Back to the grind

It’s always weird coming back after a vacation. My time sense is all screwed up. Isn’t it lunchtime yet?

Last week was event-heavy. Paul, a friend of ours from Illinois, flew down to visit over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a pretty low-key visit as Matthew and I had much prep to do for the new arrival and the road trip to Iowa (gah–twenty hours one way). Paul treated us to a showing of AotC–he’s our resident (or not-so-resident as the case may be) Star Wars fanatic. This was his fourth viewing, only the second for us. And we introduced him to “Sam’s Gourmet Vegetarian Paradise” which specializes in faux meat facsimiles. Yummy.

And then there was the driving. Fortunately, Matthew and I are on different wake/sleep cycles. He drives at night while I nap, and I drive during the day while he naps. But twenty hours in a car is grueling no matter how you look at it. We left on Monday after driving Paul to the airport for his flight back to Illinois.

We arrived at the breeders in Iowa at noonish on Tuesday feeling pretty wiped already. We spent a few hours talking to the breeder and meeting Hobkin’s parents and touring the farm (they also breed foxes and lynxes) and then it’s back on the road for another twenty hours with baby Hobkin. Made it home early Wednesday morning–around 8am. Man, that was rough. There are NO rest stops in Kentucky and precious few in Tennessee. What’s the deal with that? There were some definitely worrisome hours there when I was so zoned I couldn’t keep my eyes open so couldn’t help Matthew stay awake, and Matthew’s hanging on to consciousness-behind-the-wheel by his fingernails, struggling to make it to the next rest stop so we can pull over and nap for a few hours. Yeek.

But it was worth it.

Hobkin is absolutely adorable. He’s so little! We’ve got a 6×8 chunk of the kitchen gated off for when we’re not there to supervise him, and he’s so small, his head fits between the corner section of the gating. So far, he hasn’t gotten it stuck so that he can’t pull it out, but he has managed to get it pretty wedged. But that means he doesn’t get to be left alone in there until he grows up a bit and can no longer stick his head between the bars. Until then, he has to stay in a ferret travel cage when we’re asleep. When we’re awake to supervise him, he gets full run of the downstairs.

He’s such a good baby! They don’t use litter pans at the breeders so he didn’t have any idea what the odd boxy plastic thing was for, but he learned how to use it in one day. And he follows me around the house, his short little legs galloping along after me. And I’ve been falling asleep with him for hours late at night. He’s such a cuddler.

He gave us a scare on Saturday night, though. There’s a section of the kitchen cabinets which the builders or whoever didn’t bother putting a bottom plank on. Two holes, very small, no bigger than four inches across under a set of cabinets in a place where we didn’t see them. Matthew caught Hobkin as he was disappearing into one of them. Freaked the bejeebers out of both of us. We pulled him out by his hind legs and tail and then Matthew spent the evening pounding bits of plastic up over the holes while I crawled around the house looking for any other places we’d overlooked. But I was twitchy for quite some time afterwards. Just seeing the front half of his body disappearing into some neverland in the kitchen slammed my adrenalin reflexes into overdrive. Don’t know what we would’ve done if we hadn’t caught him in time. Probably torn up the kitchen to get him back.

And he likes standing in his food. A very messy enterprise when you’re feeding a mixture of beans, rice, and yogurt. They normally use their front paws to hold their food, but Hobkin seems to enjoy standing on his. It’s adorable, but also rather sloppy.

He’s eight weeks old now and probably about one and half pounds. His parents were in the eight pound range so we’re expecting him to put on about seven more pounds in the next ten or so months. Looking forward to watching him grow up. 🙂

Gawd, I’m so the proud parent. Snarf.

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4 Responses to Back to the grind

  1. yakdog says:


    Yikes! The smaller the animal, the more little details you’ll have to take care of. Are skunks ever tempted to “burrow” into living room furniture?

    Remember to keep that digital camera within easy reach…”they’re only young once,” and all that.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: Houseproofing

      You’d think we’d have the houseproofing thing down after the ferrets! I can’t believe we missed those holes in the kitchen. Yikes. My heart still gets all run-away and thudding when I think of how close we came to losing Hobkin into some black kitchen hole.

      So far, he’s not big on furniture burrowing. Hoping that remains a constant. We’ve got animal-friendly furniture which we purchased with an eye for ferret safety and a low “burrow into” factor–which explains why the couch downstairs isn’t very comfortable. Trade-offs. Heh.

      Definitely going to have a slew of baby pictures. Maybe some home movies too. When Hobkin stomps and charges at us in play, damn but it’s the cutest thing in the world. These critters don’t have much in the way of rear brakes and he tends to try to stop with his front paws while his back end keeps going, with the expected nose-down, barrel-into-something hilarious results. My vocabulary has devolved primarily into “awww!”s of late. 🙂

  2. grendel317 says:

    That sounds so adorable! My wife and I are finally getting cats again after a long time without pets, and we’re both looking forward to it.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      A house just isn’t a home without a furry, fur-legged critter, is it? I was utterly devastated when Templar, our last ferret, died in January. There’s a certain joy and serenity that only the scamper of fuzzy paws can bring about.

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