Thursday, 15 December 2011


So I normally deal with cats which is what I did on Tuesday morning. I picked up a lady and her young cat who'd caught her paw in a door and had been limping ever since and took them to the vets. Luckily it was just a broken toe which would heal with rest and a regular doses of Metacam painkiller. 

That, I thought, was my lot for the day but I got a call from Carole about a guy we know and regularly help who takes in animals in need, when he can, and he'd just taken in a rat (which was fine) and a ferret which wasn't. Indeed he thought it had a broken leg. So I picked up him and ferret, which he'd got in a hamster cage, from the north side of Sunderland and took them to Roker Park vets. While in the waiting room, he got the ferret out to show the receptionist.

The ferret was obviously used to being handled and our rescuer was more than familiar with them. I did learn something though. No matter how friendly a ferret is, it's tempting fate to put your fingers next to its mouth. In this case it was my thumb which the little sweetheart duly nipped but without drawing blood.

The vet checked him out and said his leg wasn't broken, though the skin was inflamed. It was just in a poor condition which antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and some TLC would take care of. I like ferrets and rats, though I don't have much experience of either. I just think they're cute. If I couldn't have cats (or a dog) a ferret would be third on the list, maybe second as I wouldn't have to take it for walks in the pouring rain on a winter's day.

Here are some more photographs of Fred (which isn't his name as he doesn't officially have one, I just like alliteration). I noticed that when he curled into a ball, a bit like cats, he didn't go to sleep immediately but rotated his curled up body like a wheel until he decided he'd got it right.

When I dropped them off I had a look at the rat which he'd taken in. Just your standard pet rat which is to say an intelligent playful friendly little animal.

In addition to these and some more conventional pets, Gary also had a rainbow crab. It was in a fish tank which was quite dark so I had to lean over, press the flash to find out where it was then take a few snaps to get a decent picture. As far as I could tell, all a rainbow crab does is sit in damp sand and occasionally snacks on cat food.

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