Ferret Math or( 2+2 = 20)
Most ferret lovers have heard the term Ferret Math. If you have, you will read this and nod emphatically. If you haven't, let me explain:
If you have two ferrets then you might just as well get two more. After all, that cage is so big and they keep sleeping in that one favorite donut. There is plenty of room for more.
Look, how cute, they are all piled together in that donut. They must really love that thing. There still is plenty of room in the cage and the litter box cleaning hasn't been that big of a deal. Two more would mean six and that is a nice number.
Wow, they haven't been eating that much food. I buy big bags to save on cost. I don't want it to start to spoil before they get to the end. That would be wasteful. Another two would be nice. That would mean eight and I wouldn't have to worry about throwing away food.
Look how happy they are. We give them all those things to sleep in and here we find them all sleeping together stuffed into one sleepy sack. It is so nice when they are playing out in the ferret room. They have someone different to play with and it mixes things up for them. Ten is a nice number.
Oh Honey, look, there are these two bald old ladies at the shelter. They are so old and thin. They hardly count as two whole ferrets. They would sleep most of the time anyway. That would make twelve. How perfect, twelve is my favorite number.
We needed to buy that extra cage for the old ladies because one of the younger ones kept picking on them. I don't want them to be cold and lonely. Let's go to the shelter and find someone for them. Sweetheart, these three old ferrets have been at the shelter for so long. We can't separate them and the chances of them being adopted are so low. We have room for them in the old lady cage. I know that makes fifteen but look at all the room we have and they won't live very long.
Honey, I just looked at the shelter website and this one just lost his cagemate. I am sure we have someone he would bond with. Sixteen.
There is a ferret at the shelter that just had surgery and needs some extra care while he recovers. Of course, as soon as he is adoptable he will go back. Seventeen.
Sweetheart, we just lost one of our old ladies. Minus one. Sixteen.
Honey, let's go to the shelter today. We can help clean cages and it will make me feel better. Plus two. Eighteen.
Sweetheart, of course you can have that young fuzzy boy. Sometimes it is nice to adopt a ferret just for fun. Nineteen.
Honey, we just got a Rescue Tree call to pick up a ferret and bring to the shelter. Oh Honey, he looks just like our old lady. Twenty.
Ferret Math is not intentional. It sneaks up. You start off with two ferrets and when you turn around, well, let's just say there are more than two.
One note of caution: Ferret Math should be applied only if you have the room, means, and time to devote to the fuzzies. A pile of ferrets can be a wonderful thing, but only if everyone (fuzzies and humans) are happy with the arrangement.
-Kim Crivello (AFA Public Affairs Director 2011)