It’s been a month to the day since I had to let you go, and not a day has passed that I am not painfully aware of your absence. The whole gang is more subdued, so I know it’s not just me. We are all grieving here.
I know that nothing was the same for you once Popcorn left for the bridge. I tried to help you forget, but that was a useless endeavor. You still mourned, even as you slept and played with a number of new companions. I watched you eat less, lose weight, and lose that playfulness that brought me so much laughter. Eventually, you got some of it back, but it was never quite the same for you, was it?
The one thing that didn’t change was your affection. Even when Popcorn was still here, you were my cuddle bug. You were just as happy to sleep in my arms or on my chest as you were snuggled in your favorite hammy. You often stuck out your tongue and whimpered in your sleep, and every single time you did, my heart melted more. I’d hold you like that for an hour, sometimes two, before you were ready to go back to your hammy.
I should’ve known that precious time would be over too soon. Isn’t that the way it always goes? We people get so distracted by the stress and drama in our lives, we often forget to appreciate what we have. And it wasn’t that I forgot to appreciate you, my BB. But I would’ve paid even more attention, taken more pictures, looked for ways to give you new adventures and treats. I always knew you’d be the first to go, but that’s cause I had you first. I still hoped and prayed that the bridge would be years away. I truly was not ready to let you go.
I’m still not ready.
You are sitting right beside Popcorn on my headboard, slightly more than a foot from where I sleep and dream. I saved your last N-Bone for you, and every night I sleep with your blanket. It’s not a good substitute for you, not even close. I’ve looked at pet psychic sites, because I am that desperate to hear from you and to find some way, no matter how ‘out there’ it sounds, to let you know how much I love you, and how badly I am missing you.
Maybe what I’m looking for is someone to tell me it really was time for you to make your journey. Because no matter how logical I try to be, I’m just not sure. When they tried to put the gas mask on you, you fought it. It could’ve been that the gas was smelly, and that you’ve always fought things like medicines and nail trims, even when you realized you ‘liked’ the medicines, or enjoyed the tone you’d get to distract you as your claws were trimmed. I tried to keep you calm, but you were not gonna lay there and take that mask calmly. Even the vet tried to calm you. He was very nice about it all, and assured me afterwards that the tests he ran confirmed that your little body was riddled with the cancer. He said what we did was an act of mercy. But what I need to know is if you think we were merciful. Everyone says that our fuzzies will let us know when it’s time, however, I’m not sure you were ready. Nothing has scared me more than the possibility that there was more we could’ve done to help you. I worry that the vet might not have told me about possible things that could make you more comfortable and prolong your life. Please, please believe me, baby. I would’ve done those things in a heartbeat, had they told me of them. I would not ever want to take even a second away from you.
But I didn’t want to be so selfish that I couldn’t see your pain. It was obvious something was wrong. You were starting to breathe heavy, in a way I’ve never seen. When they said they couldn’t give you the shot, I wondered if it wouldn’t be better to just take you home. But then I had no way of knowing how much pain you were in. I didn’t want you to hurt. I didn’t want you to be scared. And I know that when it was all said and done, you just went to sleep. We should all be so lucky to go that way, I guess. But it wasn’t a decision I wanted to make. Please know that I only wanted the best possible outcome for you, BB. They told me that was it. My heart is still not sure of that, but then, it’s still very broken.
I’ve only had the one dream of you, so far, and it’s hard not to think it was a message. If it was, then I should feel more at peace with the choice I had to make. It was a beautiful dream. I remind myself of it all the time. But it’s not easy to reconcile making the decision to stop your heart and send you to the bridge. You weren’t even six years old. You deserved years to play, to be a silly, vibrant, lovable ferret. Why couldn’t I give you that?
It’s funny, I thought it would be easy to put my feelings into this letter, but it’s not. I am still crushed, still devastated. I can be fine one second, and the next second, feel like someone completely gutted me. That’s every day now. It has not gotten any easier.
