Owl is the magical, marvelous, mysterious “O” from The Lady Prefers O on our website, Furpeople.com. He and my now 4-year-old grand niece have been in love since they set eyes upon each other two years ago. Their story pops up from time to time in the electronic world, The FML and FaceBook, chronicling their special times together and his progressing age and illnesses. And he has the works.
His biggest trial has probably been the precarious balancing act of trying to keep fluid from filling his lungs and prevent dehydration at the same time. In addition to the cardio problems that are common in 8 year olds, we believe he has some form of cancer affecting his lungs. Without medication every 4 hours and constant monitoring, our “O” would have left us long ago. Even at that, he has developed an intermittent stomach bleed over the past three weeks that is really challenging all of us. Poor Owl is not fond of medicine in general and the barium he is getting for that bleeding is waaaaaaay low on his list of favorites!
Owl is our last boy. When his friend Moose died a couple of years ago, it left Owl as the man in a house full of females, a situation he seems to fully enjoy. He spends at least half of his day curling up with one or another of his girls, checking their ears and shoulders to make certain they are properly groomed. The rest of the time you can find him curled up in a crinkle sack snoozing away by himself.
Owl likes to tube. The cloth tubes have a slightly larger diameter than the regular Ferret tubes and when his belly is swollen he can still crawl through them even when he can’t get through the usual Ferret ones. I have started putting blankets inside all those for him as he has a habit of falling asleep mid way through and with virtually no hair left due to long term adrenal, he gets cold. His favorite sleeping spots all have that in common – a warm, soft blanket. Rather it is one of the ground level hammocks I have built for him, a sleep sack big enough for he and the girls or a single for just him, or one of the many cubes and tubes we have laying about for him, they all have a soft banky he can re-arrange and curl into.
Owl has never liked any treat, Ferret or other wise, except for the ever-present Ferretone we use for medicinal purposes. But he does love Ferret sized, soft balls and crocheted eggs especially the ones with tails on them. They are easier to drag. If they have a bell or some other noisemaker, so much the better. If he can grab it and run he will. Any time you stumble over a stash of either, you can be sure they are his. I have a small basket full of balls of different sizes and textures, and those two things are always missing. They are the only toys he has ever liked and that has followed him in to old age.
Despite his many medical challenges I can generally count on him to come and wake me up when he is hungry in the middle of the night. I made him a little staircase using XXL T-shirts and those little children’s chairs to assist in the climb. He is still mobile enough most of the time to be able to make it to the seat of the chair, then onto the bed. On the days I know he is feeling good, I don’t even set an alarm, mental or mechanical, for his 4-hour feedings. I know when the bell in his head goes off, he will come walking up the bed until he gets to my face and wakes me with a ‘are you getting up to feed me or not’ look. And of course I groggily assure him I’m coming.