Thursday Ferretblogging

While I can’t lay claim to the awesomeness of bassets, I do share my house with three little furry terrors of my own. See, I wanted a damn pet rabbit. Mr. A, when we were out one day looking at bunnies, fell in love with ferrets. We fought for a year, bunnyferretbunnyferretbunnyferret, then I caved, and now we are Those Ferret People. Our original three ferrets — Fox (in Socks) the cranky bastard who hated everything, Little Joe who was the size of a housecat, and fat sweet Stripe who was not striped in any way — have long since died, and now we have three more:

Puck, aka Puckaroo, aka Pucker, aka Jenny Craig, aka Lap Ferret

Puck, our resident Old Man, who is six and a half and has adrenal cancer and spends most of his time sleeping on my lap these days, but who in his prime had to have a bell collar on because he moved so fast we couldn’t see where he’d run off to.


Riot, the two-year-old, who is the smartest kid in the slow class. He’s climbed every gate we’ve ever put up to confine him, finagled his way out of every lock, destroyed two handbags and every sweater I own, and jumped four feet from the dining room table to the piano to get at the treat bag. My mother laughs and laughs because the tone of voice I use to yell at him is the same one she used to use on me and my brother when we’d be gleefully crayoning all over the walls.

Buckingham U. Badger, aka Buckaroo Banzai, aka Chicken, aka Puff n Stuff

And lastly, the baby, a year old: Buckingham U. Badger, who came to us named Mercutio. Yes, Mercutio. Look at that fat, fluffy ball of dumb happiness. Does he look like a Mercutio to you? He does, however, have a wide white stripe down the top of his head, and Mr. A and I did both go to Wisconsin, so Bucky he became.

We got all three from the Greater Chicago Ferret Association, the shelter for which we both volunteer, which right now has nearly 90 pet ferrets looking for permanent homes with people who will love them and put up with them hiding car keys and socks and legal documents under the refrigerator.


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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.