Okay, so my family does something a bit strange to most (and sometimes for myself when I think of it), we foster ferrets. Yep, the little fuzzy creature that is part of the weasel family and illegal to own in Hawaii and California (because of some misunderstandings being signed into law).
The ferret is a different animal, more like a perpetual kitten than a rodent, and one that I had no experience in until about 8 months ago when I was looking into a pet that would work well with my schedule and more importantly, my hubby. I was wandering around a pet store and pondering the cuddliness of guniea pigs and the energy level of rats when a store attendee asked if I'd like to hold one. I was not sure what I was looking at when he asked that, but I'm a sucker for cuddly pets, so agreed. Much to my shock he unlocked the ferret cage (so glad it wasn't the rats!!) and handed me a big, fat, white "fuzzy" (one of their nicknames). The thing just laid in my arms and made little effort to explore (deceptively so), and after showing the kids, I handed it back and said I couldn't make a decision without my husband. [I couldn't believe that he would have sold me everything I needed that moment and let me walk out with a new pet. But, it happens all the time.] But, I was hooked.
I had gone to our county animal shelter, but they wouldn't let my almost 4 year old hold any of the animals (how was I to know if he was good with them or not?), and because I am big on rescuing pets, not just getting "brand new" ones, I looked into private shelters. There was one about 40 minutes from us and when I talked to the shelter owner she impressed upon me a couple things. 1. Ferrets and young kids don't usually go well together. 2. Most ferrets get tumors and diseases that need surgery to survive. 3. These surgeries and possible medications really add up quickly.
After all this, and visiting the shelter with the entire family, we came to the conclusion that we really wanted to get a ferret, it was perfect for our family (we have really careful kids when it comes to pets) and we really could not afford the probably surgeries. So after a bit of prayer, God brought to my remembrance an article about fostering. So talked with the shelter owner, hearby to referred to as Nancy, we were able to go back in a week to pick out our first fosters.
We got the oldest two girls in the entire place. As newbies to the fuzzy, I didn't understand the energy level, so it was intimidating. Well, since they were so old they only lived a few months after we got them (one had kidney tumors return, the other was severly diabetic and crashed when I wasn't home to catch it in time-really sad experience).
About two months after the final one went to The Rainbow Bridge God blessed us (it seems strange, but true, God cares about little things, too) with another ferret we named Daisy. And 3 months after that we were able to take in another girl, Luna, who is well-loved by her "real" mommy and daddy whose job took them to Australia.
That's the long version of the story. It's strange to most, but fits us nicely. And my 4-year-old is the happiest when he's playing chasing games with Luna, or hugging her. And later, I'll de-mystify the ferret a bit, but feel free to post questions for me now.