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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Basil

I presently can't find my camera. So, I can't take a picture of Basil. Instead, here is a picture that is similar to what he looks like.

Basil is the newest addition to our family, as of yesterday. He's a "cinnamon/champagne" 4-month-old ferret.

Basil is a bribe.

Remember the momma rat who had all the babies around Christmas time? I was able to get rid of most of the babies, but kept momma rat and 4 girls. The problem is that they grew up into ornery, unsociable rats and none of us had time to play with them. The only one we liked was momma. *I* got the privilege of cleaning the cage, feeding and watering the rats, who glared at me balefully whenever I approached them and tried to dart out of the cage and to freedom.

My house is currently in the midst of chaos. Michelle's hubby, "The Handyman", has been over here for three days in a row, trying to finish projects which never had been followed through on. SaurKid is cleaning his room because we're hoping to have it painted and decorated within the next week or so. There are unfinished construction projects, I work full-time from home, there has been a recent domestic upheaval, and I own another business that is out of control. So, I don't have time for malicious ratties any more.

When I told SaurKid we were going to the SPCA to dump the 5 rats, he grew terribly upset. "Honey, you don't even play with them!" I said, exasperated. But there has been too much change too soon, I guess, and he started crying. (I should add that my son is very stoical most of the time but his dad has given away a couple of his pets in the last 6 months, too). The crying turned to hysterics and we ended up compromising: I would get rid of three, we'd downsize the cage, and he would play with them regularly and change their cage weekly.

Off we went to the pet store. We bought everything we needed to downsize, I paid for it, and we turned to go when we spotted the ferrets.

They were positively charming.

Remembering my pet ferret that I had as a child, I couldn't resist cuddling them and letting them wriggle all over us. Now they're descented and neutered, and bred for a docile temperment, so many of the problems that existed once are a thing of the past. SaurKid was immediately enchanted and that's when I realized that I was in the driver's seat.

"Tell you what," I said conspiratorially. "Your birthday's coming up. How about we get the ferret and clean up the large cage, get rid of the ratties, and we'll each benefit. I lose 5 rats, you do the maintenance and cleaning, and you have a cool new pet."

Starry-eyed, SaurKid nodded excitedly and left happily with his bribe.

Because this little guy likes to "ferret things out", SaurKid thought that he needed a good detective name. We tossed about Sherlock, Holmes, Poirot, and nothing seemed to work. Then I metioned Basil Rathbone (who played Holmes) and "Basil" stuck.

Basil is a sweet-natured, loving little guy who adores SaurKid and cuddled up with him all evening while SaurKid watched TV.

Basil. My little bribe.

23 comments:

michelle said...

Who is the boss in your family? Saurkid or Saurmom. You two!

Hubby came home and told me the same story. He thought is was all crazy, and then said, but the ferret really is cute. Now what have you gotten me into?

Fred said...

Nothing wrong with a bribe here and there. It's in our parenting handbook under the chapter, "Make Them Happy To Achieve Peace And Quiet."

~Deb said...

Awe, ... sounds like Basil was a 'good natured' bribe. Nothing wrong with that. Hope you're doing well over there!

Miss Cellania said...

I'm confident that Basil will turn out to be a MUCH better pet than the rats!

EmmaSometimes said...

Ferrets are SOOO sweet!! The make fabulous pets and are champion snugglers. :o)

mckay said...

how adorable!! i didn't know that ferrets cuddled. i'm so glad your boy has a special buddy now.

excellent move, momma.

Saur♥Kraut said...

McKay, thanks~! He's so happy with this little guy. He gushes over him constantly. We just gave Basil his first bath an hour ago.

Emma, the ferret I had in my childhood was less cuddly. This one is wiggly but precious, very inquisitive but not at all nippy!

Miss C, Oh MUCH better! Already! SaurKid is over the moon!

Deb, we're doing better all the time. We're just so glad we purged ourselves of that guy. There was so much evil going on, that we had no idea about. I'm grateful my eyes were opened when they were.

Fred, ;o) He's not a manipulative little guy, and I just couldn't stand his pleading to try to save them. He just wanted something of his own that he could cuddle. Once I told him that rats only live a short time, ferrets live 10-15 years and he could probably take it to college, he was sold!

Michelle, I'm still the boss. I just negotiate with the underlings. ;o) Hubby admitted even the ratties were cute. Be glad I didn't send one home with him! :D The boys are having fun, playing games outside of the room Hubby's attacking with a jackhammer. Everything's ventilated, all's well.

Mopinionated said...

Re: painting your son's bedroom.

