In a recent discussion on /r/ferrets the topic of business size came up. Apparently there was a poll where the ideal size of a business was determined to be 3-5 ferrets. One of the regular posters inquired why. Firexcracker, our resident guru of all things ferrety explained, “Ferrets grieve the loss of loved ones and sometimes they grieve hard.” What follows was my reply in support of that statement.
That’s happening right now to me. Xander only knew Xena for about a year and a half. He was the new adopted brudder and he’s more daddy’s boy than anything else. So he’s taking it well because he’s still got his dad.
Xara, however, was with Xena since they were kits. I dunno if they were litter mates (Marshall’s ferrets, after all) but they were adopted from the same pet store together, surrendered to the shelter together, kept together at the shelter, and finally adopted out to my wife and me. They were together for close to 5 years.
That first night it killed me when I saw Xara looking through all of Xena’s common sleeping spots in the cage looking for her sister. After not finding Xena she just curled up in their favorite hammy. I had to stop what I was doing and hold her. Let her know her dad still cares for her.
Normally when I pick her up she will tolerate about 30 seconds of scritchins before wiggling to be let down. That night she just laid in my arms, letting me scritch and pet her for more than 10 minutes. A minute or two in she just started shaking. She kept shaking, on and off, for the whole time I held her. She finally squirmed a bit so I put her back in the hammy and let her sleep.
Every morning and night since I make a point to pick her up and hold her. Every time she just sits in my arms. She doesn’t shake like the first night, but she’s certainly not in any hurry to be let down.
But I’m not there all the time. I have human things to do like work and chores and resting and such. That’s where Xander comes in. The past few times I checked in on them Xander has been snuggling with Xara. Normally it was the girls in the bottom of the two-level hammy and Xander up top. Now he’s often the bottom of the two fert pile. I think, and hope, that Xander being there is helping Xara during the times I or my wife aren’t around to give her extra helpings of love.