I first saw Bongo in a horrid little pet store in 1994, where he and his brother were cooped up in a tiny cage on the floor with no bedding or fresh water. One of the teenagers working in the shop was kicking the cage to "try and get a reaction". Grrr. I took Bongo home, and another club member, Carla, took his brother, Riker, home. Bongo was a bouncy, friendly sort of guy who loved to play all the time. He used to climb almost as much as Binky, and liked to knock things off from wherever he climbed. Bongo had been known to knock the phone off the handset, and to actually dial up total strangers (and we thought we had taught him better than that!).
Bongo worked in great with his new family except for a little white queen ferret named Moki. Both Moki and Bongo wanted to be the alpha animal in the group, and neither would back down. Bongo had trouble with stress during this time and had to be treated for ulcers.
After Kiva passed away Bongo only had Moki as a friend, and he wasn't very fond of her (and visa versa), so we attempted to introduce him to Opie as a potential playmate. Bongo hated Opie and would chase him down and make him squeal. Months later when a young and studly Hogan joined our family we tried Bongo with Hogan and Opie together (Hogan had been teaching Opie how to play rough). The tables had now turned and Opie and Hogan would tackle Bongo and make him cry like Nancy Kerrigan. The three now get along great and Hogan and Opie stay and play with Bongo during the day, and play and stay with their own group at night.
Bongo frequently has a worried look on his face, although we don't know what's troubling him. At on time we thought it was the realization that another ferret (it used to be Annabelle) played with his stuffed mouse when he's in the cage, but now we know he's just that way.
When we lost Opie in early 2000, Bongo lost one of his two best friends, and hasn't been the same since. Bongo is no longer as active as he once was, even with Hogan trying to play with him. Bongo also hates being in his cage now for any length of time.
It's March of 2001 and Bongo is still with us, although Carla lost his brother, Riker, several months ago. Bongo is not a very active ferret, but he likes to shuffle about the new house, get scritched, and give kisses. Bongo is out most of the day with his buddy, Hogan, and gets supplemental soup feedings several times a day.
Bongo's health declined rapidly at the beginning May of 2001, and one awful night in mid May we knew that Bongo's time had come. He had been battling a heart condition and insulinomas for a long time, and was also having trouble using his hind legs, and bladder. We helped our first boy, Kiva's hero and Moki's nemisis, over the Rainbow Bridge. Later that night we brought Bongo in for Hogan to see, and Hogan draped himself over Bongo's lifeless body and began to groom Bongo's ears. It was a sad farewell to our special little guy, the last of our very first group of ferrets: Bongo is once again with Moki, Binky, Kiva and Tegan -- we painfully miss them all once again.
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