I miss the way you would chase me around the room, and leap at me with your little claws open wide… and miss my leg by a foot. I don’t know if you really overestimated your jumps, or if you were just going for the laughs. I miss the way you always nibbled at my toes, especially if my toenails were painted bright colors. I miss the way you always insisted on laying on top of the N-bone bag and eating yours while it was in the bag, so none of the others could get to their treats. I miss your smell, your whimpers, and more than anything, I miss your kisses.
You were my very special fuzzy, BB. Where ever you are, I hope you remember what I told you that day. It is still as true now as it always will be. No other ferret will ever replace you in my heart, little one. You are my sunshine, my sweetheart. I hope you’ll come back to see me. And I hope when you do, I’ll know you’re there.
Eternally. There are no words. You are in my heart forever, my little angel.
I love you, Beelzebub.
Casting continues for Alison Parker’s upcoming feature film, The Ferret Squad. The movie centers on Max (played by Smallville‘s Connor Stanhope) and his pet ferret, Digger, who move to California, where ferret ownership is prohibited. Digger is a fugitive, as Max helps a group of kids called The Ferret Squad rescue and adopt ferrets in southern California. When Digger’s cover is blown, it’s up to Max, the Ferret Squad, and a kind neighbor (played by 2012‘s Blu Mankuma) to defy authority and get Digger to safety before Max loses him forever.
Breaking news has leaked that the lead ferret, Digger, has finally been cast. The role will be played by none other than FALCOR!
Falcor, the first ferret to EVER have his own IMDB page, is no amateur actor. Last year he played Jasper in the indie hit, Jake and Jasper: A Ferret Tale, which continues to garner film festival awards. Prior to Jasper, Falcor has also starred in several Marshalls product commercials, a short informational video titled Ferret Facts (which now boasts over 7 million views on the internet), and a public service announcement for LegalizeFerrets.org with fellow Ferret Squad cast member, Sierra Pitkin. It aired in LA on such channels as HGTV, Discovery, and Animal Planet, just to name a few.
Earlier this year, the announcement was made that Falcor was retiring from acting to enjoy time at home. But the rousing interest of his fans has prompted his owner, Alison Parker, to postpone his retirement and bring him back to the big screen.
“I struggled with this decision for a long time, because I am Falcor’s human, and I didn’t want to be distracted by him while filming,” says Director Alison Parker. “But the fans have spoken, and Falcor has won their hearts. I didn’t want to let the fans down.”
When asked about Falcor’s well-being and concern over the potential stress that
accompanies such a commanding lead role, Parker laughs. “Falcor is a very happy ferret, and I want to give him the best life I can. I’ve never seen him happier than when he is in training for a film role. He loves attention, and he especially loves treats!”
Professional ferrets are not commonplace in Hollywood, due in part to anti-ferret laws in LA, combined with the independent nature of most ferrets. But Falcor is a consummate performer with impressive screen presence and charm.
“Falcor is an incredibly talented animal actor, so it was a no brainer for me as a casting director, ” says Travis Doering. “He’s also non-union, which is great for our budget.”
The Ferret Squad is an endearing film with an important message. Parker hopes to enlighten audiences to the true nature of pet ferrets, and the need for ferret rescues and shelters. Also pivotal is the subject of anti-ferret legislation in California, which ferret owners everywhere desire to see changed.
The movie will start production in August 2012. Donations are still very much appreciated, to fund filming. Many fantastic companies have shown their support by donating, such as Ferret Depot, Ferret.com, and The Ferret Sqaud’s media partner, Diversity News Publications.
Please consider contributing to this worthy effort. Donations can be made at The Ferret Squad’s Indiegogo page, or you can visit the website. Fundraising ends on June 10th, so make your donations as soon as possible. All donors receive wonderful perks for their contributions, in addition to the knowledge that you are helping change the futures for hundreds of thousands of ferrets currently living in California.
Falcor the Ferret can be found on Twitter at @FalcortheFerret or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FalcortheFerret. He loves hearing from his fans, so stop by and give him ‘tweatz’.
If you are interested in more information about the film, or would like to schedule an interview with Alison, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here in Virginia, ferret ownership is legal. Quality vet care and superior foods are readily available to fuzzy owners. You can walk them on the streets or carry them to the pet store with you. And many of you probably assume that the rest of the country is the same, right? Sadly, the answer is NO.
