Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Story of Neptune
Today was a hair raising day. Our ferret, Neptune, had an operation to remove a rather large tumor from his adrenal gland. Neptune was the first pet that Todd and I ever bought together. I vividly remember the night we bought him. We went to a pet store in a mall near by because we like to go in and play with the puppies. There weren't any "good" puppies to play with, so we wandered around in the store and stumbled on the ferret cage, and decided to play with one of those.

The first ferret we took into the playroom was a biter. I felt like a rawhide chew toy after the 2 minute visit with this guy. We went back to the ferret cage and saw a very mellow ferret sitting in the corner. So we thought we'd try our luck with him.

This ferret was very friendly, and seemed to love being handled by humans. Todd said "Let's get him."

"Todd, we don't know anything about ferrets. How much care do they need? Do we have time for an animal? What the heck do we know about ferrets? Let's buy a book on them, read it, and sit on this for a few days. We can't just buy an animal on a whim."

We went to the car, and began to drive out of the parking lot when I said, "I know! We can name him Neptune!" The car somehow seemed to make a U turn, and we ended up at the pet store, with a ferret in a box, a cage, the whole 9 yards.

On the way home on the highway, while Todd drove, I took little Neptune out to play with him. After a few minutes he pooped on my lap "AAAAHHHHHH!!! HE POOPED ON MY LAP!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!" Todd hurriedly pulled the car over to help me clean the poo off of my lap. I dropped him back into the flimsy cardboard carrier that the pet store gave us that I'd left opened on my lap. Then seconds later bellowed "AAAAHHHHH!!!! NOW HE'S PEEING!!! AAAAAHHH!!!" Of course the flimsy cardboard carrier did not at all contain the pee, which also ended up on my lap. Lovely.

Neptune was 8 weeks old when we brought him home. A month later we decided he desperately needed someone else to play with. Someone not human that wouldn't mind getting chewed on, which apparently is a popular ferret game. Then we brought Sylvia home, and the two have been together ever since. They sleep in a pile of fur, paws, and snouts, and it looks like the most comfortable and cuddly way to sleep.

Neptune is 5 now, almost 6; today's surgery was scary for us. Our first pet was in danger, and all day long I watched the clock slowly tick by while I waited for word from the surgeon. He pulled through the surgery, and he will need some shots to support the functioning of his left adrenal gland, as the right one was removed today.

Here are some pictures we took of Neptune this morning. I am so relieved that on Saturday when he comes home I'll get to see more than a picture of Neptune.

This is Neptune, peeking over the edge of our picnic table.

Sylvia snuggling with Neptune. A rare moment, seeing as how she normally grabs him by the head with her teeth and drags him around the room.

Neptune getting an ear cleaning before surgery.

This is me with my ferrets. It's pretty hard to hold 2 squirming ferrets, by the way.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Living La Vida Loca
Wow, what an interesting month it's been so far. A few weekends ago Todd and I were lamenting on the lack of boat usage this summer. So I said "Hey, tomorrow's Sunday, let's sail down to Newport, pick up a mooring and commute to work each day from Newport." That was on 31 July, and I think since then we have slept in our bed at our house 2 nights in the last 12. We are living on our boat, and so far it's been pretty cool.

I think it's been a healthier life for us too. I've been jogging almost every single morning. Todd's been close to his favorite sushi joint in Newport, so he's been eating that a lot lately. We are not watching as much TV as we were at the house. TV has a way of turning our couch into velcro, but we have not been stuck to our couch in 2 weeks because we are always on the boat.

Last Sunday we went on a dive, and met some very cool people there. Get this, one of the guys we dove with owns a chocolate shop. He is actually a CHOCOLATIER! Like, he makes truffles, and fudge, and various chocolate covered things. I've been in his shop, and I know I am crazy for his chocolate covered oreos. They are truly a party in the mouth. I wonder if he'll coat my regulator in chocolate. That would be the ultimate diving experience for me.

On Monday night we up and moved. The boat, that is. We left the mooring in Newport and decided to live our vida loca in Jamestown, RI, which is right across the bay from Newport. It's a quieter life, and parking is easier. Though I do miss the 10 minute walk to our car every morning, that we had in Newport.

Last night we went on a night dive at Fort Wetherill in Jamestown. Todd had never been on a night dive, I had, but only in lousy locations like Sydney Harbor and the Great Barrier Reef. He LOVED it. We saw flounder, lobsters, many crabs, etc. A friend of ours catches lobsters at night by shining a flashlight onto the bottom near the lobster. The lobster will walk toward the pool of light, and leave their tail exposed for the grabbing. Last night we were testing this theory. I knew Todd was trying it because he kept shining his light in front of the lobster, and the lobster would crawl toward it. So, it's true! Now we will catch lobsters, and he'll eat them because I won't.

Just today my father in law sent along more pictures of Alexander the Great, Excellent Nephew Extrordinaire.

Is this not the cutest face you ever did see? He's almost a month old now, and look at how alert he is.

In this one you can really see how big his hands are. When my Labrador was a puppy, people would look at his paws and say, "That's going to be a big dog." So, does this mean Alex will be a big guy? I don't know. But the way his thumb and forefinger are positioned, I'd be willing to bet that he'd be an awesome castinet player.