Within half of an hour of finding the new screen we put up in front of the fireplace, Jasmine had climbed and landed inside.
I tried to take pictures but they’re all a blur, a bit of hair and tail and a white foot mostly over the top of the screen.
It took her 20 minutes to notice it, just five minutes to outsmart us.
The whole reason we bought the screen was to keep small ferrets out of our gas fireplace. They think it’s a hide-out, with cool logs to climb over and under and around. Even when it’s lit, they have a tendency to try to dart in; the gas flames throw the heat up, and I think they’re low enough to the ground that they don’t notice it until too late. And the previous screen, left by the previous owner, was a curtain-style one that they could just slip under.
I figured the new screen would have its problems. It’s not very heavy, and a determined ferret could scoot the edge away from the bricks and slip by. But I thought I could find a way to anchor it.
I was not planning on climbing.
Jasmine was over in seconds, and pleased with herself. Alaska was impressed, but not enough to try it herself; she was more interested in the box it came in, diligently dragging it down the hall toward her lair, unconcerned that it was too wide to fit through the doorway.
That night, after we’d locked them both back into their cage and crawled into bed ourselves, we listened to the rattling and shaking of the wire walls that meant someone wanted out; then heard a light ‘thump’ and the patter of tiny feet on the hard floors.
Jasmine had put her new-found climbing skills to work on her cage, and was now uncontainable.
She won her freedom that night, though she spent most of it digging at the floor, trying to get under the door into our room. And we’ve since created a top for her cage, because an uncontainable ferret is a problem.
But I feel rather tired whenever she’s awake.
She spends hours racing from one end of the house to another, loudly chirping and dancing and pouncing on anything that moves, be it foot, hand, broom or Alaska. She digs at the rug (not allowed), at the couches (not allowed), in the bucket of clean litter (particularly not allowed – she dumped cups and cups all over the office floor), and in the box of plastic bags (which, finally, IS allowed but not nearly as entertaining).
She springs from the coffee table into the television screen during football games; I guess she sees a fight and wants to join in.
She climbs onto whatever book I’m reading and tries to flip the pages and wraps all four feet around my calf, trying to bring me down when I walk past.
She’s just three months old and I think she’ll calm down as she grows up and we are all looking forward to that.
But when I’m not scolding her, or racing her down the hall, or trying to recover my sock or my shoe or my book or my crochet needle from her dancing, chattering self – I’m laughing.
We wanted a ferret who would play like Vesper did, who would keep Alaska busy, and that’s exactly what we got.
Now if we can just get control of the digging/biting/climbing!