The Historical Growth of Misinformation and a Sad State of Affairs.
One of the most progressive states in the US lives under a shroud of restrictions and misinformation: CALIFORNIA. How can such a cornerstone of this country be so maligned? It started back in 1933, when a statute entitled ‘The Importation and Transportation of Live Wild Animals’ was enacted. Basically it banned animals that were not native to California, including all types of ferrets. Back then, of course, domesticated ferrets were not the popular pets they are today, but neutered males were permitted by those who wanted them. For many years, the law went unchallenged. But in the 80’s, ferret lovers began coming forward to request that the law be modified to allow the admittance of spayed females as well. At that time, the judge would usually order that the males be neutered first, and then the California Fish & Game would be ordered to issue a permit that would allow the petitioner their spayed female.
Fish and Game didn’t want to do that. So they began a very negative campaign, involving falsified studies from the California Department of Health to spread inaccurate information about domesticated ferrets. (They later confessed they felt they were supposed to write an overly biased report and had no intentions of showing objectivity in their findings.) They claimed ferrets were a high rabies risk, viciously aggressive toward people and other animals, and would get loose and form uncontrollable feral colonies that would destroy crops and livestock. Of course, none of that is scientifically accurate. The truth was that in 300 years, only a dozen or so cases of ferrets with rabies were ever documented. And as to ferret attacks? Please! Domesticated dogs, coincidentally, are involved in more than 15 deaths per year, as well as thousands of rabies cases.
But dogs are still legal in California. As are cats. Despite the evidence that cats and dogs are far more aggressive and far more likely to pose a health risk, only ferrets are euthanized if found by Cali Fish and Game. Innocent law abiding citizens are vilified and punished if found owning these harmless companions. And for no other reason than prejudice and ignorance.
It’s time for this to stop… ferret owners should not have to live in fear. Ferrets need to be removed from the banned list. There is no scientific justification for this law.
The Ferret Squad… Saving the World, One Ferret at a Time!
In 2011, director and ferret advocate Alison Parker filmed Jake and Jasper: A Ferret Tale, a short film about a young boy who learns to deal with the loss of his mother through the companionship of a delightful ferret (played by Falcor the ferret, Parker’s personal pet fuzzy.) The film was well received by ferret lovers across the world, and received several indie film awards as well. Now, as a follow-up to the success of Jake and Jasper, Parker hopes to produce another film that will not only delight and entertain ferret lovers everywhere, but alert and educate the public at large to the huge injustice that continues in California.
The Ferret Squad is about a young man named Max who adopts a ferret from a local shelter, before finding out that his father is moving them to California to stay with family. Instead of leaving his ferret, Digger, with his best friend, he sneaks Digger into the truck and smuggles him into California, into the home of his aunt and cousins. It is there he meets the Ferret Squad, a group of young people who rescue ferrets in need and get them out of harm’s way–a tricky feat considering two of the kids are the children of an employee of California’s Fish and Game. But when Max finds himself on the receiving end of California’s wrath, it’s up to the Ferret Squad, with the help of a compassionate neighbor, to execute a risky maneuver to get the threatened ferrets over state lines before the law catches them.
Why Does a Movie Need MY Help?
Making a movie is expensive. Actors, sets, ferrets… it adds up quickly. Jake and Jasper was completely donor funded. The Ferret Squad is, as well. But it is important that this movie does get made. Not just for entertainment purposes and the collective delight of hundreds of thousands of ferret lovers everywhere, but because of the message this film sends.
Over 500,000 ferrets live illegally in California today. That is a lot of ferrets that will be euthanized if the state finds them. Alison Parker, through The Ferret Squad, hopes to enlighten more people to the injustice pet owners endure in California. In addition, she hopes to show the world at large how meaningful owning ferrets can be, and why so many people are willing to risk so much to share their lives with them.
And one more thing I want to share with you, why assisting The Ferret Squad is so important. There are a number of ferret goods manufacturers that will not support the movie, in any manner. They don’t believe ferrets will ever be legalized. Rather than rally behind a cause they should have a deeply vested interest in, they turn their backs on the very animals they are in business for. It is disappointing, to say the least. I really don’t understand their rationale. The inability to change the law in the past does not indicate that all efforts will continue to end in failure. But should we all just give up fighting the way they have, then yes, that does equal failure.
