Thistle & Kyra

While working the Portland Pet Fair in March of 1998 Elayne and I stumbled across a booth where ferrets were sold. At the end of the Fair two ferrets were left, and were offered at a low low price. Elayne and I had been thinking of trying Felony out with kits for friends (sometimes adult ferrets will accept a kit as a friend while rejecting adults) and so we brought these two sable kits girls home. We named the larger of the two Kyra and the smaller one Thistle. We forgot how much work kits were: they were into everything and needed to be completely trained. Kyra established herself as the heir to Binky's climbing title, and for some reason unknown to us, Thistle earned the nickname "Thistle-butt".

Kyra and Thistle alternated between living and playing with the Hogan group and Freya & Cherry. As they grew, Thistle caught up in size with Kyra and then soared past to 1200+ grams. The girls permanently moved in with the Hogan group along with Freya, where they kicked up their heels playing with the boys plus the two white girls.

The Felony encounters never worked out very well (Felony was terrified of any other ferret, kit or no, and would attack them to keep them at bay), and both girls remembered their early encounters with Felony. A year later when Felony was put out to be with the Hogan group during play time, Kyra and Thistle already had preconceived notions about Felony, and both kept their distance. For Thistle this is a painful process, because she is very friendly and can't stand the thought of not being friends with another ferret. Kyra too found anguish in her Felony encounters because she wanted to attack Felony, whom she now outweighs, but is to afraid to try it, so she stalks her around the house, never getting closer than three feet.

Thistle has developed the annoying lick-lick-lick-lick-chomp habit, and Kyra has turned into a world class climber. Both Thistle and Kyra are very active girls.

Kyra continues to lose weight in the summer of 2000, and Thistle has adrenal disease, for which she will soon go in for surgery. The girls are still active, but we're working with both medications and supportive care to get them back into proper health. They are just two young to be having these sorts of problems!

Thistle has done well after her adrenal surgery in mid 2000 and is back to her former self. She's a solid, fun loving ferret with a lot of charm, but not a lot going on upstairs.

In February of 2001 Kyra went in for adrenal and insulinoma surgery, and is recovering well. She continues to be one of our most active ferrets, but she's still skinny, even with extra feedings of soup.

We lost Kyra. It's hard to believe, because she seemed her usual self by early spring of 2002, but then she became lithargic and lost a little weight (she had always had a weight problem), so we took her in for a vet visit and bloodwork. The vet felt a lump in her abdomin, and so we scheduled her surgery ASAP. THe vets found her body riddled with lymphoma, and there was little chance for her to recover, so we had to say goodbye to our tempermental little girl. She was too damned young to die, and the main cage is a far less cheery place without her.

Thistle is in fine health, and the summer of 2002 finds her pretty much as always, a solid chunk of a girl: not too bright, but very sweet and lots of fun with the other ferrets. Thistle-roo doesn't like going out for walks, but she loves to lay on her back and have you scratch her.

Thistles health began to decline early in 2003, and by May she lost a good deal of weight. She's been to the vet mutiple times, and is fed soup three times a day. We suspect lymphoma. She's still very sweet, although she still does the lick, lick, lick, CHOMP routine. Thistle has developed a desire to take walks outside if the weather is nice.

Thistle passed away some time in early to mid 2004. It is now mid June 2006, and looking back over our notes, I cannot find the exact time when we lost her. Thistle was such a significant part of our lives for so long, that it seems odd that she is no longer with us, even two years after she died. Her famous "lick, lick, lick, CHOMP" routine is now faithfully carried out by Boomer, a CFN foster ferret in our care, who sometimes forgets to add the lick, lick, lick bit before the CHOMP.

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