I had a longtime friend who called it the "ferret stank," that musky, sweaty, rotten-food odor the rodents give off, attractive only to lady ferrets and a certain breed of weirdo animal lover. Ask people who have considered and subsequently rejected the notion of taking on one of these things as a pet, and 90 percent of the time, they will cite the smell as the reason their homes remain ferretless. No doubt that people who can tolerate these foul creatures and their hideous secretions are rewarded with years of love and joy and not ever having to host any parties.
So when a North Knoxville woman whose home was broken into but not successfully burgled on the night of March 20 speculates to the police that her pet ferret may have "spooked" the would-be bandit, forgive me if I'm a tad dubious. Caused to gag and dry heave to the point of ineffectiveness? Perhaps. But "spooked," in the same way that a guard dog would "spook" a trespasser? Probably not. Notice that the burglar left the woman's windows open after he left. Perhaps that wasn't an act of haste or panic so much as a courteous attempt to air out the place.
Kate McClaskey contributed to this story