I want to see The Ferret Squad succeed. I want to see this movie made, and more people coming forward to demand their rights as pet owners. I want to see a brighter future for all those innocent ferrets on the wrong side of the state line.
What you can do is really very simple: DONATE. It doesn’t have to be much. There are perks for all donors. In addition to helping fund an important feature film, you will be donating to the fight to legalize ferrets. Alison Parker is donating 5% of all donations to LegalizeFerrets.org, to assist in their fight.
PLEASE DONATE TODAY! All donations can be made on The Ferret Squad Indiegogo page at http://www.indiegogo.com/TheFerretSquad.
Your support is imperative, but more than that, it is deeply appreciated. Whether or not you own a ferret, or a cat, or a dog, you understand how important our companions are in our lives. Would you ever want your state banning your precious pet? We all must stand together, to ensure that this injustice ends, and pets everywhere are protected. NOT victimized.
If you like what you have read, please share this post on your social network sites!
*Historical information can be found at http://www.goldenstateferretsociety.org/pdfs/FerretHistoryWhyIllegal
Starring Connor Stanhope, Andrew Jackson, Nina Hagerty, Blu Mankuma, and Falcor the Ferret
Jake and Jasper: A Ferret Tale is a short film about a young boy who is having a hard time coping with the death of his mother. Then Jake (Connor Stanhope, Smallville) receives a gift from his sister, Jessie (Nina Hagerty)
Family friendly movies are hard to come by these days… family movies with a real live ferret just being himself, well, that’s one in a million. Hollywood and the media have both played a part in the past in misconstruing the nature of domesticated ferrets, so a film such as Jake and Jasper is a welcome respite in today’s cinematic offerings. Those unfamiliar with the personality of ferrets can get a small taste by watching this movie, and those already won over by the charismatic little critters will be tickled to see an authentic fuzzy in action on screen.
If you are looking for an endearing movie that will be equally adored by people of all ages, Jake and Jasper will be an excellent choice. It is a refreshing change of pace from today’s CGI heavy, unbelievably graphic films.
Still not sure this is the movie for you? Check out the trailer:
Now, before visions of gorgeous starlets and beautiful hunks of man candy all clad in furry jackets invade your brain, allow me clarify
- FERRETS will soon be invading Hollywood! Okay, maybe not a lot of ferrets (California is still a butthead of a state for keeping them illegal) …but at least one ferret is about to make his mark. And here he is…
But Falcor won’t be promoting the latest fuzzy rawhide snackie-doos or extra healthy vittles or even the newest designs in luxury hammocks. Falcor is starring in a movie.
Sure, you’ve seen ferrets on television before. Diet Dew, Verizon, Budweiser… they’ve all banked on da’ fuzzies. Oddly enough, they’re usually pretty evil, sound way too much like handicapped raccoons, and like to steal jobs and pose nude. (At least two lizards out there will never recover…) And don’t forget about that misplaced white ferret in Furry Vengeance. Seriously? White ferrets are too domesticated to survive in the wild, and you would never find them in a forest, of all places. I probably shouldn’t admit that I’ve watched that movie several times now, and every time I find myself yelling at the screen, cause that’s the most ridiculous ferret EVER.
Which is why THIS movie will be revolutionary. For once, ferrets will be portrayed in a realistic (and all the more lovable) manner. Now everyone will be able to see what fantastic companions ferrets really are, and why they are the 3rd MOST POPULAR pet in the United States. The movie of which I speak:
The story is about a young boy named Jake (played by Smallville‘s Connor Stanhope), who loses his mother and finds an only friend in his sister’s pet ferret, a fuzzybutt named Jasper (played by Falcor!) It’s a family film about relationships, loss, love, and not least of all, what an amazing companion a ferret can be. It is written by Alison Parker & David B. Beleznay, directed by Alison Parker, and will include music from The Crash Test Dummies.
