A Guide to Ferret Terminology

I can’t imagine how hard it would be to write and run a tabletop campaign. Yes, I consider myself a decent fiction writer, but I can’t imagine how hard it would be to INVOLVE my audience in the actual execution of the story. There is a huge difference between writing your story and letting the audience experience it and actually letting your audience decide how the story goes, which is basically what a tabletop game is. That would be so incredibly frustrating. As a tabletop gamer, I really, really appreciate every GM I have ever had. You guys rock!

To shift gears a little bit, Daniel, this week you found out you would be able to come visit me in March. I am so incredibly pumped! I can’t wait to see you and just hang out with you. Man, nothing like adulthood and over 300 miles distance to make me really appreciate my siblings.

And, of course, when you visit you will also be visiting my four ferrets, Bandito, Crush, Fijit, and Herman. Well, to help prepare you for your visit I thought I would write a handy little terminology guide.

Here are just a few terms you will hear tossed around the Smudde household:

Small Business: a group of ferrets is called a business and so our little clan is lovingly called the the small business. We also call them our start-up business and our portfolio.

Catsnakes: another term for ferret, derived from their cat-like features and lack of spine.

Wigglefloofs: another term for ferret, derived from their fuzziness and lack of spine.

Carpet Sharks: another term for ferret, derived from their penchant to sneak around and bite things, like ankles and toes. We also call them couch sharks, blanket sharks, and fuck faces.

Dook: the small grunting noise ferrets make when they’re excited or feeling playful. Have you ever read something mildly funny and chuckled without really opening your mouth? That’s basically what it sounds like.

War Dance: when ferrets are feeling playful, they bounce around. It’s like a dance, but without any sort of grace or coordination.

Sneaky Pancake: when you sneak up on a ferret their first instinct is to lay flat on their bellies because they think our vision is based on movement. It also helps them blend in to their surroundings, but it doesn’t really work when the ferret in question is dark brown and laying on the white linoleum.

Retreat: other times when you sneak up on a ferret they panic and back up, but without taking their eyes of you. We’ll often yell out “retreat!” when they do this or just start making beeping noises at them until they disappear.

Sharking: when ferrets are chasing each other or are chasing you, they’ll open their mouth and just touch their teeth to each other. We call it sharking because they’re basically exploring with their teeth, but without the blood loss or surfboard damage.

Offended their Honor: sometimes, without warning, a ferret will burst into a war dance and just bolt, even when you’ve done nothing to provoke them. They do this because, somehow, you have offended their mother or something and now feel the need to fight something.

Ferret Train: if one ferret is running, they all have to run. They run in straight lines to conceal their numbers, of course.

Stashing: anything and everything in our apartment belongs to our ferrets and to make sure we know this they will collect things and hide them. This collection is called a stash and we have found rubber bands, ferret toys, bracelets, pens, crochet hooks, and the television remote in the stash.

Vacuuming: our ferrets, especially Bandito, love eating and they especially love eating the food off the floor. We call this vacuuming.

Fijit Frimbocket: Fijit’s full name. She was named after a Pathfinder character.

Dude Crush: Crush’s full name. We also call him Crush n’ Stuff and the Crushinator, but you have to say Crushinator like he’s a pro wrestler.

Blood Bag: another name for Herman and it’s all your fault, Daniel. I also call him Max and Herman the German after a character from Scrubs. His real name is Herman Munster.

So, there you have it Daniel. Some terms to remember when you come visit the Smudde household in March.



The Sad Ferret Diary

Today, I thought I would share an excerpt from the diary of my ferret, Crush. I would also share some from his brother, Bandit, but Bandit is much better at hiding his diary.

Dear Diary,

Today, I spent four hours scratching at the bottom of my cage in an attempt to dig a hole. It has been 147 days since I began this endeavor, and the floor has not even begun to wear. I am tired, but I will persevere. I must find a way to freedom for my brother and I. I must.

Dear Diary,

I awoke last night from a terrifying dream. Doors were opening and closing all around me and I could not keep track of my humans. Despite all of my attempts to rip through the door, I could not. I woke up, afraid and sought out my brother. I laid across him, my butt on his face, as per protocol, and fell back to sleep. I hope the doors remain open in my future dreams.

Dear Diary,

The humans let me out today, but would not let me poop in the corner behind the arm chair. I tried and tried and tried, but they would pick me up and put me back into our box of coarse sand. They do not seem to understand my work, my art. I can only express myself by pooping in the shadows, and they continue to oppress my creativity. This place is hell.

Dear Diary,

I was out of the cage with my brother and I had climbed onto the sofa, looking for crumbs to eat or soda cans to knock over. Instead, I was very rudely booped with a pillow. I danced around in anger, attempting to regain my honor, but the human just found it cute and booped me again. When will I be taken seriously? When? Can’t I just have a little respect?

Dear Diary,

Today I found a tasty tidbit on the floor of the kitchen. I believe it was burnt cheese and it was delicious, at least it was until the human found me. He grabbed me and stole it right from my jaws. How dare he! I have never felt so disrespected. It was my cheese! Mine!

Dear Diary,

My dearest brother and I were playing today. We wrestled and rolled around on the carpet. It was so much fun! We found this wonderful black box and danced around inside of it. Suddenly, the box shifted and toppled over on us. It was dark and we wriggled around, desperate to be free of the awful trap. Eventually, the lady human heard up and freed us. She laughed at us. Why is she so rude?

Dear Diary,

The humans are becoming wise to our tricks. They will often pick us up and force cuddles upon us, but as you know we have lots of important ferret things to do. Sometimes, if I am very clever, I can poop behind something without being noticed! Huzzah! But today was not one of those days. When we are held captive and cannot wiggle free, we will go limp and slide out of their grasp. It can sometimes be painful, landing on the hard ground, but I must say the tactic is very useful. Or at least it was. The lady and man human have realized our tricks and cradle our backsides, preventing escape. Horrible. I cannot describe the indecency of it.

Dear Diary,

The man human rubbed delicious gel onto my belly. It tasted sweet, like berries, and I could not help but lick it off! When I was finished, I noticed my nails were shorter. Strange. Do you think the incidences are related?

Dear Diary,

I almost made it to the top of the bookshelf today. Only two more shelves to go!

Dear Diary,

The humans forgot to pick up one of the dirt pails before they let us out. I ran for it, determined to dig, dig, dig, dig it out and find the prizes I knew were hidden beneath. The lady human caught me and locked me in a room with strange plastic flooring, much like the kitchen. When I returned, the dirt buckets had vanished. I was disappointed to say the least.


Crush leads a very hard life.