Opie was kept by a local breeder for a number of years, but had never come into season. When Opie was officially retired in 1995 Elayne and I snatched him up and whisked him away back home. Opie got along with Ariel right away (Ariel loved all other ferrets) and after a while he was accepted into our home by Tris and Mithril, and tolerated by Raven. We tried to get Opie to play with Bongo, but the aggression was more than Opie could handle at the time. Later on in the year we brought home Hogan, whom Opie immediately adored, and the two became best friends (they had lived at the breeder in cages next to one another for nearly a year).
Up until Opie our cats had ignored the ferrets for the most part (except when Moki would psych them out), but that soon changed. Opie would hunt down a cat, jump on its back, grab its neck and try to haul them off. The cat would yowl and run about the house with Opie clinging to its neck. Toonces and Demeter immediately began to fear all ferrets while Nyssa learned to recognize and avoid Opie.
Hogan taught Opie how to play rough and stand up for himself in a tussle, and so a year later we put Hogan and Opie in with Bongo for play sessions, and now all three of them are best buddies.
Opie adores Hogan, and follows him around the house. Opie loves water and will jump into bowls, basins, tubs or even the running shower to play in the water. Opie is getting old and will soon go in for adrenal surgery. He still likes to play with other ferrets, and he will come up to ask and beg to be held. He is the only ferret we've ever had who likes to be held and will fall asleep in our laps.
It's now the fall of 1999 and Opie isn't doing very well. He has a number of health problems including liver failure and is on multiple medications (we're trying herbal remedies from our naturalpathic vet because they are easier on him). Opie lives in Bongo's cage now so we can more easily keep track of his condition, although he still gets to be out with his other group. Opie still loves to haul around his tennis ball and eat treats, and has such a wonderful outlook on life that we know he wants to keep on going.
In January of 2000 Opie's health crashed, and he began having trouble breathing. When he stopped eating on his own, we knew it was time for him to leave us, and his dear friends. Snickers, Thistle, Kyra, Freya, Hogan and especially Bongo all miss their Opie, and so do we.
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