Ferret Owners Are Weirdos, and I’m One of Them

Aaron Gilbreath
8 min readJan 3, 2020
Author with the Ferret named Ping. Photo by Jeni Clarke, Oregon Ferret Shelter

People think of ferrets as giant rats that smell like musk and pee, but any ferret owner will tell you that ferrets aren’t rats. They’re mustelids, which, without getting into the biology of anal glands and incisors, makes ferrets as different from rats as humans are from donkeys. And you get used to the smell. I should know — I owned a ferret named Wiggy, and he made me laugh for his entire seven-year life…

Aaron Gilbreath

Essayist, Journalist, Burritoist. Longreads Editor. Writing: Harper’s, NYT, Slate, Paris Review, VQR, Oxford American, Kenyon Review. 3 nonfiction books.