The Tenth Life of Kilkony Johnson
Kilkony is rapidly approaching the outer limit of ferret longevity. He has
outlived his littermate and two other younger and livelier ferrets and he
spends a lot of time asleep, not leaping about in the “weasel wardance” of
his athletic prime.
This evening I went to check on him, as Murray is with his father. No
Kilkony. I started calling, which usually brings him slinking out of one of
Murray’s drawers. No sign of him, no telltale rustle behind the bookcase,
etc. I called a bit louder, but still no Kilkony. Then I noticed that one
of the windows was slightly open, unfortunately the side without a screen.
The worst must have happened, he had crawled through the narrow opening and
out onto the roof.
Frantically I called out the window, listening for scrabbling claws on the
shingles or crackling leaves in the gutter, but no little ferret appeared.
Obviously an owl had spotted him in last night’s brilliant moonlight, or a
hawk had noticed him today. Nevertheless, I went into the garden behind the
house, calling more forlornly now, in case he had fallen off the roof. It
was a ridiculous act of hope, however, and I soon gave up.
Several hours later I opened the front door to go to the car. There was
Kilkony wandering on the porch right by the door! After hugging and
exclaiming over him, I gave him Carnivore Care, the ferret version of
Ensure, and checked him over. He seemed fine and none the worse for wear,
despite having been out in the cold for an unknown amount of time.
All I can think is that his ferret passion for tunnels drove him to
investigate the downspout, with the result that he slid down to the ground.
Since all of the downspouts drain from the back of the house, it is still
pretty incredible that he had the sense to come up a steep hill, through
what to him must have seemed like a wild jungle to the front door.