Dear Heloise: I just got my first pet ferret! The pet-store employee told me that ferrets will use a litter box. How do I litter-train my ferret? -- Zach H. in Maryland
Since I’ve had three of these lovable scamps, I’ve learned that ferrets are smart, which makes training easy! Since ferrets back into corners to “do their business,” provide a triangular litter pan with a high back and enough space to fit all four paws in. Fill the pan with UNSCENTED litter. Litter with a strong smell or a lot of dust particles can cause harm to a ferret’s lungs. Avoid any wood-chip, clay or corncob litters. Pellets, pearls and select clumping mixes are the best.
Ferrets will find their litter pan by scent. Place used pieces of litter in the box until they are familiar with using it. Before getting your ferret from the cage, always make sure it uses the litter box. It will learn to go before playing with you, lowering the chances of accidents outside the cage.
Be patient and loving, and soon you’ll have a well-trained ferret! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: My husband was installing a new ceiling fan in our home and had to rent some scaffolding to get up high enough while keeping safe, because the ceiling is more than 20 feet high. When he started assembling the fan and needed particular parts and pieces, I would hand them up. At one point, he needed all the screws, wire caps and other small parts. I told him to wait while I placed all of these small pieces in a zipper-top plastic bag. I was able to toss them up to him, which he thought was a pretty good hint! -- Lorraine D., via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I have only recently discovered parchment paper for baking. However, I had the problem of it curling up when I was placing cookie dough on it. It finally dawned on me today: I place the mixing bowl in the center of the cookie sheet and drop the dough onto the four corners first. Then I remove the bowl and finish dropping the rest of the dough. Works like a charm! -- Betty, via e-mail
Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.
2012, King Features Syndicate