Today we celebrate National Ferret Day, a mischeivous little mammal that is in the same family as the weasel. This became an official National Day in 2014 through the efforts Carol Roche from New York, who had purchased her first ferret on Craig’s List four years before. She fell in the love with the creatures, became a ferret rescuer, and set about making the day, which had already been casually observed for two decades, an official observance. Don’t expect any school closings or anything, but at least it’s now considered an official day to celebrate.
The Latin name for ferret is Mustela putorius furo and translates to “smelly little thief.” Though a seemingly insulting name, it’s somewhat accurate. Their cute little faces can often smell a little skunky due to some unfortunately placed musk glands and stealing and hiding objects is part of their natural instinct. A group of ferrets is known as a “business” and for years their main business was helping hunters track down rabbits. Today, ferrets have become popular as a trendy pet, but they have actually been domesticated for over 2500 years.
Though not legal to own as a pet in California, Hawaii, and New York City, ferrets have still managed to hit the top 10 lists of most popular pets in the United States. They can actually be very affectionate and enjoy playing with their human parents. Though they do get bored easily and can lose focus, like most children these days, so it’s best to limit training to a single task and for just short periods at a time. Unlike children, ferrets will happily use a litter box, but will also just as happily chew through your power cords, so they require constant adult supervision.
In some places, a bizarre endurance sport exists called ferret-legging, where participants drop a live ferret down their pants for as long as they can stand it. Obviously the ferret is pretty justifiably pissed about this and will begin clawing its way out. The winner is the idiot who can keep the ferret in his pants the longest and the world record for this senseless studity is apparently five hours and thirty minutes. Today, however, is a day to celebrate ferrets by simply learning more about them and hopefully resisting the disturbing urge to drop them down your trousers.
Join me any and all days you like during April by celebrating a National or International Day with a doodlewash! Tag your image #doodlewashaday and I’ll feature everyone who played along on doodlewash.com at the end of the month!