Just the other day, one of the students at Smith’s School of English Kyobashi was telling me about her unusual pet. She has not one, but two ferrets! I haven’t heard of many people in Japan housing ferrets as pets because miniature dogs are all the rage over here. I’ve only seen a ferret once during my stay in Japan, and that was a rather peculiar scene to have happened upon. I was walking down a busy shotengai in Umeda when I suddenly spotted a man crossing the street with a ferret on a leash. People were stopping to stare at the rather odd pairing as they made their way to the opposite side of the street. Since then, I haven’t seen any ferrets, save for on the television.
This student always comes to the school with her best friend, and they are always in the same class together. However, as close as they are, her friend has admitted that the fully grown ferrets scare her and refuses to play with them. Yesterday, her friend was unable to come to class due to a nasty cold so I was able to hear a lot more about these ferrets and how important a role they played in this woman’s life. She spends just about all her free time playing with these ferrets and loves them as if they were her own children. Just recently, she went to Namba Parks to look at the pet store and admire the little baby ferrets, perhaps longing to add a new little critter to her collection.
I really enjoyed hearing about her ferrets and was pleasantly surprised to learn just how much time she continues to invest in them. From there, we shared animal stories and I told her about the pets that I had kept before coming to Japan. She listened with keen interest as I told her about my hamsters, mouse, and fish, but when I got to the more exotic pets, she stopped me with a volley of questions. She wanted to know more about what spiny mice looked like and how they were different from regular mice. And then, why had my plecostomas grown as big as it had? Finally, she looked at me in bewilderment when I introduced my two desert iguanas that continue to live in my sister’s bedroom in Canada.
We found that we have a lot in common when it came to animals and pets and really enjoyed discussing them in such wonderful detail.