An embarrassment of mustelids
We visited Wildwood Trust today, an animal sanctuary outside Canterbury. Not the best in some ways, but the staff is friendly and it’s awfully heavy on mustelids, so we like it. Stoats, weasels, badgers, otters, pine martens, pole cats. One elderly graying mink, who slept splayed out on top of his cage box like he didn’t give a shit, which he didn’t.
I saw my first real, live stoat here. His name was Socrates (“Soccy” to his friends) and he came out and did the weasel dance for us that day and everything. It’s one of those golden weasel memories. We went back to visit Soccy many times.
Of actual weasels, we saw hide nor hair. Not that day, nor any other. (Well, they’re all weasels to me. Brits call regular sized weasels “stoats,” and only the little teeny ones “weasels”). Anyway, the teeny ones always hid from us, even at feeding time (now with extra bunny asses!).
Today, Soccy’s cage was full of weasels! Well, two. Curled up in a happy sleepy funtime weaselball behind the glass wall of the hidden lair.
Get the size of these guys! Fully grown, they aren’t much bigger than mice. This little vicious killer dude could curl up and nap in a teacup.
Soccy, alas, has gone on to that great Weaselheim in the sky. We asked.
Got some great pictures of the lynxes (which are new, I think) and the wolves, who howled for us prettily when an ambulance went by. And the harvest mouse (surely, they must be on the sixth or seventh harvest mouse by now). The Scottish wild cats have had themselves an adorable vicious psycho killer kitten (beautiful and famously untameable, those things. They look like big stripey housecats and think like Ted Bundy). I started to post more pictures, but this blog isn’t a particularly good gallery.
Anyhow — farewell, Soccy! I lift my glass of…whatever the hell this is I’m drinking.
He was a stoat. The very stoat. The stoatiest of stoats.