I am seriously contemplating getting a ferret for a pet, maybe even two ferrets, because you keep them in pairs. This is something, rather like the hunt, I would never have previously considered in my metropolitan life. "Oops there goes my ferret," on the tube would not get you any award as Passenger of the Year. But today at school, one of the women told me that she keeps a ferret (its companion ferret died). You handle them from when they are a "kit" and they get used to you and play with you. As I mentioned before, we do not have a cinema up here so needs must on the entertainment front. She told me that ferrets play with cat toys, have straw in their hutch and like a blanket to sleep in. Hers enjoys a nice shampoo in the bath. I do not know if they use this time to discuss their respective holiday plans. Her ferret also likes lying over her shoulder; I could encourage mine to lie around my neck to keep me warm. It would certainly be a post-ironic take on my fake fur scarf and if any animal protesters attacked me for wearing real fur, I could just shake the ferret at them and hope it spoke up for me. I could also tell all my London friends "Look darling everyone is wearing them this season." The critical thing apparently is not to feed them raw meat because they develop a taste for it and get aggressive. They will not wait in line in shops, shout at the TV, that kind of thing. Instead of blood-dripping meat chunks, she feeds hers dried cat food. They have their young at this time of year and the woman said that the pet shop in the nearest market town would soon have notices along the lines of "Wanted - good home for ferrets". How do they decide that one? Maybe they check you have got the Discovery channel.
Two points make me hesitate. The first; I seem to think they are very smelly although my contact in the ferret world denied this. "They just smell of ferret," she said. I do not necessarily think that is a good thing, particularly if you are going to hang it around your neck and make it part of your ensemble. That and the fact I do not know how the ferret would feel if we went back to London. She might mooch round all day, missing her little ferrety friends and moaning about the quality of the coffee and the lack of a decent hairdresser. I am not sure I could do that to her.