Two years ago, I brought little miss NB’s War Paint home from the 2010 Buckeye Bash in Columbus, Ohio. She was bred by my friend Mary McCarty of Novel Beginnings Ferretry in State College, PA. Smudge was born on May 5th, 2009, and has the same daddy (sire) as my late Captain Morgan, who both Smudge and Banshee despised wholeheartedly. She was such a sassy little girl and I was so happy to have her! At the Bash, she practically avoided me the entire time, but fell asleep happily in my friend Chris’ arms. At one point while we were going out for a bite to eat, Smudge escaped her pen, and my friend Renee saw her dart under a bed, thinking she was a rat. Then, the coup-de-grace: she sunk her teeth into my hand and clamped down so hard I thought I might lose my hand to her. Ironically enough, Smudge is now my most cuddly ferret, and loves to be held, tickled, smooched, and snuggled. She is a lovebug if I ever met one.
Along for the ride with Smudge, I brought home my friend Emilee’s boy, PFH’s Le Conte De Graal (Percival.) Percy stayed with me for a few days until Emilee could make it down to me in New Hampshire from Maine to pick him up. Percy was the only ferret in the house that Smudge would get along with, for some reason, and she never ended up integrating into my group. For a brief while she seemed to tolerate sweet Pilot puff, but eventually she frightened poor Pilot and they never got along after that. Once, in an act of desperation, I placed a snoozing Morgan in bed with a snoozing Smudge, and they spooned peacefully for quite some time. Morgan eventually got up to go potty, and never awoke the sleeping beast.
Smudge, in all her loveliness, forced me to create two playgroups, a thing I honestly never thought I’d need to do. My guys were all such welcoming, accepting ferrets, but Smudge wouldn’t have any of it. In the first week I had her back home, she managed to rip open Diesel-Electric’s ear to the point where he formed a nasty hematoma and needed weeks of antibiotics and drains. Rotten Smudge!
Because of Smudge, I finally got a taste of what a privately bred jill could be like – and man, I literally had to re-ferret proof my entire life for her. She got into things my other kids never could get into, and never even thought about getting into. She is an avid climber and because of this, my ferret proofing now had to encompass the entire room, floor to ceiling, and not just wall to wall.
Because she was so difficult to integrate, I eventually decided to stop trying and to bring home her sister, Banshee, so that she’d have a playmate. Smudge and Banshee are best buddies, partners in crime, and the loves of my life!
Happy Gotcha Day, Smudgers.