Since I first learned of ferrets, I was interested in working with them as animals. They always seemed so inquisitive and joyful, and they were creatures which were illegal in my home state. I came into contact with them for the first time during a trip out of state, and after having them happily crawling up one arm and down the other, I was hooked.
Due to my stepfather being in the army, we were forced to move out of state (into Nevada). The state we happened to move into allowed a variety of exotic animals and ferrets were hardly considered special there. Despite this, my family and I were drawn to the fuzzy, noodle-like creatures, and my mother resorted to obtaining two siblings from a pet store near us.
Savannah was the most affectionate of the two, but since they were both young when we got them they were more interested in playing than snuggling. Still, Savannah could tolerate some affection whenever she was tired herself. When she slept, she slept so hard that picking her up would only barely stir her, and she would just fall back asleep.
Although neither of the pair have ever intentionally harmed any of our family members, I would not recommend them to a family with small children. They are fragile animals, and they will bite if they are squeezed or injured by someone whom they perceive to be a threat. My youngest brother was bitten once by Savannah because he squeezed her around the ribs too roughly for an animal to handle. Luckily, neither the animal nor the child was injured significantly; Savannah gave the child a warning nip. However, if she had not, it would not have been the fault of the animal.
Ferrets are very rambunctious creatures. They love running into rooms at random, stealing small objects, sticking their heads into cups, and biting toes. I never found the toe-biting to be much of a problem, as it is always in play, but I would nevertheless recommend wearing socks around the house whenever ferrets are out and about. It is safer for the human's unsuspecting toes.
As Savannah has aged a few years, she has become much calmer. Unfortunately, her sister died of an illness before she was able to reach that stage with Savannah. Since ferrets are social creatures, Savannah was introduced to another ferret as her new playmate and cage-mate. The depressive qualities she expressed shortly after her sister's demise quickly diminished. Her new partner, Kaito, is a much older ferret, and I believe this has influenced her to become lax at a younger age than usual for her species.
Overall, ferrets are fun pets that I would recommend for young adults or older people who have the energy to engage in playtime. In either case, someone thinking about purchasing a ferret should make sure that they are able to ferret-proof their house, that they are prepared to take care two of the animals at once, and that they are able to tolerate the very distinct smell that emanates from ferrets.