We have had a stray ferret in for about 5 days now. She has an eye infection so is down in isolation in that time she has been very well behaved.
This was l discovered because she has been plotting on a scale that in WW2 would have earned her a place of honour at Colditz.
I went down to iso to do the 4am obs on the stray (dog) with haemorrhagic gastro enteritis (HGE/The bloody shits). As l was bending over l felt eyes on me. I stopped stood up and looked round, nothing. As l turned back a little shadow moved. I went out the walk in and there is the Bloody Ferret (BF) looking at me. Before l could do anything she legged it into the kennel to see the dog.
Swearing at her for her behaviour and myself for obviously not shutting her kennel door at 2am when l sorted her water (as it turned out l was not the culprit) I tried to grab her but she shot out and went under the sink unit. I had my mobile on me so rang the auxiliary for reinforcements. We decided to move BF from the small kennel to the big one so she could have more toys. I assumed it was boredom and an open door had enticed her out.
The aux. stood guard as every time we relaxed she shot in to visit the dog, not sure why we bothered actually, l mean how long had she spent in there with him before l found her? The dog did not seem to mind and she found him fascinating.
Finally new kennel prepared we made several not to successful attempts to grab her. If you opened the kennel you could hold and cuddle her, if we wanted her now she got her teeth ready.
The aux. then had an idea and laid a bicci trail to the new kennel and BF followed it in. Great, except that as she turned round to have a laugh about fooling the bloody animal she forgot to shut the door… so BF shot out again, spare biscuit in mouth, why waste food was her motto.
Back to plan B and more bribery. After another 10minutes and greed won out, only this time as she went in, the door was slammed on her. Lights out and we went back to the other side of the building.
About 20minutes later we had a quick 5 minutes sit down to unwind. I glanced at the CCTV and this shadow sort of undulated across the iso. monitor. My jaw dropped the BFF (work out the middle F) I grabbed the auxiliary’s arm and dragger her up, saying “BFF is out”
She had been about to take a bite of her own biscuit, there was a crack as her teeth met with nothing between, ooops a bit hasty there, made mental note that next time will let her bite her bicci first. “How do you know it is out” she asked as we headed into iso. I told her and she was a bit upset she hadn’t seen it. Made second mental note let her see the ….? then drag her off post bicci bite.
BF was sitting on the sink, bowls in the water and the sink top in disarray. She spied us and dropped onto the floor and under the sink. The door was firmly shut on her kennel. Ok so first look for something other than the kennel to put her into. I had no luck, often we have large parrot cages but of course, not when we need one. So escape proof the kennel. I put the kennel divider sideways so that it totally blocked one door and taped it solid. The aux found some tiles and made a barrier along the bottom of the unprotected door and we got towels ready to stuff into the door.
Beady little eyes stared at us around the corner from the dogs kennel, would you get out of there you stupid animal (the polite version of the wording used), but we had given up on chasing her out of the walk in.
Start of the chase and this time BF ran across to the far set of kennels and under them. I chased her out with a broom handle and I tried to reach over and get a hand on her. She was so fast my hand hit her back and by the time my brain closed my fingers, all l got was fresh air, as she whizzed back to the sink.
There was a scrabbling noise as she climbed between the wall and the sink top. The aux and l started at each other. I opened the cupboard door, no BF but more noise and l wish l could have got my camera out in time. This head hung down from under the sink as she dripped through some hole from higher up. I did not want to grab her in case she panicked and hurt herself on anything sharp, so waited till she was in the cupboard. I made a move to get her but she was back up out the hole by the time my hand was half way in.
She then clambered onto lowest shelf of the trolley sliding over from between wall and sink unit so we couldn’t reach in for her.
Ferret biscuits were not good enough now so l grabbed a tin of id (food for dogs with poorly tummies.) that was on the side and stuck a bit onto a fork to bribe her out.
BF was a greedy little soul and l was not risking fingers. Sure enough she quick silvered out, grabbed the chunk and ran back. I then knelt in wait with a towel while the aux. muttering “Here you are you sweet little s**t come on… OHHH YOU” as yet another chunk was grabbed before we could make a move. Finally after a good deal of bait l got lucky and flattened BF under the towel as she made her grab and had her firmly around her tummy. Into the kennel, door slammed and all BF anti escape set in motion.
BF spared a look of what l thought was disgust at us and stalked off to bed, little sod even burped once. We really should have known better. It was not disgust it was pity, pity that we could be so naiveté to think that she could be kept in anywhere.
6:25am and the aux who had stayed late was just going and l was heading to iso to do my 6am stats. A little head peeked at me from under the kennel. I stepped back to the main kennels bellowed down to the vet who was hanging around after seeing a client could he listen for the phone. The aux. hating to be beaten by BF joined me.
Round 3 was a rehash of round l and 2 except she was not going to be bribed so easily. She now went between the sink unit and the wall by her kennel. A space of about 3 inches wide, the kennel was on breeze blocks and we couldn’t pull it out so l had to try and chase her out with a broom handle. But of course l couldn’t use it easily as the gap was so tight the broom head made handling difficult, as it required the whole of the handle pushed in to get to her and the head wouldn’t get near the gap.
She made use of cover that an SAS would envy and we spent another 15 minutes of bribery, crawling around on all fours and using language that is frowned on. We stopped for a few minutes knee rest. She was getting tired so she climbed into her kennel and lay on her bed. The aux and l leapt up and slammed the door snarling at the innocent little sod.
We escape proofed(ish) the kennel (again) I had double taped the tiles so she couldn’t push them out the way. We pushed towels into the bigger gaps, as hard as we could jam it. I put surgical tape on wider door areas, sticky side in so she would stick her whiskers and back off. It was 6:55 and l was due off duty at 8am.
I warned the day shift about her antics and when l left she was fast asleep curled up after a good nights exercise and now due for a longer stay in iso before sending her on to ferret rescue to ensure she does not get HGE off the dog. Although l doubt she will and as of Monday morning was doing fine and had chosen not to escape again, she is plotting though l am sure.
Just as well l tided up for you humans.
BF beady eye shinning at us between the wall and side of the kennel during round 3
God you lot are noisy... BF looking innocent, at end of round 3.