Happy 18: Mustelid Mania

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A lot of people say you can divide the world into cat people and dog people. Sure, there are some bird people, fish people, rat people and even iguana people, but none of those animals create the same rapport with their owner as cats and dogs. However, it could be argued that along with cats and dogs there is a third category: ferret people. Gil first got into ferret ownership back when he was a college student in Boston. His brother drove him to a pet store and helped him pick out his first weasely, honey scented companion, Adric, and there was no going back after that.

His second ferret was a rescue. She came from a  small child of a friend of the family who had gotten the critter thinking it was like a gerbil or a hamster and was totally unprepared to cope with a rambunctious mustelid with very specific needs. Gil took her in, changed her name from Gizmo to Nyssa, and gave the ferret the life she deserved. It’s probably obvious from the names by this point that Gil was a big Doctor Who fan!

When Nyssa and Adric passed away Gil then got Tardy, who was his second and last pet store buy. After that came Peanut as a companion for lonely Tardy. Peanut was adopted from a woman who was a vet tech. Like most vet techs she acquired animals the way empty lots acquire wild flowers. Among her giant hoard of animals, Peanut was special. He used to scamper off on his own. A lot. Usually ferrets are kept in cages when the owners aren't home and if they break loose of the house, a person generally never sees them again. However Peanut used to escape the confines of his home on a regular basis, go for a walkabout and then come back again. The little guy had wanderlust, but a real sense of where he belonged. His owner loved him, but she had to move and lighten her pack first, so Gil took in this extraordinary fellow.

Soon after Tardy passed on to weasel heaven, Gil met a ferret owner who worked in a pet shop. She was moving down to Florida to live with her fiancé and in-laws. The mother-in-law wouldn't allow the mustelid under any circumstances. The woman was heart broken. She had coddled her little ferret since the day she'd gotten him, treated him like her child and now she was being forced to abandon him or give up on her new life. Gil valiantly offered to take in cosseted Gizmo. After all, busy Peanut needed a friend. While not being fond of the name, Gil decided to keep it Gizmo in respect for the woman who had treated him so well. 

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Find out about Gil’s next ferret Scooter, in Seeking Shelter's fictionalized account starting here.

Orator: Gil 

Transcriber: Marjorie Skiba

Continuity Editor: Gil 

About the Orator: Gil lives in Jersey City with his two ferrets and mountains of board games. When not devising new boardgames he likes to perform in comedy sketches and attend live kaiju battles.