Can't afford a Lexus? Get a Honda. Don't have time for Delivery? Digiorno. There are many times when we have to make substitutions for things we might want. After all this is not Plato's world of ideal forms or Mr. Roger's land of make believe, this is reality, a place where one must sometimes settle for second (or third or fourth) best. My wife and I talked about the pros and cons of becoming parents many times but still haven't committed: not enough room, too much debt, not enough income, not enough job stability. Plus there's just too much poop, not enough freedom, too much stress, etc. etc. etc. What did we agree on? Well ferrets of course. It was a relatively easy decision to make and it's easy to make some clever comparisons between babies and ferrets. So I was wondering: Are Ferrets a legitimate substitute for babies?
Obviously the human species has a great physical and psychological urge to reproduce and doing so is satisfying for a number of different reasons. Obviously a ferret does not elicit the exact same kind of emotional reaction in a mother as when she looks at her biological child. Nor can you teach your ferret how to play the french horn and have the opportunity to glow with abundant pride as you attend his first concert. No, there are many things a ferret just can't do for you. Still there are a few things ferrets can help with if you just don't have the money, time or desire to dive into parenthood. Here is a list of ways Ferrets provide reasonable stand-ins for human babies.
1. Babies Poop :: Ferrets Poop
If you just love cleaning up poop but hate dealing with all the diapers, flailing legs and earsplitting shrieks of the common baby, a ferret may be just the thing for you. Ferrets defecate as much or more than human babies but you don't need to change their diapers, you don't need to smell their accidents, and you never need to potty train them when they get older.
2. Babies Sleep:: Ferrets Sleep
Babies are cute when they are sleeping, however, that's only relative to the hell-spawn they resembled while awake. Ferrets are also pure adorableness while asleep. They make little nests in your laundry, cuddle together, they stick out their tongues, and stretch into capital letter U shapes. What's more they actually get cuter when they first wake up. Instead of screams and smells you are met with yawns and some delightfully precious stretching. To top it off ferrets sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day, meaning they are cute up to 83% of the day! WOW!
3. Babies Need Protection :: Ferrets Need Protection.
Much of the satisfaction of parenthood is derived from the pride one takes in successfully preventing a less intelligent organism from killing itself. Human babies, being essentially useless tubes of flesh for the first few years of life, provide maximal opportunities in this regard. Sure babies can kill themselves by sleeping incorrectly but ferrets do some pretty suicidal things as well. For instance a ferret will eagerly jump to its death from your arms if you don't restrain it. A ferret will also ingest any number of indigestible, poisonous and/or dangerous objects if given the chance, allowing ample opportunity for their caretakers to feel indispensable.
4. Babies Impress Guests :: Ferrets Impress guests.
If you are like most parents you probably feel the need to rub your baby in everyone's faces following a minor accomplishment like blowing milk bubbles, or pronouncing the letter "H." Ferrets are also phenomenal at letting you pretend you are deserving of gloating rights. Party tricks are great and most ferrets can learn to roll over and/or play dead rendering your guests positively tickled in disbelief. Ferrets beg constantly for treats jumping up at your leg and trying to climb into your arms and lap. This completely selfish behavior is thankfully interpreted as a strong emotional bond between pet and owner. "Look," you can say, "he'll even lick this ice cream right off of my nose!" Follow that with a healthy spell of the giggles and you've made your case.
In closing pet ferrets and biological children are strikingly similar. For the long haul you just can't beat a human baby with a stick. But if you compare the first five years of parenting spent in a near manic state of perpetual sleep deprivation and bickering with your spouse to five years as a carefree ferret owner, it makes you wonder: Could it be? Are Ferrets better than babies?