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[personal profile] weaselmom
I break the silence of my cloistered existence to bring you news! Remember in Q1 I said we were trying to figure out how to get Hurricane Gabriel a buddy? We finally made it happen. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Oliver, aka Ollie, aka Ollie-pop, aka Tropical Storm Oliver (click to see him bigger and cuter):

He's just a bit shy. Let's see if we can get him to show himself a little later. We adopted him from our local shelter, Denise's Delightful Dookers, in early April. We named him Oliver after the Dickens character, because his was a sad story but we hope it too has a happy ending. Ollie was found by somebody in a field in Bellevue in the *middle of January* and turned over to Animal Control, who brought him to DDD. We have no idea if he got out and his owner couldn't find him (although s/he could have looked harder, amirite?) or if he was dumped. Denise worked hard to get him fed and healthy enough for me to come along and meet him. He's a big boy, almost three pounds now, probably a couple years old, with butterscotch fur that is now so very soft and fluffy. As you can tell, he has a sincere and earnest little face.

I chose him out of all the other shelter kids for many reasons. He is a good age for a companion for Gaby. He's a sweet boy, and he snagged my heart when he was playing with me at the shelter, wriggling in the tube and wagging his tail like mad. When we brought him home, all he wanted for the first few weeks was for me to hold him and cuddle him. Shelters do the best they can to give the ferrets playtime, but we definitely needed to work with him to help him build muscles to get stronger and slimmer. Now he can run and jump and climb and dance, not as well as Gabriel, but nobody but an Olympic athlete can keep up with that little fellow.

He clambered up on the couch all by himself:

Integration was rough. I thought Gabriel was lonely, missing the girls, when in truth he probably just wanted to spend all his time with me. That just wasn't practical. It took about a month for Gaby to stop lunging and shrieking at Oliver, and I'm pretty sure he was doing it out of fear. To Oliver's credit, he never gave up. He was scared, but he kept trying to creep near Gabriel, to lay next to him, to initiate some play. And finally Gabriel realized that Ollie wasn't a monster, he wasn't going to eat him, and maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all. Gaby is a very smart and sensitive boy, and he's still pretty jealous of any time and attention I give to Ollie. For instance, I can hold Gabriel in one arm just fine. But the moment I try to pet Oliver with my other hand, Gaby starts flopping around like a gaffed fish. He's all "NO MAMA you have to hold me with BOTH HANDS!"

Here's Oliver oozing like molasses down the sofa cushions while Gabriel wonders WHUT:

He's not great with the litterbox, which is an ongoing source of stress. He came from pelleted litter, and we use SwheatScoop, and I think he has problems balancing and not sliding around. He doesn't give kisses at all but he *loves* to be rubbed and soothed in his blankie nest when he is waking up or falling asleep. He has been teaching Gabriel how to play with him, and it makes me so happy to see them both in the tube, wagging their tails at each other. He has a funny little stubborn streak. He watches Gabriel to see how we do things, and now he copies Gaby when it's time to get their N-Bones in the morning. He invented a new game which involves running toward the screen door and splatting himself against it, watching the jays and squirrels scatter in terror from where they are trying to eat their peanuts in peace a few inches away.

We are pretty happy to have him in our weird little family. I hope he and Hurricane Gabriel have a long and happy life with us.

Date: 2011-06-22 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bork.livejournal.com
He is so cute!

Date: 2011-06-23 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
He is only slightly less cute when I am cleaning up after him or fishing him out of the chair that he insists upon sleeping inside of.

Date: 2011-06-22 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirriamnis.livejournal.com

Date: 2011-06-23 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
Day 30 was certainly a vast improvement over days 1-29. I can now happily join you in that yay!

Date: 2011-06-22 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] staxxy.livejournal.com
awww yay!!

Date: 2011-06-23 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
It was time, you know? You think you will grieve forever, but eventually the time comes when it doesn't feel like a betrayal to welcome a new little soul into your heart.

Date: 2011-06-22 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bebemochi.livejournal.com

Date: 2011-06-23 05:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
Oh Christy, thinking of him outside in the freezing winter, scared and starved and alone, breaks my heart. I want him to feel so safe and loved and happy that he won't ever remember any of the bad times.

Date: 2011-06-23 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bebemochi.livejournal.com
You are definitely one of the best people I know to give him that life. I bet he's already forgotten.

Date: 2011-06-23 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
That is such a sweet thing to say. Thank you! I wish I could do more. We met a volunteer from the other ferret shelter and she was talking about the fuzzies she fosters. She takes in the ones who are old and/or ill, the terminal cases, and provides them with the best possible medical treatment and gives them a loving home at the end of their lives. She showed me pictures and you could see how much she loved them. I don't have it in me to do that. She said the pain is worth it. She was amazing.

