Why The Ferret?

Apologies for the lateness of this weeks post. Unfortunately, one of my furry little friends finally lost her battle with cancer the evening of 10/02/14. A lot of pent up anxiety and grief took hold of me for a little bit hindering my productivity. But now it is time to honor her memory and get back to doing what those little carpet sharks inspired me to do in the first place. It is time, to be the fittest of ferrets once again. This weeks article was written and inspired by the final days of Izzy’s struggle, taking an inside look at “Why The Ferret?” I hope you enjoy! – Ferret

Welcome friends! Once again it is Friday (Sunday, actually) and time for another story with The Fit Ferret. Today is a particularly special Friday though. The Fit Ferret (Blog) has officially been up for a year, and this post marks post #52 (for those of you unaware, there are 52 weeks in a year!)

One year ago today, I set out to do something I had never done before. On top of creating an educational and engaging platform for my knowledge, I also accomplished a feat that I have struggled with my entire life.

It may come as no surprise to the people who know me, I am a huge procrastinator. This has followed me through my entire life and in every facet of it. Not only have I discovered I work incredibly well under pressure, I used to lead the life style of BSing my way through just about anything that didn’t directly interest me or benefit me in some immediately extrinsic way. That being said, when I set myself to something, I always attacked it with tenacity and delivered nothing but my best (what a terrible combination.)

When I began this blog, as much as it was a way for me to connect with all of you and provide you with information in a fun way, it was a serious test to myself. It was a challenge that I have failed many times previously with many projects I start.

Like many of you out there, I start all of my projects with the best of intentions. But before I finish, before I really get the snowball rolling, I would always lose interest.

I cannot take all of the credit for seeing this project through for an entire year. That credit is directly given to each and every one of you.

To the ones who took time to tell me how a post helped them.

To the ones who stopped me and started a sentence with “So I read your post the other day…”

To the people who encouraged me, mostly by doing nothing more than expressing interest in what I was doing in the first place.

For the past year I have used this platform to connect with you and today I want to use this platform to thank each and every one of you who have stuck by and taken the time to not only read what I had to say, but encourage me to keep doing it with your kind words.

From here … the sky is the limit and I am continuing to seek out the best professionals I know to help expand the knowledge I can deliver to you (Spoiler: We may have a nutritionist blogger soon!)

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, I want to take the rest of this space to get a little philosophical with you and answer a question I get a lot.

Why a Ferret?

From as far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with these creatures. I met one only ONCE and became absolutely infatuated with it. As I grew up and started my journey “coming of age” I was always told I could not have one. I was told I could not have one for many reasons.

They smell awful (Ferrets have a slight musk, and like you if they aren’t cared for, start to smell.)

They are overly aggressive (They play like dogs (Tug of war, fetch, hand wrestling) and snuggle like cats. Like any animal, the amount you socialize them and the love you give them is representative of their demeanor.)

They will destroy the house (Ferrets are curious and clever animals, if you aren’t spending time outsmarting them, they will spend their time outsmarting you and can become bored easily.)

The cat is their natural enemy and will try to hunt and kill them (Hah … I’ve watched my ferrets gang up on the cat and she has no idea what to do with them.)

With all these “well thought out” responses as to why I could not be a ferret parent, it was safe to assume the person giving the answers fully knew and understood these creatures.

Being the strong-willed and determined child I was, I refused to accept these facts and researched the small mammals as often as I could, always trying to improve my counter argument and presentation as to why I should be allowed to be a ferret parent.

What I discovered through this process was two-fold. Things we do not understand scare us, and the ferret is a terribly misunderstood creature.

As a child, I was very misunderstood. My super friendly personality (I once tore through the neighborhood in my superman pajamas waking up the neighbors to wish them a “Good Morning,”) curiosity (the word why in the most genuinely way possible exited my mouth more than the air I expelled,) and need to physically experience the world around me (I learned early on how to Houdini my car seat and only learned what hot was after touching a stove,) was called ADHD and medicated (which I refused to take after a while and the powers that be gave up trying.)

Today, these very personality traits that were discouraged define a lot of who I am.

Fast forward many years to my adult life and the day I finally became a proud ferret parent.

As a ferret parent I learned many things and many things about myself and life.

Love is Patient

The two ferrets I adopted first had been abused and neglected, leading to long term health problems. One of them had significant brain damage and was very “slow.” Out of the three ferrets I have parented, she was by far the most challenging, and despite her inability to be litter box trained due to brain damage, she was loved none the less and cleaned up after constantly.

The ferrets’ capacity to love is quite incredible, especially for such a small mammal with such a small brain. When my little Yogi approached his final days, ridden with cancer and unable to not mess himself, his sisters still continued to cuddle with him and would actually bring food from the dish to him.

They would patiently wait, covered in HIS mess, and accepted the excess bath times without complaint.

Nothing is Lost, Just Sometimes … Misplaced

Ferrets can be little thieves and are quite capable of moving and hiding things that weigh a considerable amount more than their own bodyweight. I once caught Yogi dragging a hammer across the floor that I had been using to hang picture frames.

Any time I felt that something was lost, I simply had to check a few hiding places to quickly locate it. This also applied much to life. When we feel stressed, or as if we have lost our good vibes, they typically aren’t very far and we simply need only search in our usual hiding spots to find what we’ve “lost.”

On that note above Size is Hardly Relevant

Watching a small animal move weight significantly heavier than them through clever use of physics? What’s your excuse?

Despite having a natural frame of 5’10 and 160#’s I have never let that stop me from being capable of moving weights heavier and larger than myself. This has been very apparent during the lateral pull down exercise where if I am not careful, I will go up with the bar.

Never Pass Up a Good Nap

Ferrets sleep like a boss. Seriously, 16 hours of their day is spent sleeping, even if it’s broken up into 100 naps. Ferrets truly understand the importance of sleep and enjoy the heck out of it. Take advice from the ferret and stop depriving your body of the sleep it wants.

When You Are Awake, Live in The Moment

Since ferrets sleep so much of their life, it only makes sense that during their time spent awake they must make the most of it, getting their nutrition in and getting their play on. They don’t have time for frivolous things or concerning themselves with the troubles of yesterday or the worries of tomorrow. Ferrets truly live in the moment.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Why the ferret you ask?

Because I identify with those tiny creatures, and through parenting them I have learned so much more about myself and the world around me.

Also … I REALLY REALLY like alliteration, puns, and word play.

So cheers to a year and to another great one ahead!

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