By Sharon Cannon
In the summer of 2009 I received the familiar surrender call that all rescues are familiar with. However, in this case, I really did feel bad for the woman on the other end. She had lost her job as the economy turned for the worse, and with that her home. She was forced to live in her brother’s basement and she could no longer keep her ferret. When I arrived I understood why. Her brother’s home was less than sanitary and the woman told me that she loved her ferret too much to let her live in these conditions. I looked in the cage prepared for me and there was this pudgy little dark sable girl looking back. The woman told me her name is Cici. I noticed a clay flowerpot in the cage painted with pastel flowers and a hold cut in the bottom. I found out that the woman’s mother had made that for her. I thanked her and she thanked me and I loaded up the little one in the car. During the ride home I remember talking to her all the way. I thought it would help her to feel better. I got her home and into her new cage and when my husband came home I introduced him to Cici. Some of you may or may not know my husband Ajax, but he is very opinionated about names and did not like Cici. He noticed the pastel flowerpot and stated, “no, her name is Flowerpot.” Over the next few weeks Flowerpot began to lose weight and I was having trouble getting her to eat. Off the vet she went and he gave her antibiotics. She didn’t seem to get better and she went to the vet again and more antibiotics. I had a feeling that she was in “shelter shock.” I’d noticed this more in ferrets that are taken away from a home where they are loved than in ferrets who are taken away from an abusive situation. I stepped up the love and spent more and more time with her. Another trip to a different vet and a different antibiotic, and things seemed to change overnight. She started eating and playing and acting as if nothing had ever happened. I’m not sure if this was because of the medication, or she had finally decided to adopt me. One of the pieces of information that the woman had given me was Flowerpot’s exact birthday. Having rescued ferrets, this is rarity and I wanted to celebrate. So for Flowerpot’s fifth birthday on Feb. 13th, I planned a big birthday party. It was a huge hit and many people came. Flowerpot’s birthday parties have, at least to me, come to symbolize a gathering of the Hotline to celebrate the success of rescue. Since I have had her, she has appeared on TV several times and on radio (NPR’s Central Standard.) Her gentle spirit and easy going demeanor has won over several crowds as she has allowed me to don her in costumes and compete in contests. This year will be her eighth birthday party and I hope to see many people there to help little Flowerpot celebrate her special day.