||15 July, 1994
||5 November, 2002
Everything started with Birch. she was my very first ferret, and for
the first fours years of her life, my only ferret. when she nipped
my entire family at the pet store excepting me, I knew she was the
one. Birch became a part of my life on the very first day I moved
to university, she was a big support through out my undergrad and
most of my graduate studies. when I was over worked and tired, I
could always count on her snuggling right up to me, and getting my
share of sleep as well.
For the first four years or so of her life, Birch shared my ergonomic
pillow with me. that pillow has a nice hollow in the middle, where
she liked to sleep. early in the night, we would share the pillow
equally, but by morning, she would be sleeping twisted in the middle
and my neck would be bent in an uncomfortable angle. due to neck
pains, I finally decide to replace the pillow with a king size one,
but she didn't like that as much and moved to sleeping inside my
shirt afterwards. before I got Birch, it often took me 2 or 3 hours
to fall asleep at night, but Birch often looked so cosy and comfortable
that I felt sleepy just looking at her, and most of my insomnia
went away. I know Birch liked cuddling up to me. every now and
then, she would looked at me until I followed her, and then she
would go to the pillow and curl up there. usually I took the hint.
in her younger years,
she was good at fighting, not just brute force, but sneaking up on
other ferrets and jumping from behind. she used to sneak up on my
dad by going all the way around the room, under the bed, under the
desk, under the bookcases, until she can get him from the back. she
seldom started fights, but if the other ferrets try to provoke her,
as Sprite often will, she kicked their asses. after she started on
Lupron, which brought her testosterone level down, she stopped fighting
and started hiding in my shirt instead. Birch spent a lot of time
in my shirt, even when I was awake. at around a year old, she found
a pair of goggles and chewed off a piece of foam. when she recovered
from surgery, she stopped eating junk food. since she was generally
quite content to stay in my shirt and not that interested in food,
I can eat dinner with her and have even sneaked her into restaurants
without people noticing.
Birch was good at climbing and jumping vertically. however, she was
not a disruptive ferrets except when it come to books. she made me
realize alphabetically sorted by author is not the way to organize.
when I lived at my parents, Birch free roamed in my rather messy room,
and the only clues I find of her wandering around my shelves would
be one or two small ornaments tipped over in the midst of many standing
ones. okay... so she broke a plate once. every now and then I
would find her standing on the curtain rods, when that happened, I
would start calling her and pretend not to see her, and eventually
she would make a noise, and I would go and rescue her. she was
careful with heights, and I could walk around with her on my shoulder
without worrying too much about her falling off.
Birch was a bit of a loner ferret, even though my roommate had her
sister Firefly to play with for a few years. she caused UnSeeGoon's
permanent fear of ferrets when she nipped him on the nose after he
poked it at her rather curiously. after her initial fear, she realized
dogs were nothing to be scared of and traumatized him on more occasions.
I would never forget her confused expression when I first brought Dief
home. after a few weeks of beating him up, she decided having a
furry companion to cuddle up with wasn't so bad when her human wasn't
around, and they became friends. I am sure she sighed at each
subsequent ferret I got, though.
Birch was smart and cautious, elegant and graceful,and above all,
she loved me very much. every time I asked her if she loved me,
she would give me a kiss. once I left a friend holding her outside
while I went off to grab something, and she got so worried that she
poofed. when I visited scotland and sent her a post card, my ferret
sitter found her sleeping on it after she got it. I hope she knew
how much I loved her too.
I miss her comforting presence when I am awake and when I sleep.