Date: 2011-06-24 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bebemochi.livejournal.com
And I meant it!

Oh man... I admire that lady very much, but I don't think I could do what she does.

Date: 2011-06-23 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalimeg.livejournal.com
He's wonderfully cute. I hope the adjustment is ongoing and happy for all of you.

Date: 2011-06-23 05:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
Thank you! I love to see them cuddled up together. But I think we need to get some bigger beds, because Ollie is not a small weasel and there is always a body part hanging over the edge.

Date: 2011-06-23 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupcake-goth.livejournal.com
Oh, he's darling!

Date: 2011-06-23 05:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
AND he has a pink nose! It doesn't whuffle, but still--!

Date: 2011-06-23 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teh-dirty-robot.livejournal.com
Awww, he's adorable!

Date: 2011-06-23 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
I am so charmed by his little personality quirks. The other night he wouldn't settle down to sleep, so I made up a lullaby to soothe him. He drifted off while nuzzling my hand.

Date: 2011-06-23 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] researchgrrrl.livejournal.com
I'm in love. Oh, Ollie. You lucky, lucky boy. Welcome home!

Date: 2011-06-23 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
He isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but he has a sweet nature and again he is so sincere. You know, I wish we could save them all. There was another boy there, Dempsey, who was suffering some shelter shock and was off in a quiet area to recuperate. I held and loved him and really really wanted to bring him home too. Denise said he hadn't reacted to anybody like he did to me. But this has been hard enough for Gabriel, and I have to take his happiness and well being into account. Oh Gaby, my sweet, special, difficult boy.

I thought briefly of bringing home another little girl, but then I thought of your chatty little hairdresser and remembered OMG THE BOSSY.

Date: 2011-06-23 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bellanorth.livejournal.com
He's very cute. I hope you have a long and happy time with Ollie.

Date: 2011-06-23 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
Thank you! There is no way of knowing what health issues might befall him down the line, or what effect his deprivations might have in the long run. So we will take his stay with us on its own terms and enjoy watching him blossom from that shy little orphan into Mr. Sassypants.

Date: 2011-06-23 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolff-slaven.livejournal.com
So freaking CUTE!!!!!!!

Date: 2011-06-23 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
Ohhhh man, it was so hard not to get sidetracked by the DEWs and the silver mitts and the feisty little girls. But the shelter lady listened carefully to us, and she knew the personalities of all her fuzzies and was able to steer us to Oliver. She knew he was sweet and gentle and got along well with other ferrets. I am glad Gaby has somebody to cuddle with.

Date: 2011-06-23 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justinluv.livejournal.com
Oooh, I have been waiting and waiting for this post!

He is adorable. I love your description of him. What a personality. I'm glad he and Gaby are getting along now. :]

Date: 2011-06-23 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
I know! I wanted to have pics to show for his introduction, but we had to find the camera, and take some pics, and mostly they sucked, and I had to wait for Shawn to process them, and and and. But there he is! I'll try to get something over on [livejournal.com profile] ferretish as well.

One of the most interesting things has been watching how Ollie teaches Gaby how to play with him. Gabriel was a kit when we brought him home, and Kaylee was well into middle age and Fiona didn't want to have anything to do with him. KayKay played with him a little bit, but mostly he played with me all the time. Ollie taught him the give-and-take of chase, how to run through the tubes after each other, how to wrestle (not too hard!). Fortunately Ollie doesn't bother any of Gabriel's 30,000 toys, or we'd have a war on our hands. Shawn thinks maybe Ollie didn't have toys wherever he was. AND THEN I WANT TO CRY AGAIN.

Date: 2011-06-24 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naamah-darling.livejournal.com
OMG OMG his little FAAAAAACE!!!


I want to kiss his little nose!

Date: 2011-06-24 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
His nose gets a lot of action in this house! :D He also sticks his paws out the front hole of the cube hammock and wriggles them until somebody comes and strokes his toes. This charms me because little Kaylee used to do it too; it's like having just a wee bit of her merry little spirit still here.

Date: 2011-06-24 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naamah-darling.livejournal.com
That is SO adorable. I meant to say earlier: congratulations on your new buddy! <3

Date: 2011-06-24 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weaselmom.livejournal.com
Thank you! :D It is a weird kind of blessing, I think, that we are not designed to grieve forever. I believe we are made such that we can come to a place of hope - hope that the pain of loss will eventually become something different; hope that we can be happy again; hope that there is room in our hearts and lives for new love. In turn I offer this to you, my friend: that it may hurt if not less, then at least less often, and may there be always be hope.

Date: 2011-06-25 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naamah-darling.livejournal.com
Thank you, sincerely.

I'm okay. It's much, much better than it was. I still miss her terribly, and it makes me sad every day, but it's not constant, and it no longer keeps me awake at night. Huge improvement.
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