip me! Once I realized that the answer to that problem was to handle her more, rather than less, we resolved the biting for the most part. I don't think that two ferrets are any more work than one. I won't try to tell you that SIX aren't more trouble than one, but they also are six times the love! My ferrets are very affectionate with me. They like to be touched and held, and they like it when I play with them.

    Bitsy wasn't really happy when Twinkle and Twilight moved in. She pouted for a couple weeks and tried to keep them out of the hammock and sleep sacks. All of a sudden one day she decided they were her sisters, too, and I came home to find all four of the girls tangled in a knot sound asleep. Twink and Twi are younger and a little bouncier, so they tend to play more together than with Bitsy and Belle. Twilight has a very definite sense of humor and is a tease, so she manages to drag Bitsy into some wrestling matches.

    We know that ferrets have not always been legal in a lot of places, and that they are still not accepted in some of our more remote backward states. We tend to forgive Hawaii, but after a particularly stupid letter from the offices of the Governor of California, Bitsy, Belle, Twinkle, Twilight, Opus and Oreo all asked if they could contribute some of their college fund to Ferrets Anonymous. I helped them write the check.

    We are a very happy family. We have come through a lot of problems (everyone had ECE this year, and Twilight had double adrenal surgery), but it has made us appreciate each other more and love each other more deeply.

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