Happy Ferret Friday!

Happy Ferret Friday! Meet Luna & Piettro, Mittagong’s sable & fawn dynamic-polecat-duo.

Modern folks can be a bit undecided about the ferret, however, these little darlings’ ancestors were once very vogue - the must-have items in sophisticated Italian Renaissance circles. Certo! The ‘second most beautiful woman in the world’ at the time (according to Leonardo da Vinci) was painted by el maestro with her beloved ermine. “Lady with an Ermine” painted 1489 (oil on wood panel) shows off how distinguished & devoted little polecat’s are, despite their small stature. In this portrait you can see Cecilia Gallerani (ca.1473-1536), reputed mistress of Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. Her ermine is meant to represent Duke Sforza himself, whose nickname was ‘the White Ermine’ (Romantic).

Note the familial similarity of Luna & Piettro with their distant relative? That’s because ferrets, weasels and ermines (stoats) are all members of the Mustelid family, and closely related.Ferret Friday!

Fun ferret facts:


1. Their name in Latin ‘furittus’, translates as “little thief”, because of their quirk for hiding away little things.
2. They are Crepuscular - meaning they come out of their sleepy-shells during twilight, dawn and dusk, needing 14-18 hours beauty-sleep.
3. When excited, the ferret performs ‘the weazel war dance’. This is the ferret’s cheerful invitation to party like it’s 1489 in Milan! They will hop sideways, leap, bump into nearby objects, during which they’ll make soft clucking noises called “dooking”.
4. A ferret will make gentle squeaks when sad, and hiss when frightened.
5. Like a skunk, they pop-off when startled & scared. Thankfully, the ferret smell is slightly less offensive.

We have to agree with da Vinci & the Duke of Milan, ferrets are fantastic! (Though they may not agree that desexing — castration for males and spaying for females, is not Piettro's or Luna's idea of a good Friday).

#ferretfriday#ferret #mittagong #mittagongvet #vet #southernhighlands #ferretsofinstagram #leonardodavinci #davinci #dukeofmilan

(Source: National Museum of Krakow, Poland. Google Arts & Culture)