My daughter asked to paint 3 walls lime green and the 4th (largest) wall with black chalkboard paint. I said "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh okay" somewhat reluctantly but it came out great! Everyone has had so much fun leaving notes, grafitti, and fantastic works of art on her wall. I highly recommend it if you are looking for fun and funky rather than sophisticated and well-decorated.

Heather said...

I think it's a great bribe. You both got what you wanted. You got rid of the rats and he got a pet that will actually interact with him and show him some love. Nothing wrong with that.

Ellen said...

So... do you pronounce the ferret "Baa-zil", as in Rathbone, or "Bay-sil" as in the herb?
Either way... very nice name!

I've got the same chapter in my parenting book as Fred did. Some days it was nice not to put up with the arguments, and you did well in the "everybody gets what they want" department. A+ for you!

Reverberate58 said...

Well even being descented they stink!! I am at Joshua to keep the cage clean and their pooter box emptied!! But I do love to play with them! They are just too cute not to love. Your good to the boy! Who's the mama? Your the mama!

AQ said...

I have friends with ferrets and we've ferret sat. I have to mention that a few of us here have severe allergies to pets, so the ferret sitting was a trial thing. Worked on a temporary basis, but we'll not ever own anything furry that's bigger than a hamster. (That's even a compromise).

Anyway, I have to say they ARE very cute and if I could have a pet, I think I'd like a ferret. But they steal your stuff and hide it. I have 4 kids and a husband to do that, so I really don't need any ferret thief. I'm not jealous, but I just love ferret stories, so bring 'em on...

And congrats on the bribe thing and the mental health maintenance. I think you did a wonderful thing.

R2K said...

I get this funny image in my head of your dealing with this pack of rats... Like in that film where the guy is the rat master...

Anyway, may I ask how you pronounce "basil"? Is it "Baahhhzeel" as in the british way, or "Bayzil" the american way?

Ill take my answers off the air.

-Alex

Jenn said...

I wonder how my dog would get along with a ferret.

D-Dub said...

I've got a friend that has a lot of snakes. If you need a home for the rats...

Three Score and Ten or more said...

You're pretty sneaky. Let's see? five rats for a ferret. Now, how many ferrets for a chinchilla? (Just joking, chinchilla are a little less sociable than rats.)

Meow said...

I don't imagine ferrets and cats would get along very well ... I wonder which one would be aggro ??
They are cute little buggers, though, aren't they !!
Have a great weekend. Hope you find your camera.
Take care, Meow

Some Random Girl said...

I had a ferret for a while, unfortunately they are illegal in California. I found mine. He got out and got away within a year but damn he was fun. I wish they were legal. They are a threat to the bird population in California. I think that's silly.

Saur♥Kraut said...

SRG, I find it hard to believe they're outlawed in CA and because they're a threat to the bird pop! Domestic ferrets can only survive 3 or so days in the wild. They don't have the survival skills that the wild ferret has.

Meow, actually, I've heard they get along beautifully! And I have a friend who's ferret sleeps with the dog. ;o)

3 Score & 10, :D I had a pet chinch once. Monsters, aren't they???

Ddub, part of the bargain is that they went to the SPCA where they won't be put to sleep and will be sold at a higher price to make them pets. Although 4 of them are more likely to be untameable at this point.

Jenn, I believe it definately would! Ferrets are supposed to be cat-dogs.

Alex, ;o) I would open the cage, toss in the food, and bolt. One bit Bugs (the ex-boyfriend's child) once when we were doing it. They don't play! Oh, and it's Baa-zil.

AQ, I am very allergic, myself. That's one of the reasons that SaurKid must take care of Basil.

Reverb, funny! I gave Basil a bath with coconut shampoo (for dogs) and he smelled good for about an hour. *sigh*

Ellen, Baa-zil. As in Rathbone. Yeah, it was definately a compromise so that I could sleep at nights! I have a hard enough time doing that as it is.

Heather, ;o) And Basil has a very kissable nose.

MOpinionated, How cool! I read that to SaurKid, but he is afraid that it would get dirty eventually. How long have you had it? Have you had to repaint at all?

green said...

That's a cool bribe. Saurkid is lucky to have you as a mom.
Ferrets were illegal in the state I grew up in. I think they are legal now but heavily restricted...

Have a great weekend....

The Lazy Iguana said...

What ever happened to the possum? Or is the possum a "rat"?

Mr. Fabulous said...

Sounds like a pretty good deal that worked out all the way around...

Badoozie said...

yeah, they're cute, but the stink up your whole house. better hook a greentree air freshener around their necks