So, why have I interrupted my personal fuzzy introductions for this? Because my friends need help. They’ve been raising funds for the past month to add animals to the film. Not a cheap endeavor, by any means, but they’ve almost done it. Almost.
It’s not like they need thousands. Many people already have come forward to contribute, myself included. There are perks available for those that choose to help take part in ferret cinematic history. Signed videos and posters, a spot in the film credits, and for those with deeper pockets, an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit! Look at you, making movie magic happen!
Look, my ferrets wanna see this movie be the best it can. Yes, imagine me sitting around with them, having an intelligent conversation about movies and stereotypes and breaking the bad ferret mold. (Then imagine me donning a snug white coat and a soft cushy apartment… hee hee!) Isn’t it about time the public at large have an opportunity to see ferrets as they really are? Enough bad press for innocent fuzzies! Be a part of history sort of!
If you would like more information about Jake and Jasper or what you can do to help, visit their page HERE.
Mere moments after this post went live, Jake and Jasper received enough donations to reach their goal! Congratulations to the cast and crew! I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Donate today and get a pre-order for the movie on DVD! August 12th will be the last day for pre-orders, so don’t miss out!
Show your continued support by following them on Twitter and checking out their Facebook page. I know they’ll appreciate your encouragement!
Color: Silver & White
Age: 3 years
There I stood, aquariums of hyper kits frolicking and putting on their shows for my amusement. But I didn’t want to be there. My eyes were sore from tears, and I felt like it was too soon to look for a new ferret. I just wanted to get it over with.
As I’d mentioned in previous posts, my first ferret Popcorn was put to sleep, leaving Beelzebub alone. I wanted him to have companions to distract him from the fact that Popcorn was gone. In my mind, I kinda hoped and even prayed a little that Popcorn was still with me and could show me which ferret to buy. There were so many. Maybe I even hoped that Popcorn’s spirit was already there waiting for me in one of those babies. I know, I know, sounds ridiculous. Honestly, I was just trying to get through it, and at the time I desperately needed to think that.
So I decided whichever ferret was most interested in me would be the keeper.
One baby approached the glass, staring intently at me. He was white, with lots of dark silver fur that covered his back and tail. He had a small silver spot by one of his ears. He didn’t take his eyes off me. I asked to hold him.
Once in my arms, he was a typical kit, squirmy and playful, trying to pull the oversized black sunglasses from my face. I needed no further convincing. I wouldn’t even look at the other babies.
“I want this one.”
“Are you sure?” My husband and daughter were playing with a little sable, but I’d barely looked at her. I knew the coloring of my baby was a little similar to Popcorn and it might make everyone sad, but all I was interested in was that he seemed to want me.
“Yes. This is the one.”
So they reluctantly put the sable back. Of course, I think I might have mentioned before, we left the store with TWO babies that day. The poor little sable did everything she could to get out of the aquarium once they put her back. “Aww. Look at her. You can’t leave her now!” I pointed out.
So, even though it was a stretch financially, we got them both. And that afternoon, BB had two new companions to play with. I went to work, still heartbroken over Popcorn, but also eager to return home to the new additions.
The ferrets, after a few days, were named Shiva and Kali. (When I looked up the Hindu deities, they were listed together as consorts. I assumed that meant ‘Shiva’ was male. I found out later it’s a female, but I can’t change his name. He is Shiva now, all the way through.)
Within the first several weeks, I noticed that Shiva seemed under the weather. He was playful enough, but his potty habits were, well… messy and noisy. So I took all the ferrets to the vet. At the time, he was the only sickly one, so he was given meds. Once all better, he became the typical fuzzy boy.
Shiva got HUGE! I mean, BB went through a chunky phase, too, but Shiva was enormous. We jokingly referred to him as a whale. Or a chimichanga. Both BB and Kali together were still smaller than Shiva. And it wasn’t until after we’d gotten Loki that he slimmed down.
By contrast, Shiva is now the smallest male I own. He is almost as tiny as the girls. A lot of his silver fur lightened to the point that you’d barely notice it, but the light spot is still by his ear. However, even though he got a clean bill of health a few months back when he received his Lupron shot, he has since lost almost all the hair off his tail. Many ferrets will suffer from alopecia and lose hair as a result.
