Author Topic: Sweet Dreams Minstrel  (Read 1470 times)

Offline lazy-ferret

  • Administrator
  • Alpha Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 9079
  • Surrounded by Blondes.. I must be in Heaven.
    • First name: Clive
    • Ferret Club: KFC
  • Location: Sevenoaks, Kent. UK

    • The Lazy Ferret
Sweet Dreams Minstrel
« on: April 19, 2017, 11:07:39 PM »
It's taken me a bit of time to write this one, as I was really not expecting to write an epitaph for Minstrel for a while, so it's left me a bit shell shocked, and makes it hard to think about all the things I want to say.

Back in the summer of 2011, we were running a ferret PR stand with Kent Ferret Club at a Vets open day in Maidstone, and at some point in the day a young girl and her parents came over and were asking about how to stop a young Jill from biting.

It turned out the girl had a couple of other older ferrets that were very laid back, and since she had got this Jill, she was now scared of her because she kept getting bitten. Apparently, it was so bad, she was now putting the Jill in a box while she played with the others in the court, and only letting her out again when she left.

The next weekend we had been asked to help our local ferret rescue run their show. And as it was not that far away, we suggested that she bought the jill along so we could see if it was aggressive, or just boisterous behaviour.

She arrived at the show with a small wooden box, not much bigger than a shoebox, and would not even open the box to get her out to show me, just handing me the whole box and stepping back. I opened the box, nervously put my hand in, and took out this lovely little Sandy jill, who looked very like my first ever ferret.
She was gorgeous.

Basically, she was a 12 week old kit, full of life and attitude, and was desperate to play. But, no matter how much I showed the girl how sweet she was, and how the mouthing was just that, and not bites, the girl just would not touch her.

I had things to do, as I was supposed to be helping at the show, so after showing the mum and dad just how cute this ferret really was, I gave her back and got on with helping to run the show.

A bit later, I saw the girl wandering around looking at ferrets, and asked where her one was, she pointed under a table to the wooden shoebox. Since I could not stand to see the ferret being left in there, I offered to put her in the run with our ferrets.
You should have seen her, she was in heaven! We had not long stolen Galaxy, who was pretty much the same age, and he was in the run with his 3 brothers who he had only left a few weeks before, so the 4 kits were just one big bundle of play fighting and tag playing. The little jill just piled in and went mad as if she had been with them all along.

Over the course of the day I had so many cuddles from her, and even a kiss on the chin, in fact other that a bit of “kitish” mouthing, there was no biting at all, if the girl wanted to see biting, she should have tried playing with Galaxy!!

Later the girl and her parents came over and asked if I would buy the jill off the girl, as she had paid £40 for her, but I politely told them that all my ferrets were rescues, and If I was going to buy a ferret, I would want the fun of choosing the colour, sex, etc, not paying to take someone’s cast off. I was sorry, but the girl needed to learn a “life lesson” from this, and either be prepared to put the work in to learn to trust this lovely little Jill, or loose her £40, which, to be honest, might make her work a bit harder the next time. I put the Jill back in the Shoebox, which the girl then took, and they went to their car and headed off home.

I felt terrible sending that little ferret back to that awful life, and just hoped that the girl would come around having seen how good the ferret was with me, and start to interact with her more. Everyone at the show who had seen what was going on could see how upset I was, but said I had done the right thing. For the rest of the show I tortured myself trying to justify not paying the money to give the jill a better life. I said to Suz, that I if the girl had offered the Jill to me, I would have happily given her the deluxe hammock and sleep sack she had been eyeing up all afternoon, but on principle, I would not buy the ferret.

Just as the show was ending, the dad came back, and said they had talked it over, and if I would have her, they would give her to me, just to give her a better life... I tried not to bite his hand off, and I gave him the hammock and matching sleep sack the girl had been eyeing up.

We took her home, and she was immediately given the name Minstrel.
This was her first night home.

Her and Galaxy became the best of friends, and she really looked after him, protecting him when he got too big for his boots, and managed to wind up one of the bigger and older ferrets in the cage, and always sleeping with him. If he got out of order with her, she would stand up on her hind legs and slap his face with both paws at the same time.

