Do ferrets dream?

She’s white, sort of fluffy, more so since living here, has dark eyes and doesn’t talk—at all. No, she’s not a dream date, she’s a one pound ferret. I think her name is Cotton flake, but I’m not sure, I call her little girl or ‘hey ferret.’ Either way, she can’t answer, so what’s the use?

The kids dropped her off at my house for a week I was told. The unopened 8lbs of dry ferret kibble should have been my first clue. Two months later there are still over 7lbs in the bag. The cage they delivered with the little creature is there, gate wide open. The ferret has the run of the house. I take her for evening walks, after the sun goes down as ferrets cannot handle the heat. I’ve given up on finding a harness she can’t free herself from in less than 20 seconds. As long as I can outrun her, we’ll be fine. I look at her, silent and still in a white basket she calls home and ask myself, “Do ferrets dream?”

I think she’s about four years old. The kids got her to keep Fat Head from feeling sad after Millie, their first ferret, died at seventeen months. A scorpion stung her.

Fat Head was the handicapped ferret and he was the little white ferret’s family. Even after she ran away twice, and both times was returned. Fat Head was steady and dependent, plus, due to his handicap he wasn’t likely to join her in her escapades. When poor, cuddly Fat Head died, a decision was made, no more ferrets, little white orphan will have to learn to be alone.

I remember when the kids brought her for a visit to the old house, a month after Fat Head’s passing. This was her first visit alone, the two furry creatures loved to chase each other up and down the stairs to my bedroom. Once out of the carrier, she moved around the kitchen and the living room, then she headed for the stairs and must have picked up the scent of her old playmate because she went crazy…literally flying up the stairs while sniffing and making sounds. I have since learned they are called dooking. My heart broke because I knew she was headed for the corner of the closet where the two of them used to cuddle when they spent the night at my house. How do you explain to her there was no Fat Head hiding upstairs?

Now she is here, in my new place, just as alone and silent. I did get her some toys, she shows no interest, amuses herself mostly with plastic bags or waste baskets. I try to imagine what her world is like, her view is limited to the floors, my painted toes and peeking out the patio door. She follows me around when she’s awake and I assume in a good mood? When I carry her downstairs for our evening walk she appreciatively licks my wrist. I watch her sleep and when her tiny body shakes I ask myself, “Do ferrets dream?”

6 Responses so far.

  1. Jeannie says:

    Little NoName is darling! Thank you for sharing her with us!

    I was intrigued by your question since I’ve seen dogs and, occasionally, cats dream so I did a wee bit of research, According to this website,, ferrets most lilely do dream and gives a reasonable explanation why it is believed that they do. Other sites I found reinforce that belief, albeit less “scientifically”. Methinks I shall not ever look upon any sleeping creature again without wondering if it is dreaming or not.

    Hmmm… I cannot help but wonder if Lella might have an adventure revolving around the little one in her life.

    Jeannie (also eagerly awaiting Mina’s next adventure)

    • Hi Jeannie, thanks for the research…I cried the whole time I was typing the blog because I feel so sorry for the little creature and I have no idea how to help her loneliness. She is trusting me a little more every day and that helps. I’m tempted to start fostering cats again so she can play with the kittens, either way, she is a very interesting creature. Think about it..4 times she disappeared and against all odds we got her back…Working on Mina’s next, as for Lella…I probably will not writing a next book as I did not sign a new contract and my 3 books fulfilled the existing one, but hey, never say never. Thanks again and ciao for now.

  2. K'tee Bee says:

    Try this on for size: advertise for a play date! Imagine little Cotton Flake, No Name, or just little girl having a meet and greet with someone who has a litter of kitties 2-3 weeks old. They’d all be happy campers. I see her making a guest appearance in Mina’s no-kill shelter. She could play jumping in a& out of desk drawers.

    • Kay, I’m considering fostering kitties again, i did that in the past, but we have too much remodeling going on at the moment and it’s not feasible..down the road it will happens, also don’t want to expose her to pets without proper vaccines…it never ends..

  3. Suki Korp says:

    We had a ferret named Zsa Zsa. Zsa Zsa was remarkable. She ate dry cat food, as this was a long time ago and I wasn’t aware of the existence of ferret kibble. My husband was a very early riser. Because “The Zsa” was litter box broken, she had the run of the house. He said that she would run over to the bag of cat food and back to her dish and sit in a begging position. Then she would go to her water dish, look at him, then run back to the bag of cat food and sit and beg there. All good things, solid and liquid came from that bag, in her intelligent little mind. Zsa died because of an infection-she went into heat because she had been incorrectly spayed. It was so sad. My son had gotten a friend for Zsa Zsa named FiFi. He bought FiFi on a lay-a-way plan from some people at a Friends Of Ferrets meeting. FiFi was a barbarian, but that is another story.

    • Oh, I so understand. This is ferret #3 and I must resist the urge of getting a play mate for many reasons. As you know, ferrets die young and good ferret vets are few and rather pricey..but yes, I feel so sorry for her, she is very friendly with the little pooch who lives below us, but the owners are not familiar with ferrets and they shy away..