I just graduated and my boyfriend and I went out to celebrate. Somewhere in the time when we came back, we realized that our youngest ferret Andre was nowhere to be found. I was so tired and I figured that he was just fast asleep in a little nook or cranny somewhere like always, so we locked up the other ferret and went to sleep. I figured by morning the baby would have come out of his hiding spot and would be begging us to play. But when I woke up this morning, we still couldn't find him.
The whole place was torn to pieces looking for him. We checked EVERYWHERE. It was then when I dreaded the idea that he may have somehow slipped outside when we weren't aware. Keep in mind, I'm in Illinois and it is a high of 13 today and wind chill factor of -2. My boyfriend and I took turns searching the area, but there was only so much we could do before the cold got to us. I began to give up after a couple hours. The police, animal control, and our families reassured us that the baby wouldn't be able to survive the night in the cold. My eyes were almost swollen shut from crying,
but I was still determined that he may have found a warm spot somewhere. We were on our last round. I was shaking a bowl of food by every crack, pile of leaves, or nook I could find. We traveled around our building complex and out to the front. It was then that we were walking past a yard drain. This thing was about 4 feet deep and had a kind of manhole cover to it that was cemented to the ground. My boyfriend was sifting through leaves by the drain and a couple leaves fell into it. I guess the leaves at the bottom of the drain responded because my boyfriend took a longer second to look in to it. Sure enough, the baby's head pokes out. "He's alive! He's down there!!!"
Music to my ears. The only problem now was how to get him out. The poor guy was freezing and was bundled in the leaves to keep warm. I immediatly threw one of my gloved down hoping he could stay warm in it, and covered the hole with my jacket. We called 911 but of course they could give a ferret's ***. The cover only gave a 2 inch space for us to reach our arms down, so after trial and error, we took a good gripping sweater and slipped it down to him while holding the other end. With a lot of coaxing he grabbed the sweater and I was able to pull him up high enough to grab him and squeeze him out of there. After food, water, warmth and tons of love, he's doing just fine. If he hadn't fallen down the drain he probably would have died. The drop was just enough to block most of the wind and the leaves were great insulation. LESSON: of course, keep a closer eye on your mischievous pets, but also DON'T GIVE UP looking for a lost pet. You never know what you can find if you look hard enough. I just keep thinking, if we gave up, he would still be out there alive and waiting for a rescue. He would have eventually froze and I wouldn't have him here with me now. I am the happiest mother in the world today.