It is no secret that I’m a lover of animals.
I regard our 2 rescued ferrets – Scrabble and Bramble – as family members. Read into that what you will, but when they went missing in late January, I’ve never felt such a fierce maternal instinct gush over me, and the need to find them and bring them home became my absolute priority.
When I put that into words, it sounds incredibly dramatic and over the top, but I’d be lying if I said I’d felt any different.
For me, animals make a house a home, as much as your wallpaper and family heirlooms do. Not everyone will agree – and that’s okay – and sure, I do sometimes envy the tidiness and flexibility that having no pets brings you. But it’s not a path Joe and I have gone down.
It’s been a while since I spoke about our pets on here, but I tell you what, our ferrets just adore their indoor playtime – and I’ve loved attempting to snap them whilst they’re causing mischief.
(They’re so so fast when they’re giddy so notoriously difficult to capture on a camera phone!)
The thing about renovating when you have pets is that tools and boxes and packaging and plasterboard…it’s nothing but an adventure playground to them. Joe and I see them as a burden, as items in the way when living our daily lives, whereas the girls just light up, and decide it’s something worth exploring. And I just love seeing them take so much pleasure (supervised of course) out of a situation that Joe and I will, at the time, find horrendous.
Exhibit A…There was the time the girls got so excited to climb our stepladder that they got scared when they realised how high they were and needed mum (me) to lift them down.
Exhibit B…There was the time we unravelled some leftover carpet from the loft to see if it would fit in the nursery. They were convinced it was their brand new cave and scratch podium and they saw the underlay as a jungle gym climbing frame for which they could launch from.
Exhibit C…There was the time I had to clear out our bedrooms upstairs ready for the walls to be plastered, but Scrabble couldn’t bear running around the room on her own, so clung to my leg until I caved in and joined her rolling on the floor.
I talk about all the amazing jobs that our family has done on the house, and Joe’s greatest DIY accomplishments – of which there are many – because I want to look back and remember this adventure, but sometimes I forget to mention these little critters, who have been there along the way, making us laugh and helping us see the bright side of our tired-looking house.
For those that may remember Pebbles, the neighbour’s cat who used to visit, she has been poorly for a long time and we haven’t seen much of her due to her vet visits and strict diet, but this past month she’s made her return!
One lovely evening she hopped straight through our lounge window and sat amongst our latest pile of tools – in the same way that she did on the very first day we moved into the house, although on that day she had a good roll around in the stripped wallpaper of the lounge as if it was the most luxurious hotel bed you ever encountered (to relive that day click here.)
The day we moved in…
This is all fun and games of course, but renovating with animals is no joke and you’ve got a responsibility to be careful. Here are a few tips to help along the way.
- Never let the animals near the actual work. You don’t want to endanger them. We only let our pets run around at the end of the day when it’s safe. They’re free to roam, and they’re supervised, but they’re never there when actual DIY is ongoing. If you have larger animals, confine them to one room whilst the work is ongoing. Or a play pen is ideal.
- After our ferrets went missing earlier this year, I went into panic mode, as most of you will have read. When I heard that Pebbles was sick, I reacted in a similar way – even though she’s not our actual pet! Thankfully it turns out that Pebbles has some great cat insurance, had an operation and made a speedy recovery yay!
- Give them extra attention. If you know you’re going to be distracted, don’t forget to schedule in playtime for them. For us, decorating takes up so much of our time that we need to be really good at time keeping to make sure they’re not neglected.
- If you’re doing major renovations, consider boarding or a temporary home for your pet. If you’re not happy sleeping there, neither will your fuzzy friend.
Joe is currently building a huge ferret mansion, which we’ve already seen Pebbles taking a nosy at! I can’t wait to show you the final result when it’s been built!