Losing Fuzzies Part 1

About nine months ago I owned 7 ferrets. I know that sounds like a lot, but with my schedule at the time, having seven was no problem. In February of 2009 my husband enlisted in the army and left for basic training. During his training caring for the ferrets continued as usual even though I was pregnant. We received orders to move from Tennesse to the far west side of Texas. ( I can sneeze on Mexico) We had leave out on June 20th to make it Texas on time. Husband graduated on June 5th, that left me only 15 days to arrange everything. (As a side note: We did not get his official orders until he graduated.) We were supposed to get a portion of the DLA (Dislocation Allowance) and set up for movers to move our belongings. We fell through the cracks on that one. I called every base within a 400 mile radius and each one told me that they couldn't help me. I called the base we were moving to and they bounced me back to a base in Georgia that told me to call the base we were moving to. Anyway, my mother offered to assist us. She would let us store our possessions in the garage until we could send for them and she also offered to take care of the ferrets. She had taken care of them before and knew the responsibilty and how-to involved. She hah no job and plenty of time for them. I gave her everything she needed. I had set up an arrangement with the vet. She could take them in if needed and the Dr. was to bill me for it later. I gave her multiple cages, play pens, toys, medicine (nothing major, just Amoxy in case they got a cold), food, bedding etc. She only had to watch them for a month (she didn't even have to buy anything) and then my husband would be able to pick them up when he did a TDY (a do it yourself move) after we arranged a place to stay.

The reasons for accepting her offer of taking care of the ferrets:

  • We had only one car (a small sedan) and we had to take several things with us. Clothes, basic cooking utensils, air mattress, etc. Enough to get by while living in a hotel or an empty apartment.

  • We have a dog (an akita). It is way easier to find a place to stay with one dog vs. a dog and 7 ferrets.

  • We were not eligible for immediate housing and knew that we would have to live out of a hotel.

  • We were afraid that the move would be too stressful in the back seat of a small care with the dog. That and we really didn't have the room.

  • Husband was going back in a month and she had taken care of them before... we saw no reason for not accepting.

When I dropped off the ferrets before leaving out I had only one request. Do Not Put Them In the Basement! A few days before, I had noticed mold in the basement and I didn't feel comfortable with them being in there. There were many different places on the property to keep them so I didn't see this as an unreasonable request. Even though she agreed, she didn't listen and placed them in the basement.

The first night after we made it to our new city, I got a facebook message saying that one of the ferrets had passed away. It was Evie, and even though I was sad, it didn't surprise  me. She was always a little sickly. The vet had told us that there wasn't anything to be done and to just enjoy while we have her.

Two days later, I get a call about the oldest ferret, Mario, passing away. Again, sad, but he was at his life span and I figured it was just bad timing for two of them to die in the same week.

The next day, Mariju died. I still don't know how...only that he did. He was middle age and healthy when I left. I'm assuming it was an upper respiratory infection due to the mold.

The day after Mariju died, Nala went as well. My mother didn't tell me about her until a week later. She was a little younger than Mariju, but one of the healthiest in the business (a group of ferrets). After Nala, my mother finally removed them from the basemetnt and the rest survived.

Just to add another hit of pain, my dad called to tell me that my grandmother had passed away in the same week the ferrets had died.

I was so devestated that I put a post on a different forum bored just venting about it. That was a huge mistake. I guess since I didn't tell every single different detail (I wasn't aware that I had to) I was informed that I had abandoned my ferrets, that it was my fault they had died, and one lady asked if since my mother was able to watch the ferrets why she wasn't able to give me a place to stay. Nevermind that in my posting I had explained that because of the Army, I had to move 1,500 miles away from home. Someone even called me a liar. I was told that I should have gone get them myself right away. I didn't understand that one. We were 1,500 miles away living out of a hotel with little to no money...what could I have done? I did post an ad for free ferrets to a good home. I was desperate to keep them alive even if it meant never seeing them again. No one replied.

Just to make something clear, I was furious with my mother. While I was mad, I didn't yell at her or anything. She's not even aware that I was mad. I asked her to not put them in the basement and she did anyway. I had told her to take the ferrets to the vet and she didn't. I felt I had a right to be angry with her. But, according to the posters on the other board....I didn't. It wasn't her fault...they told me that I had killed them.

I believed them. I cried for days over losing them.

In the beginning of August, my husband brought our belongings and the ferrets home. (This is after bouncing from hotel to hotel and having to apply for emergency funds to start up in an apartment...that is a whole different story that I might tell later.) I discovered that Tassie was missing a toe. My mother had no good explanation for it.

It took weeks for my husband to convince me that I did the best I could do under the circumstances and that I did not kill them and that Tassie's missing toe was not my fault.

There is a part 2 to this story that will follow later and yes, this background story does have a greater purpose. Anyway, I've dredged up all these emotions again and I need to go have a good cry.

evepoyepo evepoyepo
26-30, F
Feb 21, 2010