Not to come off like the girliest girly girl living on Princess Planet, but I hate every member of the rodent family. That means mice, gerbils, hamsters, and all the other species in the animal kingdom that fall into some variation of that category. You can argue that the little fuzzies that you keep as pets aren't rodents, but if it's tiny and hairy and should be living in nature or animated and singing about Cinderelly, I want no part of it.
When a friend's hamster died and the huddled masses gathered to bow their heads and mourn the loss, I was not asked to deliver the eulogy. Possibly because it would have started with, "I never understood why the hell you guys even bought that little wheel-running woodchip-gnawing ball of disgustingness in the first place."
Ahem. May she rest in peace.
A few months ago, one of the kids at school did a good job on something and earned the honor and glory of feeding the classroom gerbil. (Interestingly, the exact opposite technique could've been employed to get me to behave back when I was in school: "Do your homework, Red, or else you'll have to hold the wiggly ball of terror for five whole minutes.") Anyway, the teacher was preoccupied with something and I happened to be in the room, so she asked if I'd take the gerbil out of the cage and hold it while the kid fed it. Um, what? I'm sorry, WHAT? I stood there, not knowing how to articulate the depths of my squeamishness, and wanting to be helpful but not at the expense of actually having to touch the godforsaken creature that I'd been careful to avert my eyes from all year long. Eventually one of the classroom assistants noticed my cold sweat and stepped up.
I could go on, but suffice to say that mice, in all their incarnations, are not high up on my list. So imagine how thrilled I was when I got to spend Saturday night with three ferrets, one of which didn't have any hair. Let me back up. My friend discovered that two of her coworkers had totally random connections to me, so we all got together for dinner. Afterwards, we went back to one couple's house for chocolate martinis and continued conversation. I don't believe I'd ever been around a ferret before, let alone three at once, prancing around like they owned the place. It was like the animals had taken over the zoo. AND DID I MENTION ONE OF THEM WAS HAIRLESS? It looked like a sad shrunken camel.
I tried my best to laugh it off and not reveal the extent of my hysteria when they darted over my toes and almost up my pant leg. They skittered across the floor, jumped from the couch to the coffee table, slipped in and out of cushions, and aged me about fifteen years. You never knew where they were! Was one of them behind you? Was it about to jump on you? And more importantly, WHO LIVES LIKE THIS? Dogs, I understand. Cats, sure, knock yourself out. Maybe I could even forgive the errant reptile. But FERRETS? And multiple ferrets at that? This is your home, not Petco!
It posed even more of a dilemma that, while I actually went to high school with the ferret owner, I had just met his wife that night and I felt like it would maybe be a faux pas to dropkick their family pets and then whip off all my clothes and burn them in their living room, all the while screaming uncontrollably. I waited until I got home to do that.
I almost included a picture of a ferret at the top of this entry, but every time I started to upload it to Flickr, I could feel it crawling on me. Sob.