Whilst I’ve been saying for weeks now that I have so many updates coming on the house (and really I do – got about 30 drafts on the go. It’s getting silly now…) I have been delayed this past week.
I also, from being so busy, didn’t write this at once. I wasn’t sure if I was going to publish it either. I just felt I needed to write. I needed a form of expression that wasn’t throwing up through crying.
On Wednesday 29th January 2014, I wrote this:
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have a good idea what this will be about.
On Sunday night or Monday morning – we’re not sure which – someone entered our property and stole my 2 beautiful ferrets, Scrabble and Bramble.
I posted about them not all that long after we adopted them from a rescue in October. And to say that I am heartbroken about the whole situation would quite frankly be an understatement.
Monday night came when the realisation hit. It was dark. We searched with our torches. We alerted the police. The local rescues. Any local vets. We printed flyers. We went door to door in our area. And we put up posters offering a reward for their safe return in local stores, notice boards and lamp posts. I honestly don’t know what more we could have done.
We got home late, and went to bed at around midnight. Overnight we left the hutch, which is outdoors in our back garden, wide open and uncleaned in the hope that the smell would entice our ferrets back home, should they have been on the loose. On Tuesday morning, I checked the hutch. Scrabble was there. The cage was locked. The rain cover was on top, fully secured. There is no way she got in there herself and closed the door behind her. A person did it.
I’m so relieved that Scrabble is home safe. She was only gone one day but she came back with ticks, is no longer litter trained, and she is incredibly jittery. Just goes to show how quickly they can be affected when taken from their own environment.
The fact that she was returned haunts me.
The fact that Bramble wasn’t returned, fills me with such an immeasurable sense of dread, paranoia and guilt, that I just can’t seem to cheer myself up – and I’m very aware how much of a bummer it can be when you’re surrounded by misery. Sorry everyone.
I’m trying hard to forget that she won’t survive long in the wild. To forget that she is still only a baby. That her small size sometimes mistakes her for a small rat, and we know how the general public perceives rats that they see in the street…
And then I stopped writing and wandered out to search the streets for Bramble. And here I am today. The fact is, this story has had a happy ending. Bramble was found on Sunday night in a neighbour’s shed. I just cannot tell you how relieved I was.
For that week, I felt sick, I felt alone, I felt guilty, and I felt absolutely terrified of leaving my house.
Not only was I concerned for the girls – and yes, I know pets aren’t for everyone, but to us, they are family – but I was also suddenly very aware of the vulnerability renovating had made our home.
Sorry, got distracted by their cute faces…
I’ve always been very open and welcoming to anyone who wants to see our house. After all, it’s in a period of transition and we’re really proud of the progress. But someone knew we had ferrets and weren’t at all phased by the fact that they weren’t theirs. Whether they stole them, borrowed them, or just let them out of their cage, someone tampered with that hutch, on our private property when we weren’t home. And that thought absolutely horrifies me.
Though I’m a believer that if someone wants something in your home they will do absolutely anything to get it, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t include more deterrants, and we’ve been busy adding bolts and enforcing better security this past week, as well as giving the girls some extra attention. When the skip goes from our driveway after many months, we’ll be able to close our gates properly and properly shut ourselves off when we like.
For all I talk about the annoyances of not having a full kitchen for a while, or not being able to decide on a wall colour, absolutely nothing compares when it comes to protecting my family home, and those in it. And whilst I don’t talk about the mega boring stuff like security and fire alarms and home insurance all the time, this doesn’t mean they aren’t up there with the rest of the home decisions.
Normal service will resume as of tomorrow. So many exciting house updates to tell you. But for all of you who messaged me or shared posts to help find the ferrets (and there were so many), I wouldn’t have got the girls back without you. Thank you so much.