Sunday, September 04, 2005

My ferret has fleas

Debi's busy blogging about her dog, which made me think: You know, there's no way a dog can be as much trouble as my ferret, Charlotte. Her sister Emily ran off one day. I'd stupidly left the screen door open while cleaning their cage, and she made a mad dash. Ferrets are so damned domesticated that they can't forage on their own, so I knew right away she had zero chance of survival. Hateful creature that she was, I knew she wouldn't come back out of any feeling of affection. Charlotte's attitude improved with Emily's absence. That's not supposed to happen, by the way. Ferrets are social creatures, so the pet store owner advised us not to buy just one. Nevertheless, Charlotte has been much more pleasant, playful, and less inclined to nip since Emily left. I noticed today that her back looked red. When I picked her up, I saw her skin move. Crawl -- that's a better word. She'd become infested with fleas, and I had never noticed. I've never seen her biting or scratching, not once, so how would I know? I have noticed that our house is crawling with fleas, but I assumed the cats were bringing them in. Little did I know that Charlotte had become a vector. I sprayed her with flea spray and took her into the bathroom. For the next twenty minutes, Karen and I shampooed her repeatedly and picked fleas from everywhere. Easily, she had over a hundred fleas. We even picked one out of her mouth. I've showered since, but my skin is still crawling. This is not a fun three-day weekend.
Blog-pal Rae Alexander is the new kid on my blogroll. She's head honcho of the North Coast Nature Center, which Karen and I support (with critter donations, naturally). Rae, if you're reading this, pay attention to my flea story. Do you still think the Nature Center needs a mammal? D.


Blogger Stephen said...

I thought that ferrets were illegal in California - which is where I had, for some reason, imagined that you lived. Don't you have to pretend that they're weasels, or marmots or something?

Which reminds me; you do know how to distinguish between a weasel and a stoat, don't you?

9/04/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jona said...

Oh Doug, you poor things! We're lucky 'coz te dog swims most days and fleas don't seem to like a regular sea dunking.

Good luck with the de-fleaing (it sounds as bad as de-nitting my kids!)

Ahhhh, I'm starting to scratch!!

9/04/2005 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Stephen: Ferret? Did I say ferret? I meant to say, erm, my furry rat. Yeah, that's it.

Debi: That settles it. We're taking the cats and my furry rat down to the ocean for a swim.

9/04/2005 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Jenica said...

Apparently, ferrets are the perfect flea vector because they have a higher body temp than other house pets.

Or, so says my sister in law, who had to fleadip her ferret. Er, furry rat.

9/05/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

Errr....about those degus you wanted to give me, I forgot to mention my landlord at the Nature Center DOES have a no mammal policy.....nasty fleas

9/10/2005 10:26:00 PM  

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