Monday, October 12, 2009

The Bezoars and the Ferret.

     We are used to our animals shedding their winter coats in preparation for summer. Ferrets on the other hand shed twice a year. The spring and fall leaves us owners sweeping fur up from the floor. This might cause some concern about a ferret having adrenal disease because of the loss of fur leaving bald spots.

     While it is true, that adrenal does leave bald spots at the base of the tail and sometimes on the shoulders. It also can because of shedding. If the fur doesn’t grow back filling in the area it is time to get the ferret in for a check up.

     Ferrets like cats groom their bodies extensively. Licking up loose hair from their coats this in itself is not a problem. The problem occurs when the hairs accumulate in their digestive tract. Ferrets unlike cats cannot cough up the resulting tricho bezoars better known as a hairball.

     If a ferret is constantly pawing at his mouth this could be an indicator that something is either stuck in his/her mouth or further along his/her digestive tract. This obstruction needs to be seen by vet immediately or the result could be a painful death for the ferret.

     Tricho bezoars is formed by undigested hair that becomes sticky and latches onto other particles such as undigested food or more hair building up until nothing can get past the hairball. Some of the hairs can become like wire and possible puncture the intestines letting lethal bacteria into places it shouldn’t be.

     Some believe that hairballs are more likely to occur with low-fiber, high-carbohydrate diets, obesity, and a lax of exercises, inadequate water, and/or stress. Ferrets require a high protein diet with enough fat to help keep the digestive tract lubricated.

     So, what are some of the ways of preventing a hairball from forming? There are several views on how to reduce the amount of fur that is ingested. Ranging from frequent bathing of the ferret to hourly grooming. Neither of these are very good options. Bathing a ferret often increases the oil production and produces more of the musky smell. Brushing is helpful but not many ferrets want to be handled that often as it cuts into their exploration of their surroundings.

     What is agreed on is giving a hairball remedy. By giving a one-inch ribbon of either a cat or ferret hairball remedy helps lubricate the digestive tract allowing the hair to pass completely through. This should be given at least once a week year round and more often during shedding time.

     My fur kids make the funniest faces while they lick this sticky stuff up and while it looks like they are disgusted with the taste. I have to hide the tube away from them or they will hunt it out and try to figure out how to open it so they can have more of it.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Setting a Course

     When I started this blog, it was so that I would have a jumping off point. To what I wasn’t sure. I only hoped it would be the best I could make it. Now I keep being stuck for ideas and for words. I cannot write like Richard Bach whose pose and stories flow off the page into becoming something real for the readers.

     His book Curious Lives is free from the evil we see and hear everyday. In the forward, he states that if he had to watch one more bombing he is going Kaboom. A so came a slim little volume one of Curious Lives. I had heard of it but at the time, other things were more important for my dollar. When I finally had the few dollars to buy the book, it was gone. I knew the book’s name but not the author’s. Even when Curious Lives hit the stores and the name Richard Bach was on display. I didn’t make the connection but in a world of synchronicity it wasn’t long before my blog and that book crossed paths.

     I like to do tons of research that is why I don’t seem to be able to keep to any kind of real schedule on my blog. It was through my research about Curious Lives that I finally remembered Richard Bach’s other book that helped me live my childhood as imaginative as I wanted it to be. I was able to fly anywhere I wanted to. Not only did I have Jonathan Livingston Seagull in book form I also had it on record.

     Yes, I am dating myself but in the 1970’s, there were no such things as compact disks players. You had two choices a record player that played 38s, 45, or 78s. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was on the big 78. The edges scraped the sides of the child’s record player that could be moved from room to room as it played leaving a single connected black line inside that case. Okay so I made it connected where there was a blank in the corners of that box. What would you expect out of six year old.

     Was it from that book that I decided I wanted to be a writer? No it was the reason I continued to write stories no one else  but Emily my imaginary friend, at the time,wanted to hear.

     It is said that writers have a muse with a name and a face clearly seen to them.Who listen without interrupting, pushing gently when something hard was happening. Badgering and harassing when something was mediocre that could become great with the right push.

     Only to disappear when the writer pushed back or got it into his/her head they should write a certain way cause that’s what the world wants to read. Its only when the writer realizes that they are not writing for the world but for themselves and allowing the world experience it with them. Does the muse come from the shadows.

     I had forgotten that part of being a writer until I read Curious Lives. I think all writers and anyone who has a dream can fall into the trap of being afraid of allowing it to come true.

     Mr. Bach knows how to bring a reader into the book with his unobtrusive descriptions and ideas. He captured the nature of ferrets well in those permanent words. I am sure his muses were his own small fur children. I can see how each of the stories could have come from some antic of ferret.

     Writer ferret? Easy stealing pens, pencils, and paper, running across the keyboard stopping to look at the computer screen and seeing the letters run across the page. Moving forward to try and touch those words only to hit a button that highlights the whole document in black background and white lettering and then leaning back on to the space bar to watch it all disappear.

     My Bummer Bandit was like that. He had to have the pen I was using at the moment. When ferrets get determined they will hiss but it so cute you can only laugh…okay only a true ferret lover would understand the hiss.

     Bum would curl up on my lap while I typed just watching the words appear. I learned early on to hit the save button often. It only takes one paw to wipe out several pages of work and a black and white screen suddenly gone white needs investigating. Until my computer crashed, I had pictures of Bum with his nose pressed up against the computer screen and digging at it. It was almost as he was going to go find those missing words.

     Bum was my writing ferret. He watched me write. He gave me my ideas for characters. I own a shirt that says My Ferret Ate My Homework. I thought it a cute change from the normal My Dog excuse. But as things go it happened. For whatever reason Bum escaped his cage one night and ate two pages of my biology homework that was due the next day. I went to school the next day with what left of my homework paw prints and all and wore my shirt that I had altered with a mailing label sticker that said HE REALLY DID. Luckily, my professor saw the humor in it, took the last pages of the homework, and gave me until the end of the day to rewrite the first two pages from the computer lab on campus. I miss Bum a lot.

I am still not sure where I want this blog to go but I do know that it is my space to leave my own prints in the ink.