Have you ever been plagued with that migraine-inducing thought, “Who in the blazes is that ferret in my photo?” If you have owned the number of ferrets I have for similar lengths of time, chances are good you have had a few headaches when you have gone through your older photos.
One of the important things I’ve learned from my ferret ownership — and research — is the little beasts look pretty much the same the world over. At times I have had to snip fur to distinguish one ferret from another; Betty Boop’s tail was squared her entire life so I could distinguish her from Olive Oyl.
Ferrets are seasonal chameleons, changing coat color or the intensity of their markings. They can also switch markings; a lot of silvers evolve into dark-eyed whites. Even nose color can change; it is not unusual for a ferret’s nose to become lighter or spotted over time.
And then there’s the problem of fading memory. After owning a lot of ferrets for a very long time, even beloved pets tend to fade into the background. One day you’ll find yourself saying, “Oh, yeah, I remember Crystal. Gosh, I’d forgotten all about her…she was such a sweet little thing.” Perhaps you have only owned a few ferrets and don’t think it will be a problem down the road, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of time to erase cherished memories of the most adored ferret from your mind. I hate to think that I could forget a ferret that I’ve loved enough to weep at their passing. Those memories are precious and deserve some type of preservation.
Creating A Ferret Journal
I resolved the problem for myself by creating a journal for each ferret. I use composition books, which are notebook-sized bound books containing about 80 ruled pages and are commonly found in many department and stationery stores for one or two dollars. Of course, any type of notebook can be used, ranging from cheap loose-leaf binders to expensive bound journals.
People into scrapbooking might have an advantage; however, you don’t have to be a scrapbooker to create a journal that can preserve the memories of your beloved pets. Just pick a level of recording you are comfortable with, keeping in mind that the goal is to record memories, not create a workload so large that your project will be abandoned. I’ve found that keeping things simple works; it doesn’t have to be fancy.
When I start a new journal for each new ferret, I take a face shot and I print out the ferret’s name. I usually attach both to the composition book cover using acid-free spray adhesive, but good craft glue also works. Once dry, I protect the cover using a sheet of clear contact paper; you never know what ferret fluids (or solids) can find their way onto your journal. I duplicate the cover photo and name, gluing them onto the first interior page. I usually add a bit more information, including my name, mailing address and phone numbers. If I misplace the book, it can be returned.