The domestic ferret is a member of the family Mustelidae, a group of carnivorous mammals that include skunks. Other members include weasels, mink, and polecats.
They are friendly and make excellent pets. If you've never met one before, the easiest way to think of them is somewhere between cats and dogs in personality, but rather smaller.
They can only see reasonably well, but they have excellent senses of hearing and smell. Some are cuddly, others more independent; they vary a lot, just like other pets.
Ferrets typically live 6 to 10 years, with 6 apparently more common than 10. Some have been known to live as long as 15 years.