She had one toy that was her thing… she loved the small Ping-Pong sized Jingle balls. We first found them, when some friends in America sent us 6 along with some other bits as a Christmas Present to the ferrets. Minstrel immediately commandeered them all. We had never seen any in the UK, then one day, when in Wales, we found a shop selling them, every year when we went to Pembroke Dock, we would go to the same shop and buy all the ones they had, and by the time they no longer sold them, we must have had 50 or more all over the place. She would chase them all round the room, and then pick them up and take them off to her cage, sometimes waking us up in the night laying on her back playing with it. I attached some to the door on a bit of elastic, which she would spend ages trying to get off, hissing in frustration at them all the time

She was a typical Sandy Jill, a true escape artist, and always needed to be somewhere she was not supposed to be. We even had to go through the heart break of losing her for a nearly a whole day, and I was so grateful when we found her the following evening, none the worse for her adventure.

We are lucky enough to have many rosettes to help remember her by, she placed many times, even a couple of firsts, and won judges favourite as well.

I found this story of her, and summed her up, nicely.

A job she took in the cage, was as chief groomer, and she kept everyone’s ears nice a clean, regardless of how much they wanted to keep their dirty ears, and would kiss your face for long periods, but for some reason would get to a stage where she would end up sticking her tongue right up your nose, and never seemed to accept that it was something us humans were not too keen on.

Because of “real life” getting in the way, we have had a very busy couple of weeks, so the ferrets have had to entertain their selves a lot more than usual. By Wednesday, I was out all day having some welding work done on the car and did not get home until 1am, then on Thursday, I spent the day still working on the car, getting it ready for its MOT. When Suz got home from work, we finished loading the caravan, getting everything ready to finally get away for the Easter weekend.

I was looking forward to the weekend, as when we are in the caravan we get to spend a lot more time with the ferrets, having one on one playtimes, walks and cuddles. We also have a bit of trepidation at Easter time, as a fair few of our ferrets have chosen the Easter period to pass on, and with Megan being very venerable now, each morning when we open the cage, we do it with a bit of fear, not knowing what we will find.


I am so sorry Minstrel, I feel we let you down a bit. I saw and spoke to you on Thursday morning, when I got Megan out for her soup, but because of life, I never got a chance to see you again until later Thursday evening, when Suz found you curled up with Flyte in the cage, for all intense and purpose, sound asleep. I am so glad you passed away peacefully, but wish I could have held you in my arms, I am so grateful Flyte was there for you so you did not die alone.


Sweet dreams Minstrel, you are at the Bridge now, with Galaxy, I don’t know whether to be pleased for you, or feel sorry you will have to put up with him for eternity, but I am sure the others up there will be pleased to have someone who knows how to put him back into his place, as only you seemed to be able to do. You loved the caravan, tea, walks, and never once bit us always free with your kisses and licks.

 :kiss1: :adore:You really were the perfect ferret for your whole life. :adore: :kiss1:

I ferret proofed my house... but they still keep getting in

Weaseling out of things is important to learn! It's what separates us from the animals.....  Except the weasel....(Homer J Simpson)

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines

Oh, see, impossible wishes, wishes that can never be granted, they produce a ferret. - Warehouse 13

Our web site

Offline star

  • Fluffy Member
  • Alpha Ferret
  • *****
  • Posts: 2504
    • First name: Lesley
  • Location: West Midlands

Re: Sweet Dreams Minstrel
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 09:44:58 AM »
Oh Clive & Suz  :fuzzyhug: :fuzzyhug:. It is so awful when you have no warning.

She was a very lucky girl to have lived with you two. DIP Minstrel xxx

Offline Lee

  • Ferrets always put a smile on your face 😀
  • Fluffy Member
  • Adult Ferret
  • ****
  • Posts: 501
    • First name: Lee
  • Location: Cambridge

Re: Sweet Dreams Minstrel
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 10:42:25 PM »
Oh my god how sad. So sorry for your loss.  DIP minstrel
Such a nice story and what a lucky girl to have found you both when life so bad for her  :angel1:
Having ferrets in your life makes you want more ferrets 😉