I was sitting at our local overpriced and wildly underwhelming Chinese restaurant, and Animal Planet was on in the background. It featured the designer who re-did spaces to exclusively cater to pets. One was about parrots, and the next was about a menagerie of animals and included an elaborate cage/tunnel system for the ferrets running all over the place (and IMHO they freaking stink and I would never want them shitting around my house.)
But then I suddenly remembered this woman I worked with, and she would talk about her ferrets all day. At the time, she had recently adopted three but one had developed a cold. I felt bad for her at first, and listened to her talk about how when it developed “a death rattle cough,” she knew it was the end. Then she proceeded to tell me that every ferret she had ever had, she took an impression of its foot in a mold and had them displayed around the house. I asked her what she did when they died, and she told me that they had each been cremated and kept organized in little shoe boxes, until she and her husband passed away so all their ashes could be mixed together. Hearing this, I felt a little relieved they had been cremated, because I started to have images of her house filled with taxidermied ferrets posed in different ways wearing little outfits. It seemed plausible with her. I would of. Unable to stop myself, I asked how many ferrets had currently departed for the great ferret hole in the sky. She said 32.
I shared this with our bar tender, and he said “Yeah. I get it. When I was a kid, my mom decided she was going to try and breed chinchillas. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, and they all died, and she figured she could have them used to make a pillow or something. But then she never got around to it, and we had three dead chinchillas in our freezer from the time I was in middle school to college. They were in there for a solid decade before my dad told her to either make her damn pillow or he was going to get rid of them himself. After that there was finally space in the freezer again. She never tried to breed them again though.”
I realized I’ve been selling myself short on creative possibilities recently, and am thinking of getting on board with the save-reuse-recycle movement. The possibilities are endless, I just need to go clear some freezer space.