Pet of the Day

June 24, 2001

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Buff, the Pet of the Day
Name: Buff
Age: Five months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Champagne Mitt
Home: Illinois, USA
   This is my beautiful boy Buff, a champagne mitt ferret. He was about five months old when this was taken, and really enjoying his first venture into the great Illinois outdoors! Buff is my special baby because he is deaf due to a genetic defect known as Waardensburg syndrome. A lot of light-coloured ferrets and ferrets with white markings on their heads are born with this defect, and it's been reinforced through the years because people are breeding for white ferrets. It's a real shame, but being deaf certainly doesn't seem to slow Buff down! He is a true sweetheart, gentle and cuddly, and absolutely great with our kids.

    Although he can't hear them, Buff is fascinated with plastic jingly-balls; maybe he likes the feel of the bell rattling about inside. Whenever he finds one, he takes it in his mouth and races back to his cage to hide it in his hammock... and woe to the ferret who disturbs it! I also cannot vacuum the floors without putting him in his cage, or else I have a hitch-hiking ferret attached to the vacuum cleaner! He seems to enjoy motors, and will press his cheek against anything that vibrates, such as the pump for our aquarium. I love all five of our ferrets, but Buff's my little boy. I wouldn't trade him for any other pet.

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