What stands out most about Shiva is his unique personality. But despite that, he has some very typical ferrety quirks.
Shiva likes to climb on occasion, most often scaling my record player and knocking stuff off the shelves… most often my 45s. He loves stealing anything with rubber, especially pens, wallets, and cell phone cases (usually with the cell phone still inside!) I will often see him darting under the bed or dresser with a pen in his mouth, and I’ll have to scramble to retrieve it. He also loves sneaking out of my room. Usually he makes a beeline for my daughter’s room, and as soon as he gets through the door, he dances. I swear, it looks like he’s doing a touchdown dance!
Once, he paused briefly in the middle of his celebration, spotted a dog staring at him, and immediately jumped on the dog’s face! The dog, Yoda, was startled but didn’t snap. In general, the dogs are never allowed around the ferrets unsupervised, and will shy away from them completely if we’re not holding the ferrets. My cousin once brought a small puppy over, and Shiva was the only ferret undaunted by it’s prescence. After they sniffed each other over, they even played for a little while. He’s a fearless little guy, but also easy going.
I have commented before on Shiva’s strange way of staring when he’s picked up. Of all the ferrets, he takes the longest looks at whoever holds him. I joke that he’s analyzing us, studying us. And after some research, I realized he probably is. But not because he’s overly curious or nosy.
I am pretty sure now that Shiva is deaf.
I’d always noticed how Shiva never responded to being called. He never noticed at all. It is always difficult to get his attention. And aside from the items he likes to hoard, he isn’t as interested in toys as the other fuzzies. While a squeaky toy will get everyone else riled up, Shiva just seemed… indifferent. After reading about common behaviors of deaf ferrets, I realized that actually would explain a lot about him.
There’s the intense staring. Deaf ferrets look at everything closely. They also tend to hang their heads upside down and stare at things when they’re being held. Shiva will stare hard at you, and then lay his head all the way back and stare at everything else. And he’s really still when he does it. Very calm. The other ferrets may look at you, but not for as long. And they are very squirmy. Shiva is like a lagoon, unruffled and peaceful. Unusually composed. Gentlemanly, even. (Okay, that might be pushing it a bit…LOL!)
Except when he’s playing. When he was younger he would on occasion get a little too rough with his playmates. Poor Loki got an injured back paw due to Shiva when he was a baby. But deaf ferrets can’t hear the cries of their fellow ferrets, so sometimes they get carried away without realizing they’re actually hurting their companion. And Shiva has what I jokingly call ‘grumpy old man dooks’… if he’s annoyed, he dooks loudly. He used to hiss a lot too, always during play.
Deaf ferrets often dead sleep. ‘Dead sleep’ is when a ferret sleeps so deeply that you can pick him up and he wouldn’t notice. Now, all ferrets can dead sleep, but deaf ones do it more frequently. And almost every time you pick up a sleeping Shiva, he will hang there like a wet rag, completely unaware that he’s being moved. He and BB both have given me a few scares with their dead sleeping, but I’ve come to expect it from Shiva now.
A few weeks back, we took Shiva out of the cage. He was placed on the bed, and while he was sniffing around, checking out the comforter, my youngest, Xavier, came up behind him with a noisy toy and squeaked it behind Shiva’s head. He didn’t turn around, didn’t pay any attention. He ears didn’t even slightly flinch or prick up at the noise. Meanwhile, almost all the ferrets in the cage were going nuts. To me, that was pretty strong evidence.
I try to make sure that we don’t sneak up on Shiva or startle him now. Knowing that he may not be able to hear anything, I am concerned about trying to keep his stress to a minimum. But aside from his tail and the fact that he’s so small, he is a happy ferret who still does his dances and races around the room with his companions. He will probably be the next ferret to go for a check-up, so I can be sure there are no underlying health causes for his hair loss.
But even if he lost every hair on his body, I will still adore Shiva. After all, on that day that I stood in the pet store, heart aching, not knowing which ferret to choose but wanting to make the right choice…
He chose me.
And I am the luckiest hoomin in the world because he did.